Monday, July 07, 2008

A Delightful Visit

I've written before about my job here at the bookstore on SBTS campus, and how I'm frequently surprised when authors come to visit and buy books from us while they visit the school. In this way, I've been able to meet quite a few of my favorite grown-up authors (or their husbands).

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Bill and Carine MacKenzie -- visiting Kentucky from Inverness, Scotland. Bill is the founder of Christian Focus Publishing, and his wife Carine writes children's books -- a LOT of them! She has sold over 3 million children's books worldwide! Her books are great. They are so solid, and so clever. The MacKenzie's sat down with me and showed me the upcoming children's titles for CF4K (children's branch of Christian Focus), and highlighted some of the thought put into these books. "That book is about the gospel" Bill told me when I had Carine sign a copy of My 1st Book of Memory Verses. "It's not in the title, so not to be off-putting, but when children memorize these verses, it takes them through the gospel so they've memorized it." Carine told me about the interactive aspects of an upcoming book she has for preschoolers about the life of Jesus, Little Hands Life of Jesus. "How do you think of all these things?" I asked. Carine humbly nodded toward her husband, which was precious. I can tell they are such intentional people. They don't just produce children's books to make cute children's books and sell cute children's books. They are considering every aspect of what they publish. They want significant doctrines to be instilled into the little ones that read them. They want to equip parents to teach important doctrines to their children.

I appreciate Christian Focus' no-nonsense attitude. Perhaps it stands out a bit to me, being an American, but even CF's catalog descriptions of materials reveal a measure of dry wit and clear outlook on what a larger part of the publishing world is about. Take, for instance, this catalog blurb before their list of VBS curriculum: "Do you have a Holiday Bible Club (VBS) coming up but don't want to go down the whole Hollywood ballyhoo that so many expensive programmes involve? Here are some alternatives." Hmm. I can think of some VBS programs that fit the "Hollywood ballyhoo" bill.

What a providential encounter! I'm so glad to work where I do on days like these. If Christian Focus is new to you, please check out some of their outstanding titles!


Stuart said...

WOw, I wish I could have been at that meeting...

James and Christen said...

James has already ordered the most recent children's Bible that you recommended and now I want to order more books! Oh how I wish there was free shipping to Brazil!

Thanks for keeping us up to date on quality books for kids!!!

Jana said...

I have never seen these books. I am so excited to check them out. Thanks for the tip! My Mom has worked at a Christian bookstore for years and always has gives us new books to read for our children. You have a great job!!!!!