I am delighted to introduce to you Sydney Coffey, a first-time author of Moshe’s Big Day: A Lesson in Trust. Moshe’s Big Day is a precious story about a sheep that wanders into some scary situations but ultimately learns to trust his shepherd’s voice to find his way back to safety.
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Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into writing children’s books?
My journey to becoming a children’s book author really started when I was a little girl, but God brought me to this place completely by surprise. I became a Christian in the middle of my sorority house during my freshman year of college, and God radically transformed my life! A few years later during my senior year, I sensed a call to full-time ministry and followed the Lord’s leading to the Washington, D.C. area after graduation. God had been speaking to me about leading children, and I began teaching preschool shortly after. I fell in love with children! Many of the kids I was working with came to faith in Christ in miraculous ways, and I realized that God had granted me a special grace to see children come to Him. Fast forward several years to the summer of 2020. I had been praying for many months about how the Lord wanted me to engage in reaching kids for Christ at this stage in my life. I was listening to a radio interview with Eric Metaxas on Focus on the Family about the amazing opportunities we have in this country to start a business, etc. I have always loved writing (even as a child) and have written in various capacities professionally and personally, but I never imagined I would have the privilege of writing children’s books. As I was listening to the radio interview, it dawned on me that, if God would bless it, writing children’s books with a Christian message could reach more children than I could ever hope to encounter. The Lord gave the story idea – Moshe’s Big Day – in that moment, and I quickly sought to follow His leading to see it through to completion. I founded Wide Island Publishing, LLC, for the work. Writing children’s books is, for me, a beautiful convergence of God’s work in my life, and I’m in awe that I get to serve Jesus, write, and love children through my books.
What inspired you to write the book, Moshe’s Big Day: A Lesson in Trust?
I really can’t take any credit for the story, truly! I have been telling people that it’s God’s story and I’m just blessed to be the steward. But after browsing the children’s section in major bookstores and seeing what’s happening in our nation in terms of public education curriculum, I was overwhelmed with a burden for young hearts and minds to have God’s truth. I recognized that we have a huge problem; there’s no shortage of lies being thrown at our children. So, I wanted to be part of the solution. At the time that the story came to me, I had been praying intently about what God wanted to speak to kids, to know His heart, and what He wanted to say. Moshe’s Big Day is the product of those prayers. The theme of the book is that this world can be a big, scary world sometimes. And it really can! We’re seeing that more and more each day. But Jesus is trustworthy, and I just wanted kids to know that they can turn to Jesus no matter what the world might throw at them.
Share with us a little about the process of writing the book and how you found an illustrator.
Publishing this book has been the most amazing and exciting task that I’ve ever undertaken! I’ve loved every minute and am so grateful the Lord started me on this journey. The story itself just came to me as I was praying, like I mentioned, and then I edited it a bit here and there over the next few months. I had the idea of connecting the story to Scripture as things were coming together and I was continuing to pray, so I sought to incorporate an opportunity for parents to disciple their kids by including that in the back section of the book. As I was praying about how to handle illustrations, Brenna Cox came to my mind for an illustrator. I contacted her and was so glad when she agreed to take on the challenge! Brenna is an amazing sister in Christ, and we’ve been friends since middle school. She’s an incredibly talented artist, as you can see from her illustrations. Each picture was created using watercolor and ink on paper. It wasn’t a short process! She spent so much time and energy. The book wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Brenna, and I’m so grateful for her.
What do you want children to glean from this book?
My prayer is that this book lays a foundation of biblical truth in young hearts and minds. So often, the problem of evil and suffering shipwrecks people in the faith as they encounter a harsh, hurting world. I hope this book plants seeds of God’s goodness and faithfulness, so that when these children face a big, scary world, they’ll know they can trust in Jesus no matter what comes their way. God is good, and He’s safe. And I want them to know that they can trust in Jesus.
What is the ideal age group for your book?
I tried to package the book’s message primarily for children ages 2-4 or 5, but older or younger children could still enjoy it and benefit from it. I really think it could be beneficial for children who are part of the foster care/adoption system, or who face traumatic situations.
Do you have any other books you are working on or planning to write after this book?
I do! I’m hoping to turn Moshe into a series and am working on a storyline that deals with different topics. This book’s subtitle is: A Lesson in Trust. I’m praying about the next “lesson” that Moshe can teach young children and asking the Lord what else He wants to say. If the Lord wills, the next Moshe will be on its way soon. Stay tuned! I also hope to publish other books that will be separate from a Moshe series as well.
Where can our readers find Moshe’s Big Day for purchase?
Moshe’s Big Day is available on Amazon here in eBook, paperback, and hardback formats. The hardback is also available though Barnes & Noble and other major retailers. You can visit www.wideislandpublishing.com for more information. Find us on Facebook at Wide Island Publishing, or on Instagram at @wideislandpublishing. Thank you to everyone who has purchased or will purchase a copy! I pray it’s a blessing to you and your child!
Thank you for sharing your story with us! It is very encouraging to hear how God has given you a vision to write books for His children, and how you have faithfully obeyed! Getting God’s truth into our children’s hearts and minds is a very crucial thing right now, and I pray that God will use your books to raise up the next generation to follow Him, no matter the cost!