Christian children’s books are essential for parents looking to instill positive faith values in their kids.
I ran across a series of books that do just that—and then some!
The Sea Kids books are not only beautifully illustrated, fun, and engaging, but also teach young children what it looks like to walk with Jesus on a daily basis.
Sea Kids was inspired by author Lee Ann Mancini’s desire to teach children how to pursue a personal relationship with Jesus. She wrote the series for her own children when they were five and seven years old because she couldn’t find books that showed how to live tangible biblical principles in real-life situations.
“We have a lot of books about Bible stories and characteristics of Jesus, but we need more stories that show how to live out the faith principles taught in the Bible,” Lee Ann said. “We need books that show a young child in a situation where they are going to Jesus in prayer, asking for help (and also) showing how to be kind and loving to others.”
Lee Ann put her Sea Kids stories on the shelf as her children grew up, figuring she would get them out for her grandchildren. “God had other ideas,” she said with a chuckle.
Identifying the need in the market, and after much prayer, Lee Ann set out to self-publish her series. Followed by a year of looking for an illustrator, she found Dan Sharp, a strong Christian who worked for Disney. From the vibrant ocean colors to the delightful characters, Sea Kids is a feast for the eyes as well as the soul.
In each story, Freddy, David, Melissa, and their friends find themselves navigating the rough waters of peer pressure, temptation, fear, forgiving others, listening to parents, dealing with bullies, lack of self-esteem, and so much more.
Since publication in 2015, the Sea Kids series have won more than twenty-six awards. Also available as a companion to the series is an educational workbook. “Using open-ended questions, quizzes, and word searches, each lesson will help reinforce the biblical principles being taught.”
How did the Sea Kids books turn into an animated series? Three years ago, Lee Ann attended the National Religious Broadcasting convention in Orlando, Florida to sell her books.
“After setting up my booth, I wondered why I was there as I was the only bright-colored booth selling children’s books amongst a sea of green, grey, and brown podcast, television, and radio booths. However, I sold out of all my books, even taking orders to be shipped.”
Since the first meeting with Lee Ann three years ago, P23 Entertainment produced the 26, 11-minute episodes and pitched the idea to Right Now Media and Trinity Broadcasting Network, solidifying signed contracts.
In addition, curriculum for the animated series is available for subscribers to PureFlix. The series can also be purchased on DVD.
“We must build a strong foundation when children are young, before the age of ten. According to Deuteronomy 6, we are to ‘impress upon your children when you wake up, and when you walk along the path, and when you lie down,’” Lee Ann said. “Too many times we give our kids Sunday school faith. They need to develop not only head knowledge but heart knowledge.”
Lee Ann Mancini not only has a heart for children, but for the study of Scripture. She received a BA in Biblical and Theological Studies from Regent University, a Master’s degree in Theological Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Trinity International University) as well as two Master’s degrees from Knox Theological Seminary in Biblical and Theological Studies and Christian and Classical Studies.
Along with the Sea Kids books and animated series, Lee Ann provides a wealth of resources for parents and homeschool families on her website and podcast “Raising Godly Kids.” She also speaks to parenting groups, children’s ministries, Christian elementary school groups, and church groups. In addition, she speaks at colleges, women’s retreats, schools, conferences, and conventions.
For her next project, Lee Ann is working on “a guide that will help parents, grandparents, teachers, ministry leaders, etc. raise the next generation to have a strong foundation in Jesus.”
As a previous homeschool parent and new grandparent myself, I cannot recommend highly enough the books, series, and wonderful tools offered on the Raising Godly Kids website.
For more information about Lee Ann and the Sea Kids go to: