Building Character Through Picture Books Author Interview and Giveaway!

About the Book

Book: Building Character Through Picture Books: 25 Family Devotions Based on Favorite Picture Books

Author: Terrie Hellard-Brown

Genre: Devotional

Release Date: May 27, 2023

Bring the Bible into bedtime. After reading the picture book together, families can read the short devotion, discuss compelling questions (questions for younger and older children provided), and end with prayer together as the children prepare to sleep. The book includes 25 devotions matched with 25 popular and classical picture books. Each devotion includes a section for parents to go further in the discussion or to add an activity to continue the conversation the following day.Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Terrie Hellard-Brown uses her experiences as a mother of four (three on the autism spectrum), 35+ years in ministry (15 in Taiwan), and 35 years teaching to speak to the hearts of readers. She writes and speaks to empower children and adults to embrace everyday discipleship every day. She teaches workshops and writes devotional books, children’s stories, and Christian education materials.

Her podcast, Books that Spark, reviews children’s books that spark imagination, emotion, questions, and discussion leading to teachable moments with our kids.

Her blog discusses living as a disciple of Christ while discipling our children. She challenges us to step out of our comfort zones to walk by faith in obedience to Christ and to use the nooks and crannies of life to disciple our children.

More from Terrie

As an English teacher, pastor’s wife, and missionary, I LOVE books. I’ve taught every grade from pre-K to community college in my career and taught the Bible to people who didn’t know anything about the Bible or Jesus, and through it all, I’ve come back to the joy of picture books and the simplicity of sharing stories that change lives. Of course, I love teaching Shakespeare, Dickens, and C. S. Lewis, but picture books are still where my heart is. So, it was only natural that I combined my two favorite things: picture books and the Bible.

My friends affectionately call me the Picture Book Lady since I have one to offer for almost any topic, event, or purpose. This new devotional book is no different. A dear friend said one day, “You should write a devotional book based on picture books!” Who wouldn’t jump at such a fun project!?

I chose some of my favorite picture books where I found connections to Scripture, and I began to write devotions to go along with each book. I wanted to use general market books so that we can use whatever book we’re reading with our children to make spiritual connections and bring in lessons naturally in those teachable moments. That’s how Building Character Through Picture Books was born.

Author Interview

  • Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

Thanks for having me on your blog!

As of right now, the book hasn’t been released, but I am hearing from early reviewers. A few have said they identified deeply with specific elements in the story, which means quite a lot to me.

Steal Fire From The Gods is a fun, fast-paced, action-packed story that deals with themes such as struggling with faith. It’s both super weird and super personal. When you create something like that and have people tell you that it meant something to them, it’s very validating.

There’s a lot more that I’d like to say, but I’m afraid it would give too much away. Suffice it to say people are connecting with the story on a deep level. For that, I’m so grateful.

  • How do you overcome writer’s block? Do you have any advice for others in finding their process to overcome it?

I subscribe to the Steven Pressfield ideology that the muse favors the working stiff. Even if the ideas aren’t flowing, you can always type something. And if you type enough somethings, the good ideas do have a way of breaking through the block.

Similarly, I like something I once heard Neil Gaiman say about convincing himself that the first draft isn’t important, that the words he’s writing don’t matter. Nobody will ever see his first draft; if the whole thing is terrible, he’ll get rid of it. Of course, writing that feels terrible in the moment is often discovered to have a few hidden gems when you look back on it later.

But you must write something, even if it’s silly or nonsensical.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to write every day. I believe in taking periods of rest. You do, however, need a lot of self-awareness and self-honesty to determine whether you are taking a much-needed rest period or avoiding the work out of fear. If it’s the latter, you have to get back to it.

The writing doesn’t have to be good; that comes later. At first, it only needs to get done.

  • Do you read the genre you write? Why or why not?

I do read sci-fi, but not exclusively. A few years ago, I was concerned with taking all the advice about reading the “right” books and keeping up with everything that’s going on in your genre. While that is good advice, over the past year or so, I’ve instead focused on the books that I want to read and allowed my curiosity to guide me.

Of course, this often includes science fiction, but I don’t hold myself to any standard. I’m an embarrassingly slow reader, so the notion of keeping up with what’s going on in the market is a fool’s errand for me.

Instead, I try to ensure that I’m taking in stories that fan the flames of my creativity and nurture my soul, regardless of the genre.

  • How did you come up with the title for your book?

For a long time, the book had a different title that was pretty straightforward. I won’t say it here because it’s a minor spoiler (which was even more reason to change it), but the title was boring.

Steal Fire From The Gods is an idea that came to me one day. Of course, it’s a phrase I had heard several times in my life from people referencing the Promethean legend, but I had a moment of clarity in which I realized it was the perfect thematic phrase for my story.

  • What’s your favorite writing snack, drink, and/or music?

For snacks, I’m boring. I’ve almost always got a cup of coffee and a Yeti filled with water. I don’t tend to eat much while I’m writing.

As for music, I have several writing playlists, but one album is essential to me – A Thousand Suns by Linkin Park. When that album came out, my wife and I listened to it for the first time on a road trip to visit her parents. The circumstances were perfect; we were driving at night in a gentle rain, enjoying each other’s company but not talking because we were so enveloped in the music. It’s a thematic album, not precisely a “concept” album, but each song leads into the next.

We listened to that album all weekend while driving around Gulf Shores, AL. That was also the weekend when – after knowing my entire life that eventually I would be a writer – I decided to start working on my first book.

Usually, when I’m writing, I can’t listen to songs with lyrics. They’re too distracting. But A Thousand Suns is different. It puts me in the perfect place for the type of stories I want to tell.

Blog Stops

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 20

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 21

Fiction Book Lover, November 22 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, November 22

For Him and My Family, November 23

Blossoms and Blessings, November 24 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 25

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 26 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, November 27

Cover Lover Book Review, November 28

Lots of Helpers, November 29

A Reader’s Brain, November 30 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, November 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 1

Guild Master, December 2 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 3


To celebrate her tour, Terrie is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 gift card and paperback copy of book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


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