Welcome once again to Eerdmans All Over, a Friday roundup of all the Eerdmans-related news, reviews, interviews, and other interesting online content we can gather in a given week.

Recent Releases

Way Below the Angels

Way Below the Angels: The Pretty Clearly Troubled but Not Even Close to Tragic Confessions of a Real Live Mormon Missionary
Craig Harline

Kierkegaard’s Concept of Faith
Merold Westphal

Pandora’s Box Opened: An Examination and Defense of Historical-Critical Method and Its Master Practitioners
Roy A. Harrisville



News from Eerdmans . . .

  • We launched our video trailer for Thank You, God, a picture book written by expert on children’s spirituality J. Bradley Wigger and illustrated by the well-known digital artist Jago.

. . . and elsewhere.

Have we missed any news, reviews, or other online miscellany dealing with Eerdmans or EBYR books or authors from the last week? Please let us know in the comments. You also can post items on our Facebook timeline, mention us on Twitter (@eerdmansbooks or @ebyrbooks), or write to us directly: webmaster@eerdmans.com.



When we first began planning our new Ask Eerdmans feature here on EerdWord, one of the first things we did was reach out to editorial assistants, customer service reps, and other members of the Eerdmans staff who regularly field reader questions to ask for lists of the most common questions they encounter.

We received replies from several folks right away, but it wasn’t until earlier this week that we finally heard back from editorial assistant Holly Hoover, who serves not only as right-hand person to our editor in chief Jon Pott but also as first reader for all unsolicited adult submissions here at Eerdmans. (She is also, by the way, the artist behind our awesome hand-sketched header image over at Eerdblurbs, but that’s a story for another day.)

Holly rolled up her sleeves (see the GIF below that accompanied her email) and sent us an entire list of submissions FAQs, along with her own clear and candid responses.

rolling up the sleeves

We found what she sent us so interesting that today we’re publishing it here in its entirety. We’ll handle the first and most obvious question ourselves, then turn the floor over to Holly for the rest.

Do you accept unsolicited submissions?


If you have a query or manuscript you’d like us to consider, please review carefully the submission guidelines posted on our website.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s Holly to clear up some of the details . . .

Is it best to send just a query letter and short proposal, some sample material, or the full manuscript?

We will evaluate any length proposal you care to send. It is often helpful to have at least some sample material for us to review if you have it available, but it isn’t necessary. If you would prefer to save time and money and send simply a short proposal, that is fine; we will contact you if we are interested in seeing more.

I would rather send my proposal or query via email.  May I do so?

No, please send all proposals hard copy. Any queries sent to our info address will go unanswered.

Holly Hoover

Holly Hoover

May I speak to someone about my manuscript over the phone or stop by your offices to speak to someone in person before I’ve submitted a proposal?

Please submit your hard-copy proposal first; if we are interested, we will contact you. As a rule, we never accept a manuscript until we’ve seen something in writing, and calling us first only wastes your time (and ours). Many well-intentioned, promotionally minded writers want to make an impression and be remembered, but this technique often backfires. Please follow our guidelines and submit your proposal through the mail rather than calling or stopping by.

I would prefer to quickly call or email just to see if you are interested in my subject matter before I bother with a proposal. May I phone or send an email in this case?

Please send a hard-copy proposal first, even in this case. Feel free simply to send in a query letter and short prospectus if you are concerned about shipping costs. If you are curious about whether your subject material is a good fit with Eerdmans generally speaking, we would recommend you browse our website to see the sort of material we publish. Another smart thing to do when trying to find an appropriate publisher for your project is to Google books similar to yours to see who publishes them, or, when you see a similar volume in the bookstore, to check and see who the publisher is.

I have a question about my proposal that is not addressed in the submission guidelines. What should I do in this case?

In this case, you may call us or send your questions to info@eerdmans.com, but in 99% of situations, if your issue is not addressed in our guidelines, we are not picky about how you handle it.

Do you accept kids book submissions?

Yes, but please refer to our separate Young Readers submission guidelines. Kids book submissions addressed to Jon Pott will be delayed in reaching the Eerdmans Books for Young Readers acquisitions team.

Do you have a question for Ask Eerdmans? Ask away! We’ll do our best to answer it in a future post. Leave us a comment below or use our contact form to send us a message. 

It’s exciting, isn’t it? Scary, too — and (just a little) bittersweet.

Summer’s long, lazy days (or full, crazy days, depending on your experience) are ending, and the kids are heading off to school, many of them for the first time.

In honor of all the children and parents out there preparing for (or already going through) this annual rite of passage, we’re featuring back-to-school books for young readers this month on Eerdmans.com.

Visit our website to browse the complete collection, or read on to discover five great books.

For Preschoolers . . .

