Jump directly to the content

Q+A: The Story Behind the Jesus Storybook Bible


Feb 5 2016
Sally Lloyd-Jones wrote a kids Bible so popular that they’re releasing an adult version.

Sally Lloyd-Jones is not just any children’s author. Like C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, her writing is beloved by children and adults alike, with her bestselling Jesus Storybook Bible selling over 2 million copies to date and ranking as the most popular children’s Bible on Amazon, a position earned by its winsome presentation of the gospel in a storytelling format with a fairytale flavor. A “grown-up” version of her Bible stories hit the shelves last fall. The Story of God’s Love For You merges the text from the Storybook Bible with a fresh, new title and cover.

With roots in East Africa, England, and now a life in Manhattan, Lloyd-Jones developed a lifelong passion for stories that would be beloved by little ones worldwide. Bronwyn Lea talked with the New York Times bestselling author about learning wonder and joy alongside children, pursuing excellence, and rediscovering our vulnerability to the gospel through storytelling.

I discovered the Jesus Storybook Bible with my young children, and it was a deeply emotional experience to read it aloud to them: I laughed and I cried. What was it like for you to write it?

I always go by that saying from Robert Frost: “No tears for the writer, no tears for the reader.” Not that you’re supposed to be moving yourself to tears in a sentimental way, but if writing is not coming from that deep place that moves you, or that you find really funny, then I don’t think it will work. Writing requires truth: truth first for the writer and then it will come across to the reader, whether it’s funny or sad. When I was writing the story of the passion, it just so happened it seemed that I was writing it during holy week, and it was like having a mini-revival.

If you’re going to insert yourself in the Bible, you’re going to have a reaction. Sometimes I would find myself being judgmental towards the Israelites or the disciples, thinking “Ugh, how could they be so stupid? God has told them and rescued them so many times!” And then I would get convicted, and think, “So what was it I was worrying about?”

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

Comments

To add a comment you need to be a registered user or Christianity Today subscriber.

orSubscribeor
More from Her.menutics
Q+A with Christena Cleveland: 'I Felt for the First Time—I'm Not Alone'

Q+A with Christena Cleveland: 'I Felt for the First Time—I'm Not Alone'

What everyone needs to know about supporting women of color at conferences and in churches.
We Need More Politics on Social Media, Not Less

We Need More Politics on Social Media, Not Less

How our feeds feed popular opinion.
Moms, Go on with Your ‘Bad’ Self

Moms, Go on with Your ‘Bad’ Self

In a culture that expects perfection, sometimes failed moms are just doing their best.
A Lament for Louisiana After the Floods

A Lament for Louisiana After the Floods

As I grieve the tragedy in my home state, I’ve found solace in a surprising place.
Include results from Christianity Today
Browse Archives:

So Hot Right Now

The Casserole-Toting Church Ladies Hold the Secret To Happiness

I found unexpected heroes—and a model for faithful living—in the elderly women at my church.

Follow Us

Twitter



What We're Reading

CT eBooks and Bible Studies

Christianity Today
Q+A: The Story Behind the Jesus Storybook Bible