How would you describe your new children's book to a parent shopping for their child?
“Where Do Belly Buttons Come From” is a family-friendly story of children who love to visit their grandparents and soak up the love and guidance that grandparents can offer. They love to ask questions to stump their story-telling grandfather. This time, they ask where belly buttons come from and the grandfather tells a wonderful tale that you will never forget. In a nutshell, he says that belly buttons are the fingerprint of God to remind each of us that we are special and we are loved.
Where did you get the idea for your book?
The story in the “Where Do Belly Buttons Come From?” was originally a children’s sermon I made up in my first pastorate in Texas while working on my doctorate in religion in the late 1980s. I have told it many times since to children of all ages. When I was an adjunct religious studies professor at Radford University and Roanoke College, I even told the story to college students as an example of myth— taking a common everyday object and using it to convey a profound spiritual truth.
In the highly competitive book publishing industry, did you have moments of self-doubt, such as "Why would a publisher pick my book?"
The book is published by CrossBooks, an affiliate of LifeWay. People have always enjoyed hearing this particular children’s sermon. In fact, at Northside Baptist in Mechanicsville, where I am the senior pastor, they actually applauded the first time they heard it. There is great power in story and that is one of the reasons Jesus taught with stories. They draw us in and are the quickest way for us to absorb truth. If I just said God made you and loves you, it would go in one ear and out the other. But if we wrap that wonderful truth in story, we'll welcome it, enjoy it, take it in, and even repeat it. Humor helps as well. When we laugh together, we let down our guard just enough to allow the gospel can spill over into our lives.
My sense was that this story belongs to God and that now was the time to put it in writing to preserve His story for this and future generations of children to enjoy.
I selected CrossBooks because it was the quickest, most effective path to publishing. They offered me access to some wonderful illustrators that could bring the story to life. The nice thing with CrossBooks is that each of their books goes through a theological check to be sure it is sound. So for me, it was an easy decision.
You are a Ph.D., a pastor, a ventriloquist, and now a children's book author! What is next for the extremely talented and gifted Dr. Jeff Scott?
What next? I’ll keep my eyes, ears, mind, and heart open to story ideas that will help me share the gospel in a creative way. When a story is able to communicate the love of God in a way that captures the imagination and wonder of a child, I’ll know I am on the right track. If we can add humor and the themes of faith and family, it will be a winner.
By the way, I am sure you have a belly button. It is there to remind you that He made you special and loves YOU! "You are His workmanship,” says the Scripture. What most folks don’t know is that that phrase can also be translated as “You are His masterpiece.” My wish for you and all my readers is that we grasp the reality of being loved just because we a masterpiece from the hands of the Master! Remember, you are special and you are loved!
Dear Readers, here is a preview video of Dr Jeff's book. (If you receive this as an email, you'll have to visit my blog to see the video by clicking here.)
Dr. Jeff Scott's book may be purchased through CrossBooks, Amazon or Barnes and Noble. What a great Christmas gift it would make!
Kelly Combs is a Christian wife, mom, writer and speaker. You can learn about Kelly by visiting her website at www.kellycombs.com