Pro-life parents may wonder how to instill pro-life values into their children in an easy to understand and age-appropriate way – and a new book series does just that.
Pat the Gnat is the feature character in the series, an adorable little bug who is curious about the world around him, and spends his time learning about Christian and pro-life themes of kindness, forgiveness, and respect for life. Pat goes on adventures which help teach children life-affirming, Biblically-based lessons. Attendees of the 2015 March for Life may have seen books for sale there, and the adorable books pack a big punch for both kids and parents alike.
The team behind Pat the Gnat consists of Susana Pando-Taupier, the illustrator and creative director, Alex Taupier-van der Water, her husband, and their children, Alexandra and Andre. Maylin Martinez-Travers also works on the series as an illustrator, with Ashley Llanes pitching in on graphics. Together, they have created a unique character with a special mission for kids.
“The stories gently and joyously point children to God’s love for them in order to encourage a life-long dialogue with our Creator,” Pando-Taupier explained.
The debut book in the series, Pat the Gnat and the Broken Chrysalis, is strongly pro-life. In it, Pat comes across a trio of butterfly chrysalises, one of which is damaged. Pat thinks they should knock it down, as the butterfly inside may be different from the others – not as pretty.
“Who knows what’s going to happen when it’s time to come out and play in the world?” Pat asks. He’s convinced to let the butterfly live by his friend, Lucy, and later encounters all three butterflies who band together to save Pat from a dragonfly. The butterfly from the damaged chrysalis has one broken wing, and while he struggles a little more to help, he shows incredible courage in facing the dragonfly.
When Pat goes to thank the butterfly for his help, the butterfly explains that he doesn’t mind his funny win, because that was the way that God made him, and that he knew who Pat was. There are obvious pro-life parallels, especially towards preborn children diagnosed prenatally with disabilities.
“The pro-life theme of the debut Pat the Gnat book: Pat the Gnat and the Broken Chrysalis was deliberate,” Pando-Taupier affirmed. “It was inspired by our family’s decade-long volunteer work with our local pro-life ministry, our concern with the secularization of society, the dearth of faith-based education, and our desire to serve God in some small way.”
Pando-Taupier feels it is important for children to get a pro-life message at a young age.
“How can you solve a math problem if you haven’t learned arithmetic? How can you solve a moral or spiritual problem if you don’t have the tools?”she asked.
The messages in these books are meant to help give kids the building blocks for a solid moral foundation, so they will grow up respecting the sanctity of life and understanding Christian teachings.
“We want to give children hope; help them understand they have value regardless of their size or ability, age or stage,” she said. “We want them to know that they are loved by God, and importantly, can share that love bringing hope and strength to others.”
And learning these things at a young age can make a lifelong difference in a child’s life, which is the goal of these books.
“Loving education on a genuine respect for all life at an early age helps equip young minds with an innate discernment that will hopefully stay with them throughout their lives,” Pando-Taupier said.
For parents looking to find a book series that can impart a positive message while still being entertaining, Pat the Gnat is a great place to start.