Feature interview: With New York Times Best Selling author, Sally Lloyd-Jones.

New York Times Best selling author Sally Lloyd-Jones celebrates the beauty
of spring, with Bunny’s First Spring a new picture book. Here she chats with
J.C Manigault about finding inspiration in unlikely spaces.


J.C Manigault: What significant event set you on the path to becoming a
children’s book author?

Sally Lloyd-Jones: What a great question! But I’m not sure, really. As far
as I can remember, maybe it has to do with being born in Uganda Africa,
being transplanted East and returning by the age of 4. Sometimes that sort
of thing – when you are transplanted out of the country – sets you up for
sort of an adventure. The other thing I remember when you ask that ques-
tion is the first book I ever read all the way through – Edward Lear’s The
Complete Nonsense – was such a revelation to me, because I didn’t know
you were allowed to have this much fun inside a book. He would do these
funny poems and drawings and it brought me so much joy… Probably
that’s what set me up.

J.C: Many of your books seem to be written with the younger sect in mind?
Is that always a conscious decision? Or simply what you feel led to do?

SJ: Yes, I suppose I’m just drawn to that which is very simple… and I love
the challenge of that. Like with my “Thoughts to Make Your Hearth Sing,”
which is theological concepts but just making them accessible to the young-
est… I loved that challenge. Or maybe it might be just my sense of humor…
I just like that level [laughs]. Children are the best audience really. They’ll
go with you anywhere and you can have a lot of fun. I like the idea that
you can do a lot more with children than adults. I think I’m lucky that way.

J.C: Tell us about one of your earliest and funniest adventures as a writer?

J.C: Tell us about one of your earliest and funniest adventures as a writer?

SJ: I never separate a general life adventure from my writing adventures,
but I suppose ideas come to me at any point and sometimes while I’m on
the run [laughs]. One time I was in the South while running by sort of a
marshy area and I saw a Heron, a fisherman and a Egret, and a story came
to me through that… And so you never know where an idea is going to
come from.

J.C: What great piece of advice could you share with a new parent who
is now embarking in the world of books with their child?

SJ: Oh, I will first say, how exciting! The time reading with your child is a
short time really, but it’s wonderful on so many different levels. It’s such
an intimate time even when they are very tiny. It also helps children realize
that books are all about love. Parents put so much pressure on themselves…
So I would tell them not to put so much pressure but just to use that time
as a high point of the day when they can sit together and enjoy a book
with their child.

J.C: Tell us about Bunny’s First Spring. What is the inspiration behind
the book?

SJ: It had been one of those winters in New York, when just on the ground
something caught my eye. It was a green shoot pushing out from the icy
ground… And suddenly with that, I broke through with the words from
Martin Luther that said: “Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrec-
tion, not in books alone, but in every leaf in Spring time.” “Is new like me”
he said. Those were the first few words that came to me and I just thought
to myself, imagine what it must be like when you are a new bunny and you
come into this beautiful world full of new everything… And then as the sea-
sons go on, it gets more beautiful and the flowers grow but suddenly the
leaves start falling and everything starts not going so well and the snow
comes, and it looks like everything is over… But then hidden in every root
and in every seed is a secret. That’s where this book came from. It points
to the hope and the fact that you can see the truth of new life, renewal
and hope, and that things that look dead are not.

J.C: The book beautifully illustrates the thread of death, life and renewal?
Why is that an important subject matter for children?

SJ: Well, we are God’s people. And we are people of hope. Aren’t we?
There’s a hope beyond the wars of the world and the things we don’t under-
stand… But to have the hope that ultimately God is at work to turn every-
thing around and that He has defeated death – is miraculous. Sometimes
you have to come at a subject at an angle, and not head on, because if you
keep coming head on you don’t hear it anymore. I guess [in writing this
book] I wanted them to see things from another angle and get a new per-
spective of this great hope we are part of.

J.C: What do you hope parents and children will come away with in
reading the book?

SJ: I hope they come away with Joy! There are many sermons being
preached through nature to us, about how God Loves us and we are not
alone… And how He has designed everything to reflect Him like a mirror.
I hope that the message will send them marching into the world to see
God in everything He has created. That would be my hope.

J.C: Thanks Sally.

S.J: Thank You.