I’m happy to welcome Jean Matthew Hall as a guest on my blog today. She and I share a love of God and His creation, and her debut picture book, God’s Blessings of Fall, has recently been released by Little Lamb Books.
It encourages children to use all their senses to experience and celebrate the blessings of that season, while pointing them to the Lord! It’s a great read-aloud with lots of fun sound words to delight readers.
It’s also a book that will help you and your children celebrate God’s blessings this Thanksgiving!
Q: Please tell us a little about yourself and your writing journey.
A: As a child I enjoyed drawing and designing more than writing. As an adult I found myself writing many articles and handbooks for my job. It became fun. Then, when I started writing stories it really became fun!
I started writing for publication around 2007. I’ve been studying and having some success since then. God’s Blessings of Fall is my first picture book to be published. This manuscript was one of the first I worked on. I wrote the first draft in 2009.
Q: What inspired you to write this story?
A: I am enamored with God’s created world. I enjoy observing the changes in the seasons. So, following the adage “write what you know” Watching my four-year old grandson running around the yard chasing leaves on a crisp autumn day was the spark for this story.
Q: God’s Blessings of Fall has lots of fun words and sensory images for readers to savor. And I know you’re a mom, a grandmother, and a teacher like me. Any suggestions to help parents enjoy these with their children?
A: Kids love the “sound” words. They love to be the ones to read those words aloud. Also let them try to think of other words that start with the repeated consonants on the pages of the book. Or play a game of finding things around the house that have the same sounds as the words on the page. Second and third graders can “borrow” those words and create their own stories using them.
Q: Tell us about your illustrator
A: Olya Badulina lives in Russia with her husband and two children. She used her favorite medium for God’s Blessings of Fall –watercolors. She has illustrated books for authors around the world. I love all the adorable animals she created.
Q: How can parents use these beautiful illustrations to help tell the story?
A: Again, using the illustrations (like the words) as bridges to things in the child’s everyday world works well. If you live near a wooded area, or a wildlife museum, go on an animal hunt. If that’s not possible do it at the library! Find books about the animals on the pages of God’s Blessings of Fall. Olya’s illustrations are water color, so it’s great fun to let your kiddos create their own illustrations, or animals, using their watercolor sets. Hey! If parents would like to take photos of their activities and post them on my FB Page that would be awesome!
Q: What would you like children to take away from God’s Blessings of Fall?
A: That God is our loving Creator and Designer of this beautiful world and of us.
Q: Where is your book available?
A: Parents can order it from LittleLambBooks.com, Amazon.com, or BarnesandNoble.com. They can also request that their favorite local bookstore order it for them.
Q: I understand that God’s Blessings of Fall is the first in a series of four books. Can you tell us a little about the rest of the series?
A: Two more books in the series should be available in 2020. Then the last book in 2021. I’m not sure which book, Summer, Winter, or Spring, will be next. They are about basically the same animals and their activities and habits in each season. The lyric language carries through all four books. I think I’m most excited to see the Winter book, myself.
Q: Where can we learn more about you and your upcoming projects?
A: My website and blog are at www.jeanmatthewhall.com.
My FaceBook page is JeanMatthewHallAuthor.
My twitter account is Jean_Hall.
And the most fun place to catch me online is at Pinterest at JeanMatthew_Hall. I have boards about crafts for kids, recipes, gluten-free recipes, crochet patterns, picture book reviews, and even advice for parents of young children. Sort of eclectic!
Thank you, Jean, for sharing with us about your new book, God’s Blessings of Fall! You’ve given parents lots of good ideas for sharing your beautiful book with their children!
Thank YOU! It’s a joy to share on your blog. Blessings!