Today we’re happy to bring you a brief interview with Danielle Hitchen, author of Bible Basics. Danielle desires for our youngest “readers” to be treated to a high-quality, beautiful, first book of Bible basics. Not to worry — the book is sturdy enough to withstand lots of love from babies and toddlers. Find out more below! –Kelly
First, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a work-at-home mom with two adorable children. My daughter is a clever, compassionate, energetic two-year-old and my son is a charming six-month-old. My professional background includes communications consulting, radio production, event planning, and non-profit and church administration. I am a graduate of the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University where I earned my B.A. in Humanities. I currently live in northern Virginia where I love enjoying a good story with my husband, local playgrounds, serving at my Anglican church, wine tasting, reading to my kids, and my adult coloring book.
What role do books play in your life at home?
My family and I love books. My husband often laments that we don’t have enough room in our current place to store our full library! We love reading individually, we love reading books together (usually listening to them on car trips), we love talking with our friends about what they’re reading, and we love buying books for and reading to our kids. Our daughter has subsequently developed a love of books (for our baby son, it remains to be seen!), and we try to read to our children a couple times a day. It’s a great way to bond with our kids and enjoy quiet time with them. Books are a great way to learn, to relax, to foster conversation and become better conversationalists, to develop compassion and empathy, and to creation connection with other people.
Talk about some books that have been influential to you as an individual and as a mom.
To be honest, many of the books that have most influenced my life were not written by Christian authors. But, all goodness, truth, and beauty are God’s goodness, truth, and beauty. Dante’s Divine Comedy are books that I continue to think about years after studying. Steinbeck’s East of Eden, as well. Two particular Christian books I’ve loved in recent years are The Ancient Christian Devotional (a great was to enjoy the Church Fathers without having to do an in depth study) and Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton. For “fun” reading, I love pretty much everything ever written by Jennifer Donnelly – she tells such richly textured stories. I have very recently enjoyed both of Annie Barrow’s novels. For reading which has influenced me as a mom – I have to say to do a lot more gleaning from blogs than I do books, and have appreciated experienced moms who remind me to take a long-view of the task of parenting.
Can you tell us about the process that brought you to the place of bringing the Baby Believer series to life?
When my daughter was just a baby, my husband and I began looking for resources to teach her about our faith. Although the market is saturated with storybook Bibles, we were hoping to find something with a bit more theological content, and we came up empty in this search time and again. And then I realized, if we teach our kids the alphabet with “A is for apple” or to count random things like dogs or trucks, why not teach them that “F is for faith” and to count meaningful things like persons of the Trinity or Beatitudes?
So I began conceptualizing the Baby Believer Primers –the first of these is Bible Basics: A Baby Believer Counting Primer which reformats foundational theological and Biblical content into a concept that small children can understand and retain – counting. Bible Basics also contains quotations from scriptures, hymns and the Church Fathers for older kids who have a greater capacity for memorization.
What are your hopes for the book going forward?
It is my great hope that parents will find Bible Basics to be a tremendous resource in helping them teach their little ones to know and love God. For my own children, my desire is that Bible Basics will be a jumping off point for meaningful faith conversations, and a way to build a foundation for an intelligent and deeply rooted walk of faith. I’d love to produce several more Baby Believer Primers to aid this endeavor!
Here’s more info about the book, and you can find Danielle’s kickstarter here. Don’t waste time — it runs out soon!