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WJK launches first book in its new children’s program

‘Who Counts?’ pairs two Jewish writers for a unique retelling of Jesus parables

 Presbyterian Publishing Corporation release

LOUISVILLE – Westminster John Knox Press (WJK) will release the first in a brand new line of children’s books this May. Who Counts? 100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons by Amy-Jill Levine and Sandy Eisenberg Sasso is a creative retelling of three popular Jesus parables: the lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son. Written for ages 4 to 8, the book features colorful artwork from illustrator Margaux Meganck with ethnically diverse, modern-day characters.

Who Counts? presents a unique collaboration between two Jewish authors writing on New Testament stories. Amy-Jill Levine is a renowned Jewish New Testament scholar, while Sandy Eisenberg Sasso is a rabbi and best-selling children’s book author. Levine and Sasso write that their intention is to “add a new understanding based on what we imagine Jesus’ audiences would have heard.”

”We are delighted to be able to launch our children’s program with two such well-respected authors in A-J and Sandy,” said David Dobson, WJK’s vice president and editorial director. “A-J is one of the most respected New Testament scholars working today, and the author of such popular academic books as The Misunderstood Jew and Short Stories by Jesus, while Sandy has written more than 20 beloved children’s books, including the best-selling God’s Paintbrush, that already have a home in many church schools and homes. We can’t wait to introduce this book to parents, educators and young readers.”

WJK will follow Who Counts? with two more children’s books this fall. No One Else like You by author Siska Goeminne and illustrator Merel Eyckerman helps children appreciate the diverse shapes, sizes and colors of all the people in the world. Where Are You Hiding, God? by writer and illustrator Elisabeth Zartl follows a little girl trying to find God in various places around her house. Both books are slated for release this September.

”We hope to publish beautifully illustrated books with great stories for a church audience as well as a school and general trade audience,” said Alicia Samuels, WJK’s vice president of marketing. “Our books will be intentionally rich and expansive, helping children appreciate the beauty of our diverse world and their place in it.”

There are currently five children’s books on tap for release in 2018, with about eight more to follow annually beginning in 2019. A new imprint for the children’s line is currently being developed and will be announced by the end of 2017.

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