Janie B. Cheaney

Janie is a senior writer for WORLD Magazine based in Missouri. She writes novels for young adults, is the author of the Wordsmith creative writing series, and reviews books at RedeemedReader.com. Follow Janie on Twitter @jbcheaney.

Dissolving identities

Children’s Books of the Year | Gender fluidity for preschoolers
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 2/01/18, 03:49 pm

A British newspaper headline from last summer explains a lot—sort of: “Mother writes children’s book about Tilly the transgender teddy bear after being inspired by her father who transitioned into a woman.” The Daily Mail article reported that Jessica Walton of Melbourne, Australia, was raising money to publish a picture book that would help her baby son relate to his new “grandma.” Walton reached her Kickstarter goal and Introducing Teddy made its appearance last year.

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Helping little ones learn

Religion | A Bible for toddlers offers age-specific, sound theology 
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 2/01/18, 02:54 pm

Christian parents looking to introduce toddlers to the Bible should look at The Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible (New Growth Press, 2017). It grew out of family pastor Jared Kennedy’s desire to “help toddlers and early preschoolers hear the good news of God’s love for them clearly expressed in ways that will speak to their young hearts.” In 52 stories, equally divided between Old and New Testaments, Kennedy uses the theme of “Promises Made” and “Promises Kept” to lay a sound theological foundation.

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Cathedrals and valleys

Children’s Books of the Year | Discovering ‘the scarred hands of an unseen Liberator’
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 1/29/18, 08:40 pm

You Bring the Distant Near, one of the most widely praised young adult novels of 2017, is a family saga spanning three generations. It’s the story of an immigrant family that comes to Queens, N.Y., hoping to make a better life—and then the father dies in a bicycle accident. Several themes emerge: family conflict, cultural clashes, coming of age, falling in love, crusading for social justice. These are all typical YA themes, but author Mitali Perkins subtly enfolds one more: a moving and realistic picture of Christian conversion.

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