Little Naomi, Little Chick

Little Naomi, Little Chick

Little Naomi, Little Chick 
Written by Avirama Golan
Illustrated by Raaya Karas

Little Naomi has a busy day! She gets ready for school, plays with all her friends, builds with blocks, bakes mud pies, colors pictures, eats lunch, and helps mom with the shopping. Little Chick has to stay at home with the other barnyard animals, but that doesn’t stop him from having adventures of his own.

In this sweet book, brought to life by endearing illustrations, Little Naomi’s time at preschool is woven seamlessly into her fun, full day, along with the gentle reminder that Mommy and Daddy will always be there at the end of it.

Get a sneak peek into the book on EerdWord. Kids can add their own personal touch with a coloring page. Crayons not included.

For Kids Starting Kindergarten or Moving to a New School . . . 

Ready and Waiting for You

Ready and Waiting for You

Ready and Waiting for You
Written by Judi Moreillon
Illustrated by Catherine Stock

The bus driver, the principal, the teachers — all these and more wait behind doors, ready to welcome new students. Each school setting offers warm and friendly characters perfect for reassuring any child nervous about starting school.

Children will be delighted by the colorful illustrations and the exuberant text of this book, and its unique format that allows readers to open flaps revealing the school settings waiting for them behind. Ready and Waiting for You is the perfect introduction to the first day of school, and will leave young readers eager to be on their way!

Read a blog post by Moreillon and watch the book trailer.

For Kids Who Struggle with School . . . 

Back to Front and Upside Down

Back to Front and Upside Down

Back to Front and Upside Down
Claire Alexander

It’s the principal Mr. Slipper’s birthday, and while the rest of the class gets busy writing cards for the occasion, Stan becomes frustrated when his letters come out all in a muddle. Stan is afraid to ask for help, until a friend assures him that nobody’s good at everything. And after lots and lots of practice, Stan’s letters come out the right way round and the right way up.

This delightful book — winner of the 2013 Schneider Family Book Award for ages 0-10 — deals with a common childhood frustration and will remind readers that everyone has to ask for help sometimes.

Download an adorable coloring page from this book, or watch the book trailer

Thomas the Toadilly Terrible Bully

Thomas the Toadilly Terrible Bully

Thomas the Toadilly Terrible Bully
Written by Janice Levy
Illustrated by Bill Slavin and Esperanςa Melo

Thomas hates being ignored. But when his attempts to impress everyone don’t make him any friends, he decides to be a bully instead. There’s just one problem: he makes a terrible bully. A toadilly terrible one, in fact.

It turns out, though, that there’s an even bigger bully around, and Thomas discovers what it feels like to be the one bullied. But a bit of teamwork helps him outwit the bully and make a new friend. And being a friend, Thomas finds, is far more fun than being a bully.

Read an EerdWord guest post by Janice Levy. 

. . . and for Everyone!

New Friends, True Friends, Stuck-like-Glue Friends

New Friends, True Friends, Stuck-Like-Glue Friends

New Friends, True Friends, Stuck-Like-Glue Friends
Written by Virginia Kroll
Illustrated by Rose Rosely

Wriggly friends
Squiggly friends
Laughing and giggling friends
All-kinds-of weather friends
Always-together friends

This whimsical look at friendship presents boys and girls playing together in a variety of settings. Combining Virginia Kroll’s bouncy lyrics with Rose Rosely’s vibrant gouache illustrations, this book shows the many ways kids can enjoy each other’s company every day.

Click to browse the rest of our featured collection of back-to-school books for young readers on Eerdmans.com.



As Christians worldwide struggle to come to grips with the persecution now facing their brothers and sisters in Iraq, it seems fitting that we devote time to revisiting Jesus’ own response to evil and the specific way in which he taught his disciples to pray about it. 

The following meditation by N. T. Wright comes from his book The Lord and His Prayer, one of  six new editions of N. T. Wright classics coming this year from Eerdmans. 

* * *

The Lord and His Prayer

The Lord and His Prayer

“The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.”

The Christmas hymn “O Little Town of Bethlehem” uses these words of the city where Jesus was born; but we could use them just as well of Mary, the mother of Jesus. “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord,” she had said: and this is where it led. A dangerous journey at the wrong time of the year; the travel agent double-booking the hotel room; and then the hope and fear that had been trembling inside her for nine months focusing themselves on the great moment of pain and travail.

The pain of childbearing is at the heart of Mary’s story: great hope, born through great fear. The imagery of Christmas Eve, such as hasn’t been obliterated in our world by frantic preparations for the next day, properly includes the sense of the deep darkness before dawn, darkness before the Morning Star rises. For many Christians, for much of their life, this imagery sums up the way things are. The world is still out of joint; but we know that God’s new world is to be born through present pain and travail. And we know this because we know the one who came into the world with a death sentence already hanging over him, as the paranoid old tyrant up the road got wind of a young royal pretender.

