An interview with Richard Littledale, author of 'Make it Grow!'

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An interview with Richard Littledale, author of 'Make it Grow!'

Did you know that looking after a garden can help the bees, contribute to a healthy climate and provide a welcome for all sorts of wildlife?

Find out how in Richard Littledale’s new book, Make It Grow!, which contains 10 fun and accessible garden projects that help you learn about our Creator God at the same time. Each project has a list of things needed, a set of instructions, a small reflection, and a prayer … with lots of fun facts to discover along the way!

Richard, could you tell us a little about yourself?

For the past 35 years I have been a Baptist minister, and for most of that time I have combined that role with writing, broadcasting, and acting as an advocate for the greater understanding of bereavement. Last year, I retired from full-time pastoral ministry, and I now live on the coast of North Wales, where I enjoy my little garden and seaside walks with my dog.

Why did you decide to write Make It Grow!?

When I finished writing Tales from an Under-gardener, I delivered a copy to my local plant nursery, where the staff had been such a source of help and inspiration. At the time, one of them said “What next - how about a children’s book on gardening?” I have to confess that the idea would not leave me.

Who have you written this book for and how do you hope it will be used?

It took me over 50 years to discover the joys of gardening, and I am hoping that this little book will introduce many children to it earlier on. Not only that, but it does so in a way which introduces them to God, who makes all things grow.

This book includes 10 projects that kids can do – how did you choose these and why?

All the projects are ones which I have tried myself, so I know that they work. They are accessible, affordable, and for the most part produce quite rapid results.

You include biblical lessons we can learn from gardening – why is gardening so important to our faith story?

As a minister, I spent years talking about the ideas of stewardship and sovereignty from the pulpit. However, when we get down to growing things in the garden, we see those principles writ large.  Our sovereign God makes things grow, putting the tree inside the seed, but he chooses to do so in partnership with us.

Why do you think that getting kids interested in gardening is so important?

We live in an age when the issues of planetary preservation and responsible earth keeping are more visible than ever before. However, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. A garden can be a small space where we make an accessible contribution to that bigger issue.

The book is beautifully illustrated by Bekah Grace. What do you think these illustrations add to Make It Grow!?

I think Bekah’s illustrations utterly transform the book. They are full of charm, wit and wonder. I can’t stop looking at them.

What was the most challenging element of writing the book?

The most challenging element was deciding which projects and factoids to include … and which to leave out!

And what was the most rewarding element of writing this book?

The partnership with an extraordinarily talented illustrator has been extremely rewarding, and I count myself fortunate to have had such an opportunity.

Have you learnt anything new/ been reminded afresh about God/ your faith while writing this book?

I wrote this book for children, but in doing so it reminded me that we are all God’s children. As our loving Father, he trusts the care of his beautiful planet to us.

What do you hope readers will most get out of reading this book?

I hope they will get a lot of fun out of it. I hope that parents and children, along with grandparents and grandchildren, will tackle these projects together, and derive enormous satisfaction from doing so.

In one sentence, how would you describe Make It Grow!?

Make it Grow! is an invitation to get your hands dirty caring for God’s planet, one little project at a time.

Is there anything we can pray for you?

Perhaps you could pray that my garden grows in the windswept climate of North Wales, and that God gives me inspiration for the next book which I am writing.


Authentic Media

Authentic Media is a UK Christian publishing house committed to delivering quality Christian books, music and film to help people on their journey of faith. They are based in Milton Keynes.

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Make It Grow! (Paperback)
Richard Littledale
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