I recently attended the National Marketing Network Trade Show / Catholic Writers Guild Conference in Chicago this summer. At the tradeshow/conference, we Guild members got to meet many authors and receive free autographed books! I had a great time. Yet, the most memorable moment for me occurred as I traversed through the Trade Show booths. I came across a table with a certain children’s book on it: Journey to the Cross. I said to myself, “Hey, that’s the book that won in my category at the National Indie Excellence Awards contest this year!” Okay, now I must see what’s so special about this book that it beat out my own book in the contest (mine was named a finalist). What occurred next was beyond awesome.
I stepped up to the table and met the author’s mother. Yes, I said “mother.” That took me aback, because she looked so young. I asked, “where is the author?” As I asked this question, a teenager walked up to me. At this point, I’m stunned at the young age of the author! I got to meet Shane Cloonan and immediately learned what a humble, respectful, and kind young man he has become. For some reason, Shane didn’t know that his book, Journey to the Cross won the 2016 National Indie Excellence Awards in the Children’s Religion category. I had the absolute honor of informing him. I wish I could have captured the look on his face. He was in awe. Eyes wide, he quietly said in a whisper, “Why this is really huge, isn’t it?” Yes, Shane, it is huge!
My Thoughts on Journey to the Cross and Shane Cloonan
Later that evening, after he had autographed my copy, I sat down to read the story, and instantly understood why Shane’s book won the award. Everyone knows the story of Jesus’ birth, life, passion and death. However, no one has ever told the story from the view of the ever-faithful donkey who was a part of Jesus’ life. By the time I reached the last page of the book, tears flowed down my cheeks; for this story, told from this perspective, touched my heart to the core. The donkey had such love for Jesus throughout the story; only wanting to be Jesus’ faithful servant. Shane Cloonan has a definite talent for writing children’s books. The etchings by Richard Browning are exquisite; giving our little ones an ability to grasp the message of the story, via illustration.
I am so glad that I made a point of asking Shane to sign my book as follows: “From the award winning author, Shane Cloonan” because, one day I hope that the name of Shane Cloonan will be a household name. I plan to keep my eye on what else this young man produces; once again requesting a signed copy from this award winning author!
If you would like to get your copy of Journey to the Cross, click here.
This post was shared with My Scribbler’s Heart for the #OpenBook link-up.