Book of Books started out as a simple story called “The Bible is fun”, with the aim of showing kids that the Bible is not just an old book that adults might (or might not) read, but is actually a treasure trove of exciting, adventurous and sometimes strange stories. There’s so much in there!
In my experience, trying to convince kids that something is good for them is a doomed undertaking, and kids are quite happy to decide for themselves what’s fun and what isn’t, thank you very much!
So in early August 2020, Brad and I got together in the Blue Mountains where I live, and spent a couple of days talking, reading, writing, and puzzling over how we could use this story to communicate to kids just how exciting and interesting the Bible is.
Rearranging ideas, chopping and changing until it all starts to fit together. The story developed a lot over those couple of days, and Brad and I wrote and rewrote the entire thing several times.
We knew that a 10 minute audio story was not long enough to show just how important and valuable the Bible is, so we decided that if we could simply create a tale that would intrigue our listeners - pique their interest and make them wonder - that would be a successful story.
There is a great diversity of stories in the Bible - scary stories, exciting, funny, romantic and inspiring stories. But the purpose of the episode was more than just to tell some entertaining tales; we wanted to encourage the listener to read these stories for themselves, and inspire them to search the scriptures for more.
So we decided to cut each story short - interrupted just before reaching the climax! Each scene became like a teaser; a preview of all the exciting stuff you can find in the Bible, without giving away the punchlines.
In the same spirit, we also made the decision not to even mention the word “Bible” in the whole episode. Kids are smart enough to figure it out, and if they don’t, it provides a great opportunity for parents to start a conversation with their kids about the mysterious “Book of Books”.
Once we were happy with the story, it was time to put the recording together. We took a day off school, made the trek up to the Central Coast, and recorded the girls’ vocals in Brad and Claire’s custom-built recording booth. The girls did a great job, but it was sometimes difficult to coax them in from the trampoline for yet another take!
After all the vocals were recorded, we needed to find some awesome sound effects and evocative music for each scene, and of course a version of the Evergrace theme music suitable for a book shop.
Book of Books is the most complex and ambitious episode we’ve created so far. There are almost 80 separate audio tracks and heaps of different sound effects, characters and music. (Incidentally, I play six different characters in this story, and my wife Kate plays three!)
I mixed the audio, making sure all the volume levels were balanced - nothing too soft or too loud, and by late September the story was ready to publish!
Book of Books is one of our biggest and funnest episodes, but as Joe tells us in Riding High, bigger isn’t always better, and the Book of Books episode would have been nothing if it wasn’t for the cool Bible stories that the girls discover while browsing through this special book.
This episode is designed to make the Bible interesting for your child, and create opportunities to talk about and read the Bible together… and to tell some great tales too.