This colorful, beautifully illustrated children’s book invites children ages four through seven into Gwen Raccoon’s world to learn alongside her how to have the courage to always tell the truth.
Gwen Raccoon is embarrassed when she gets a failing grade on a math test. But that’s not the big problem: the big problem is that she is cultivating the habit of lying to do what she wants and cover up her mistakes. Gwen’s lies pile up. But when Mama confesses her own failure to tell the truth, Gwen gains the courage to confess and ask forgiveness of Jesus and of those she has lied to.
Edited by Edward. T. Welch, Gwen Tells Tales helps young readers see how God always accepts us when we confess sin and repent; and further, how he gives us the humility to speak the truth when it’s hard. A special section at the end of the book guides parents in helping their children be truth-tellers. Also included is a tear-out page of Back Pocket Bible Verses to remind children and adults that God’s forgiveness is always available to cleanse us from sin; and the Holy Spirit always gives strength to speak the truth.
Gwen Tells Tales is part of the Good News for Little Hearts series, bringing gospel help and biblical counsel to families. Based on CCEF’s model of hope and help, each story focuses on an animal family’s real-life issues, encouraging young readers toward a growing relationship with Jesus in the midst of challenging circumstances. Each individual story guides parents toward meaningful conversations with their kids, based on what Scripture has to say about living by faith in everyday life.
Edward T. Welch, MDiv, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He earned a PhD in counseling (neuropsychology) from the University of Utah and has a master’s of divinity from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for nearly forty years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear, and addictions. His biblical counseling books include Shame Interrupted, When People Are Big and God Is Small, Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave, Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness, Crossroads, Running Scared, When I Am Afraid, Side by Side, A Small Book about a Big Problem, and A Small Book for the Anxious Heart. He edited Buster’s Ears Trip Him Up, Henry Says Good-Bye, and Caspian Crashes the Party.
Joe Hox was raised on a farm in southern Iowa where he doodled whenever he wasn’t spading thistles or feeding pigs. Everyone knew by his crooked hay rows that he would choose art over farming. Joe earned his BA in art and education from Dordt College, and his MA from the University of Nebraska. Today he lives with his wife and four children in Pella, Iowa, where he illustrates and teaches art. Joe has illustrated all the Good News for Little Hearts series books.
"These books are a uniquely different genre from classic children's bedtime reading. They are counseling books to help children. They provide a creative avenue for children to consider how their faith is intimately relevant to their struggles. This is what makes this series of books so significant."
David Powlison, (1949–2019) was Executive Director of CCEF and editor of the Good News for Little Hearts series
"When our children were little, we read to them constantly—and had these books been available, they would have been among the favorites. With the simplicity and engaging charm of the Peter Rabbit stories, yet with the quiet grace of Christian insight, these stories stamp themselves on young minds. Text and pictures support each other tellingly. These books are destined to become favorites for young families."
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical School, Deerfield, IL; cofounder of The Gospel Coalition
"I love these books. My daughter Kim who struggles with a disability loves these books. She giggles all the way through them—catching all the subtle humor. I read them to my grandkids. We especially love the drawings. I buy copies for all my grandchildren. What more can I say? They are fun!"
Paul E. Miller, Director of seeJesus; author of A Praying Life and J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life
"So many Christian parents are looking for engaging, age-appropriate ways to help their young children learn what the Bible teaches about everyday struggles and challenging situations. This new book series edited by David Powlison and Ed Welch fits the bill! In the Good News for Little Hearts series, kids will be enthralled by relatable characters, charming illustrations, and gospel-centered lessons. These volumes would make a valuable addition to any family’s library."
Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family
“I sat on the porch with another Christian mom and our three children and we read aloud some of the books in this series. What a balm to our hearts and souls these books were! The children all identified with the heart issues presented: dealing with stress, jealousy, and peer pressure. The characters – represented by delightfully illustrated animals – revealed how important children are, both to the Lord and to the world around them. A child applying faith to a real-life challenge holds the power and influence to change the world. The adult characters modeled how a parent could handle a difficult, embarrassing, and discouraging situation while applying the Bible as light to all of our steps. Indeed, and this is one of the more brilliant aspects of these books, these books show by example a hermeneutic of Biblical application that is faithful but not wooden, and powerful but not for grown-ups only. And the teaching tools in the back – questions and answers for parents and cut-out Bible verses for children – make these books hands-on treasures. I love these books and will be buying many copies for the children in my life!”
Rosaria Butterfield is married to Rev. Kent Butterfield, pastor of First Reformed Presbyterian Church of Durham, NC. She is a homeschooling mother and writer.
“For years I wished there were resources that would help equip children to face the many trials and temptations that come in this life rather than waiting till they are neck-deep in the mire before throwing them the lifeline of biblical truth. The Good News for Little Hearts series is an answer to my longing. These books communicate life-changing biblical truths through beautiful illustrations and stories that connect with young hearts in meaningful ways.”
Curtis Solomon, Executive Director, Biblical Counseling Coalition
“Wow, what a series! Within these books you meet wonderfully relatable characters with feelings and experiences readily identifiable to children of all ages, clever and creative illustrations, excellent questions that will spark meaningful conversations with your child or grandchild, and simple scriptural connections that are easily understood. Can’t wait to recommend them to our kids and read them to our grandkids!”
Dave Harvey, President of Great Commission Collective; founder of RevDaveHarvey.com; author of When Sinners Say I Do and I Still Do: Growing Closer and Stronger Through Life’s Defining Moment
"There is beauty and often deeply convicting lessons for grownups found in gospel-soaked stories for children. The Good News for Little Hearts series is a shining example of such gospel-centered story telling. With adorable illustrations and true-to-life subject matter, these books will captivate your kids and encourage your own heart."
Shelby Abbott, speaker; campus minister; and author of DoubtLess: Because Faith is Hard
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A few years ago I read “When People are Big and God is Small” by Welch. The book was life changing for me and so I had high expectations when I saw this book that I could get for my children. Upon reading the book I was very disappointed. Instead of the powerful and challenging biblical truth I had encountered in the other book by Welch, I found a very generic Evangelical children’s book on cheap grace. Essentially “say sorry and there will be no consequences”. This is not the way the God’s world works. If you lie and ask for forgiveness with a sincere heart, we certainly believe that we are forgiven by God, but that doesn’t mean there are no earthly consequences for sin. Lying on a test should have resulted in a failing grade. According to this book, if you say sorry, every consequence just vaporizes.
Gwen Tells Tales is a wonderful book in the Good News for Little Hearts series. This one is about having the courage to tell the truth, even when it’s hard. As humans, we’ve been hiding from God since the beginning whenever we have done wrong. We can love the truth because we have a gracious and loving God, and our hope is in Him. The message in this book is a great lesson for everyone, young and old! I really loved the section at the end of the book titled “Helping Your Child With Lying.” The author guides parents in helping their children be truth-tellers and offers advice on building a relationship where truth is welcomed, and it’s natural to confess our wrongs. "While you will not eliminate all of your child’s lies, you can form a relationship with your child in which God’s words bring truth, the truth is prized, and there are incentives for honesty" GWEN TELLS TALES: WHEN IT’S HARD TO TELL THE TRUTH Gwen Tells Tales, along with all of the Good News for Little Hearts books, are sure to become longtime favorites that deserve a special place on your shelves. If you are looking for age-appropriate ways to help your children grasp the heart of Biblical teachings and how they relate to their everyday lives, this one is it!