For review copy and interview information, contact:
Audra Jennings – – 903-874-8363

Toddlers and preschoolers are not too young to learn the gospel. In Jesus Saves: The Gospel for Toddlers, Sarah Reju helps the littlest members of the family discover how and why Jesus saves. Using easy-to-understand, simple concepts, Reju offers a way for parents to teach the good news to young children.
Every generation needs to hear and believe the good news. Even the youngest children need to know, from the time they are in diapers, that there is a God who made them, loves them, and is calling them to turn from their sins and trust in him. The rhythmic, repetitive style of the story will make the content memorable for toddlers and preschoolers.

An Interview with Sarah Reju, Author of Jesus Saves
Q: In your own words, can you tell us a little bit about your new book, Jesus Saves?
From the cradle to the grave, everyone needs an opportunity to hear the gospel of God’s redeeming love in a way they can understand. Jesus Saves is a gospel primer for very young children. It grew out of a desire to equip parents and caregivers to present the whole gospel to their little children in a way they can understand.
The illustrations and simple, but catchy text is intended to invite children into the true story of God’s amazing love. We call our young readers to turn from their sin and trust Jesus for themselves.
Q: How is your book different from other Christian board books available for families?
Many Christian board books focus on one particular story from the Bible, like Noah, or Daniel in the lion’s den. Some set out to teach a skill, like the alphabet or counting, using Bible images. A few board books focus in on one attribute of God, like his kindness or love.
Jesus Saves is different. It lays out the whole gospel—creation, fall, and redemption—and calls children to learn what sin is, and turn away from it, and trust in Jesus. It also includes a section at the back to help guide parents in how to share the gospel with their young children.  
Q: Is this subject you felt was overlooked when your children were in the toddler stage?
Yes, definitely. We would have loved to have a sturdy, well-illustrated board book to share the whole gospel with our kids, but to our knowledge, it just didn’t exist. We had access to lots of board books, but none of them set out to explain the whole gospel to little ones. We struggled to find language simple enough to explain the gospel in a way our toddlers could understand. We also would have been helped by a book that could tutor us in how to share the gospel in a way that was accessible to our toddlers.       
Q: Can toddlers really understand the gospel?
Absolutely! Little children can and do trust Jesus. While their understanding may be much more simplified than adults, they can be helped to understand that Jesus loves them, came to rescue them, and that even their young expressions of selfishness or disobedience are things that need Jesus’s forgiveness. Most children can understand a lot more than they are able to communicate verbally, especially in the toddler and early preschool stages when their language abilities are expanding rapidly.  
When the disciples didn’t want Jesus to be bothered with little children, Jesus welcomed them to come to him. Jesus even held out young children as an example of faith, saying, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14 ESV).
Q: Part of teaching the gospel is teaching about sin. When your own children were young, how did you introduce the concept of sin to them? How old were they when they started to understand when they did something they shouldn’t?
Every child is born wanting their own way, to be king of their world, and in control of their circumstances. By the end of the first year of life, it became clear to us as parents that our children understood what we were asking of them, and they were choosing to disobey. We could tell by the way they looked at us and giggled as they crawled across a boundary we had set for them, or the way they threw tantrums when they didn’t get what they wanted.
We tried to teach them that their disobedience, their fighting to be “king,” was sin, and that they needed a Savior. We encouraged them to confess and say sorry to God and pointed them to Jesus as the wonderful Savior God has provided. We gave them lots of reassurances of our love for them, and God’s love for them, and his desire for them to come to him for forgiveness.                 
Q: Each page of the book includes a Scripture notation. Can you share the significance of the verses you included?
The gospel described in Jesus Saves is from God, so we wanted to include verses to show that all of the themes being taught are from the Bible. Each page of text lists a verse reference that corresponds to the ideas being communicated on that page. The references are included on the main pages of the book, but all of the verses are listed in their entirety on the last page. This makes it easy for parents to read the full verse to their children if they want to and if their children have the attention span to listen. Some might even choose to begin to help their children to memorize some simple foundational verses that help lay out the gospel.   
Q: Tell us more about the pages at the end of the book for parents.
The pages at the end are intended to further equip parents to share the gospel with their children. The parent section begins with a brief overview of the basics of the gospel. We then describe how the book can be used and encourage parents to journey to Jesus together with their children. We conclude with a reminder that parents are called to be faithful, but God is the one who saves.   
Q: What encouragement would you like to pass along to new parents about raising their children to be Christians?
New parents can be especially eager to fill their children’s hearts and minds with gospel truth, and that is a good desire. We are called to be faithful, but what that means exactly will look different in different families. We are also called to be humble, recognizing that we are sinners as much in need of a Savior as our children are. Our children will see the gospel truths we read to them lived out when we sin against them and then come to them asking for forgiveness. They will understand more of God’s love for them when we love them unconditionally.
But I would also want new parents to remember that no amount of faithfulness on their part can save their children—God is the one who saves. Parents can find great freedom and rest in knowing that the salvation of their children is in God’s hands. So, they should pray, share the gospel with their children, and trust God with the outcome.  Jesus Saves: The Gospel for Toddlers
by Sarah Reju, Illustrated by Phil Shorr
March 1, 2021 / Board Book / Retail Price: $11.99
Print ISBN 978-1-645071-32-7
Religion / Christian Education / Children  About the Author and Illustrator Sarah Reju, MDiv, is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mother living in Washington, DC. She is the author of God Is Better Than TrucksGod Is Better Than Princesses, and Jesus Saves. Sarah and her husband, Deepak, have five children.

Phil Schorr resides in southern California with his family, where he tells stories through visual mediums. He has always been fascinated with mid-century design and the use of bold yet imperfect geometric shapes. As an art director and visual designer, he brings his influence of music, animation, and global stories into his work. He has the privilege to do what he does because of the love and support of his wife, Joelle and his wildly adventurous kids.