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Why We're Publishing "Wonder Awaits!"

Why We're Publishing "Wonder Awaits!"

Take a moment to look at the faces in the montage at the top of this blog page. Isn’t that reason enough to publish a book sharing these children’s expressions of wonder and amazement at God’s world? They’re adorable, right?

It seems so simple, pulling together a book of beautiful photographs of beautiful children in a beautiful world, but Wonder Awaits! has been a labor of love for author Caroline Hamilton-Arnold. She approached Chalice Press last summer with the idea, and we immediately knew she was onto something. Caroline and her husband, Jeremy, are the parents of Campbell and another one debuting this summer (no gender reveal here!), and Wonder Awaits! began as a photobook of Campbell’s adventures for family. A minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Caroline recognized the potential to share a lesson of how growing minds can perceive the world around them to a broader audience.

    1. Get close.
    2. Get dirty.
    3. Look carefully.
    4. Look up.
    5. Make art.
    6. Make friends.
    7. Be brave.
    8. Be curious.
    9. Be right where you are.
    10. Be amazed at all the wonders that await.

Hold on… are we sure that’s just for kids? Because that’s a pretty darn good list for us grown-ups, too. It’s a great reminder to parents who, as they read to their children at the end of the day, have been exhausted by Zoom meetings, strategic plans, and far too many details that need attention but do little to remind us of how amazing life is when we pay attention.

Following the photos are pages for families to customize with their own photos and observations of the world’s wonders, illustrated by Jeremy. (This book is a family affair!) Caroline then adds a trio of practices and a list of scriptures to tie it all together. In the end, it’s a great lesson for kids and inspiration for parents. What more can you ask for in a children’s book?

Hats also need to be tipped to Ponderosa Pine Design’s Vicky Vaughan Shea, who has designed several Chalice Press covers in the past few years and tackled the photos inside Wonder Awaits! Vicky’s talent shines through the elegant, not-as-easy-as-it-looks design that lets each photo invite readers into a moment of amazement.

Finally, Hamilton-Arnold recognizes the interdependence of each of us sharing this world by contributing a portion of the book’s proceeds to Week of Compassion, the relief, refugee, and development fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), especially work that assists and empowers children experiencing poverty, displacement, or disaster. Wonder Awaits! is a gift in multiple directions.

If you want Caroline to read you the entire book, simply watch the video below. Then share a book with the goggle-eyed, jaw-dropping kids in your life who are their own divine wonders.

Brad Lyons
President and Publisher


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