New Book Release: The Friendly City

Illustration spread from pp24-25 of The Friendly City
“In time, the factory stopped making the funny, creative New Burbian cars because they were too easy to break and too expensive to fix…”

If you’re wondering if anything good came out of the year 2020, here’s something, (though admittedly it’s not a global event) :

I FINALLY finished my next kids’ book!

Back when I was parenting, my favorite storybooks were engaging for my kids, but also enjoyable for me to read as well (because I had to read them repeatedly!) Hopefully, The Friendly City will be that kind of storybook book for you and your little people. It’s a fun story and also visually captivating.

Steampunk, dinosaur, and Mona Lisa cars from The Friendly City

The Friendly City tells the story of New Burbia, a town that is home to the best and most polite drivers in the world. The New Burbians drive imaginative and fanciful cars that make everyone smile. One day a new mayor who has some well-meaning ideas is elected. Chaos ensues when he implements his new plan to remove all the road signs and traffic lights. (He reasons that the restrictive road signs are unnecessary since New Burbia is home to the best drivers in the world.) Subsequently the city becomes not-so-friendly as the formerly agreed upon rules of the road are disregarded.

Mayor Piffle is elected to New Burbia in The Friendly City

In time a small community forms whose members commit to remembering and observing the old rules of the road, and to bringing kindness back to the city. Together they find joy in welcoming others, and helping to make the city a friendlier place again.

The Caring Drivers Group is representative of the Church in the Friendly City

I think this is a great story for our current troubled and divided cultural climate.

The story stands alone as an engaging story for kids, even with no explanation. But since you’re all adults, I thought it might be fun to share from the Note to Parents from the Author, at the back of the book:

…The Friendly City illustrates the workings of two spheres of life: that of civics and the Church.

CIVICS
America’s founders envisioned a “self-governing” society. In order for such a society to work, we citizens must be people of character and, at least to some extent, be united by a common morality that transcends our subjective feelings. John Adams, America’s second president, famously stated,


The Friendly City, p 21 - the removal of the road signs

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Benjamin Franklin described the path that government will inevitably take when social and sexual mores break down,

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”

The removal of the street signs is a metaphor for the rejection of previously agreed upon societal mores. Adams and Franklin make a brief appearance in The Friendly City as this is happening.

THE CHURCH
The Caring Drivers Group represents the Church in this story. As such, it does not seek to create a utopia in a broken society, as so many secular “isms” attempt to do. Rather, it seeks to create a life-enhancing, restorative sub-culture that is focused on loving relationship. The focus on love over rule-keeping is meant to be reminiscent of Paul’s pronouncement, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10).

The Friendly City - cover

So there you have a preview of The Friendly City. You can order your copy, along with my other books, from my online bookstore HERE at BigPicturePublishing.

I frantically tried to get this all put together in time for folks to receive orders by Christmas, and I’m pretty sure I succeeded. I’ve got a crate of hardcover copies due to arrive in a few days. If you place your order now, there’s a high likelihood you’ll have it before Christmas. (Until I run out!)

One more thing: I started an Instagram account so that you can preview all my storybooks, page by page.
So far I’ve got my Christmas book, The True Story of Christmas, ready to view. Others will follow in the new year. You can follow me on Instagram and preview The True Story of Christmas HERE.

THANK YOU for your support, and may you have a joyous Christmas season!

2 comments on “New Book Release: The Friendly City

  1. Brilliant!! I love the metaphor and the art! (It’s inspiring to see artists finish their projects. Now if only I could ever find the time to finish one of the bazillion personal projects I start and never finish…)

    • I’m glad you’re inspired!
      I probably shouldn’t tell you, then, that I wrote this during the Obama administration and it’s been sitting half finished for four years, and it apparently took a global pandemic to provide the time I needed to get it done.

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