Local woman publishes spiritual poetry for children
When Dena Sessler decided to write a book of spiritual poetry geared toward kids, she thought there was no better way to complement her words than with illustrations by children.
That’s exactly what she did.
Each of the 19 poems in Sessler’s “Talking With God” are accompanied by an illustration drawn by Eagle River Christian School students. Sessler’s publisher, Publication Consultants, told her there was nothing like it on the market.
But Sessler said she wasn’t concerned with finding her niche in the poetry world. She wanted to capture the unique mind of a child, Sessler said.
“The innocence and purity and the love in the poetry and illustrations touches them,” she said. “Somebody being able to see God’s pure love through the eyes and heart of a child is incredible.”
Sessler, a 1985 Wasilla High graduate and 12-year Eagle River resident, wrote 18 of the book’s poems in just three and a half hours about a year ago.
Sessler doesn’t take all the credit for her work.
“I don’t believe I wrote it alone,” she said. “God was telling me what to write, and I just had to move the pen.”
The goal of the book was to present children with a healthy view of God, Sessler said.
Sessler — who describes herself as “spiritual” — said the book contains a positive message about grace, love and forgiveness.
“It was written without any denomination in mind,” she said.
Though written for kids, Sessler said adults appreciate the poetry, too.
“The best thing I’ve heard is, ‘When I read your poetry, I find that innocence I lost years ago,’” she said.
“Talking With God” contains 10 blank pages to allow children to create their own illustrations and write their thoughts and prayers to God. The hardback book costs $14.95 and can be purchased at www.thoughts2inspire.com.
In the near future, Sessler said she expects the book to be available at local stores in Chugiak-Eagle River as well as at Barnes & Noble.
But, Sessler said, making money isn’t the objective of her book.
“It never has been and never will be about profit,” she said. “Our goal is that one day this book will be accessible to every child in the world.”
Sessler is holding a book signing Friday, Sept. 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. at King’s Way Ministry Center. Sessler’s donating 15 percent of her sales from the event to the church and another 15 percent to Eagle River Christian School.
Sessler said she plans to have more book signings at local churches and will donate 15 percent of her sales to the churches.
So far, Sessler said she’s received positive feedback from those who’ve read “Talking With God.”
“The response has just been absolutely incredible,” she said. “I’m beaming because I just think it’s got a beautiful message.
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or firstname.lastname@example.org.