Author describes creation of nighttime books for kids

One author of preschoolers’ bedtime books is writing her titles based on her own experiences of getting her youngest son to bed.

Amy Parker has written and co-written more than 40 books for children, teens, and adults, with more than a million copies sold. Most of her writing is done for young children in the Christian market.

(PODCAST AVAILABLE HERE: https://www.spreaker.com/embed/player/standard?episode_id=8959827&autoplay=false)

I interviewed Amy during the International Christian Retail Show where she was promoting her book “The Plans I Have For You.” This was my first time to meet Amy, who it turns out is my neighbor in Middle Tennessee — she virtually lives up the road from me.

Amy started off writing on the side. Her first authored book was “A Night Night Prayer.”

That book started a line of “Night Night” books which sturdy and padded.

Night Night books
Amy Parker is a children’s book author.

“Parents just seem to love them. And we all need resources for getting our kids to sleep at night. I was getting a wiggly red-head to sleep … a 3 year old.I had sung all the songs. And I had looked out the window and I had seen a tree swaying in the dark and I said, ‘Shh, the trees are sleeping.’ And that got his attention.”

After her son went to sleep, she wrote the verse that became the “Night Night” prayer. The books lead the parent and child through a list of objects and/or people or pets to to whom they can say “night night.”

“It’s a simple way for children to acclimate to the nighttime routine.”

The repetition and routine can help young kids gain reading confidence, she said.

“The Plans I Have For You” is a whimsical book based on Jeremiah 29:11. In the book, God speaks in a first person voice to the child and tells of the plans He has for him or her. That book came out last fall, and a board book version will come out in July 2016 for toddlers and preschoolers.

“Night Night Farm” is releasing in July 2016 as well, and Amy calls that “the cutest book.” Although Amy and her publisher had planned the book, her editor saw a cute YouTube video of goats wearing clothes and that started the illustrative ball rolling. “We have to have all of the animals in pajamas,” the editor said. The animals say good night in their “animal voices.” So very young children can learn animal sounds as a result.

She has collaborated with authors ranging from New York Times bestsellers to her very own son. Two of these collaborations, “Firebird” and “Courageous Teens,” are recipients of Christian Retailing’s Best Awards. But Amy’s greatest reward is being a wife to Daniel and a mom to their amazing sons, Michael and Ethan.

More information is at amyparkerbooks.com.
—Jason Reynolds

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