By Matt de Simone
Cathy D. Dudley is a local writer who is finding new ways to bring families together for an evening of fun and fellowship. Dudley recently completed her new book while nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Joyful Noise Acres– the farm where she and her husband, Gary, spend most of their time these days.
Dudley’s new children’s book, “Faith, Family & Fun: Monthly Lessons to Color and Connect with God’s Love,” is designed to bring families closer to one another spiritually.
“I’m hoping that families will find this book to be of value for them,” Dudley explained. “I think it will create opportunities for families to sit down and spend time together.”
The book is composed of 14 lessons that focus on God’s love. Each of the stories takes everyday situations and ties them into a focus on the gospel. For example, one of the stories in Dudley’s new book is called “The Best Surprise Ever.” In this Easter-themed story, a lost dog has returned to a loving family. Dudley then takes the story on a “spiritual twist” tying the return of a beloved family member to the resurrection of Christ.
Although most children enjoying Dudley’s new book will enjoy reading relatable stories about other kids, there are a few children– six, to be exact– who will take special interest. Who are these six children? Cathy and Gary’s grandchildren, of course.
Stories in “Faith, Family & Fun…” feature appearances from Janey (13), Austin (almost 13), Cora Lou (10), Naomi (10), Sawyer (almost 10), and Leo (8). Each of the lessons in the book feature a black and white caricature drawing done by local artist Kyle Edgell. Dudley supplied Edgell with photos of her grandchildren who became the inspiration behind the caricatures found in Dudley’s lessons.
Despite the fact that Dudley’s new book appears to be a coloring book on the surface, it most certainly isn’t just another coloring book. “The bottom line is that this is a book for families to connect with God in a fun way,” Dudley explained. “The value is found in the lessons, scriptures, and prayers shared. Instead of Mom or Dad trying to come with something to do for ‘family night,’ it’s all right there in my book.”
Dudley began writing in 2012 with her first book, “Toddler Theology: Childlike Faith for Everyone.” Not only can families find Dudley’s books locally but other children have enjoyed Dudley’s stories internationally. Cathy and Gary’s travels have taken them to Uganda and the Dominican Republic where native children experienced “Toddler Theology” as well.
Dudley’s new title is yet to be released. However, the official launch of “Faith, Family & Fun…” is on November 16 at Book No Further on Market Street in Roanoke from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
“I thank God for giving me the words to write,” Dudley shared. “I just want the lessons to draw, not just the children, but the whole family closer to Jesus and strengthen their faith as a family.”
For more information on Cathy D. Dudley and her books, please visit www.CathyDDudley.com.