So it’s scarcely surprising that, when the young pretender grew up, and proceeded to collect a rag-tag-and-bobtail royal retinue around him, he would give them, as their identifying badge, a prayer which included the urgent petition: Let us not be led into the Testing — but deliver us from Evil!

. . .

What, then, is evil, and how are we delivered from it? This question faces us, as that of guilt did in the last chapter, with three possible wrong answers.

The first answer is the head-in-the-sand approach. You can pretend that evil doesn’t really exist, or that, if it does, it doesn’t really matter. Yes, we say, people do silly things sometimes, but if we all try a little harder it’ll work out all right. That’s about as much use as saying, when the house is on fire, that yes, it is getting a little warm, but if we all take off a layer of clothing and drink more iced water things will be just fine.

The second answer, the mirror-image of the first, is to wallow in evil, and to see it all over the place. Once you realize that there is such a thing as radical evil, and that it’s much more powerful than you are, you can either become evil yourself or become paranoid, seeing demons behind every bush. Either way, you are giving in — indeed, caving in, allowing evil to dominate you.

The third answer is that of self-righteousness. “Lord, I thank thee that I am not as other people.” Yes, we say, evil is out there all right; but we are the righteous ones, the holy ones, called to leap on our white chargers and ride off to do battle with it. But what if self-righteous battles are themselves another manifestation of evil?

At the risk of caricature, you could say that, in Jesus’ day, the first approach (minimising evil) was that of the Sadducees; the second (wallowing in the fact of evil) was that of the Essenes; and the third (the zealous fight against evil) was that of the Pharisees. Jesus adopts none of them, and he doesn’t want his followers to, either. His way is to recognize the reality and power of evil, and to confront it with the reality and power of the kingdom-announcement.

The result is Gethsemane and Calvary. His way for his followers is that they, too, recognize evil for what it is, and that they learn to pray, Deliver Us from Evil. To omit the petitions about “testing” and “evil” off the end of the prayer would indicate the first wrong route; to make them the only significant part of the prayer would be the second wrong route; to see yourself as the answer to the prayer, as the people through whose virtue the world will be delivered from evil, would be the third.

This prayer, in its setting within the whole Lord’s Prayer, keeps the proper balance. Jesus intends his followers to recognize not only the reality of evil but the reality of his victory over it. We need to examine both sides of this balance.

Evil is real and powerful. It is not only ‘out there’, in other people, but it is present and active within each of us. What is more, ‘evil’ is more than the sum total of all evil impulses and actions. When human beings worship that which is not God, they give authority to forces of destruction and malevolence; and those forces gain a power, collectively, that has, down the centuries of Christian experience, caused wise people to personify it, to give it the name of Satan, the Accuser. “The Satan,” “the Evil One,” is not equal and opposite to God; but “he,” or “it,” is a potent force, opposed to God’s good creation, and particularly to the human beings whom God wishes to put in authority over his world. If all this were not so, the final petition in the Lord’s Prayer would be an unnecessary anti-climax.

But Jesus’ victory over evil is also real and powerful. It, too, is not only “out there,” a fact of history two thousand years ago, but it is available here and now for each of us. Where human beings turn from idolatry and worship the God they see revealed on Calvary, they are turning from darkness to light, from the Strong Man to the one who has bound the Strong Man. To pray “deliver us from evil,” or “from the evil one,” is to inhale the victory of the cross, and thereby to hold the line for another moment, another hour, another day, against the forces of destruction within ourselves and the world.

You see, the only reason to shrink from a serious and radical analysis of evil would be if we were to forget that in the cross God has seriously and radically dealt with it. We are instinctively afraid of facing the evil that still lurks within us; we are, perhaps, also afraid of the humiliation involved in grasping God’s solution to it. Our fear is natural. We are called to share in Mary’s pain, the pain of being theotokoi, bearers of God’s hopes and fears, focal points of the world’s hopes and fears. But, fearful or not, this is the route we are called to take.

Click to order N. T. Wright’s The Lord and His Prayer

Thank You, God

Thank You, God

Thank You, God is a celebration of family and friends, of homes and food to share, and of the wonder of creation from the first light of day to the calm, peaceful night

This bright, lyrical new picture book, written by J. Bradley Wigger and illustrated by Jago, offers readers of all ages and backgrounds the perfect chance to reflect on all the things they can be thankful for.

With its elegant yet accessible text and vibrant illustrations, Thank You, God is sure to have a powerful impact on readers as it encourages them to view the world around them with fresh eyes.

Check out our latest book trailer — for Thank You, God — below!

“In this prayer primer, simple first-person messages of thanks accompany illustrations of multiethnic family gatherings — a beach stroll, dinner, campfire — along with majestic depictions of sun, moon, stars, and the natural world.
. . . An inspiring and accessible introduction to the practice of prayer.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Click to order Thank You, God, written by J. Bradley Wigger and illustrated by Jago.