Christian author's 'The Jesus Storybook Bible' gains popularity | Deseret News National
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Barbara Haddock Taylor
Faith

Christian author's 'The Jesus Storybook Bible' gains popularity

Although her book was first published in 2007, Sally Lloyd-Jones' "The Jesus Storybook Bible" is gaining some traction in 2013, and recently reached more than 1 million copies.

Lloyd-Jones, a British ex-pat who now lives in New York, has found success with her book, “The Jesus Storybook Bible,” which has sold more than 1 million copies, according to Religion News Service.

Lloyd-Jones doesn’t have children nor is she married, but she wanted to retell the Bible’s story for young people, RNS reported. Even though she hasn’t had kids, one of her editors said authors of children’s books are either consistently with children or are children on the inside, according to RNS.

“It kind of freed me, because I think I know I’m that second one,” she said to RNS. “And I can still write from that place, because my childhood is so vivid.”

The book, which was first published in 2007, is for ages 4 and up and includes 44 Bible stories, according to the book’s website. And the book has developed its own brand of products, including a read-aloud edition, a deluxe edition, an audio version and an e-book version, according to the book’s website, where all available forms of “The Jesus Storybook Bible” can be found. There’s also a video that depicts one of the stories told in the book.

“Lloyd-Jones’ powerful gift of storytelling draws the reader into the greatest adventure of all time in an exciting page-turner that kids (and adults) find hard to put down,” the book’s website said.

One of the reasons the book has sold so well is because it treats the Bible as a story and not a gateway to philosophical and theological questions, according to Mockingbird, a nondenominational ministry in Charlottesville, Va.

Will McDavid, a writer on Mockingbird’s blog, said Lloyd-Jones “enters into the primal wonder of the biblical stories, forcing us out of our shells as theologians or self-conscious hermeneuts; we no longer look down on the story, like an accountant feverishly trying to balance the theological books, but up on the story; in wonder, in astonishment and admiration.”

McDavid said the technique won't work for every story, though, as it'd be tough to tell the story of the bloody history of the Roman Empire. He said too often people look for the message behind the story and are not impressed by the story itself.

Still, he supports Lloyd-Jones' work.

"All that to say, she had me (and well over half the room) in tears at last April’s Mockingbird NYC conference, and we couldn’t be more excited to have her back in 2014," McDavid wrote. "Between then and now, we’ll just have to make do with her wonderful books."

Email: hscribner@deseretnews.com Twitter: @hscribner