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  • Writer's pictureValerie

BookWorthy Chats with Glenys Nellist

BookWorthy S2E14 Cover
Song of the Seasons Cover


Valerie- Welcome to Bookworthy. Today, the lovely Glenys Nellist is back with us to tell us about her book Song of the Seasons, which comes out on April 2nd. This picture book aims to help children join all creation and praise our creator through the unique beauty of every season of the year. Welcome back to Bookworthy, Glenys.


Glenys -Oh, thanks so much for having me again, Valerie. I'm grateful.


Valerie -It is a pleasure. I'm so happy to have you here. But since you have been recently on the Bookworthy Podcast, I thought we'd change our first question slightly. Usually, I do a random question, but I thought maybe we'd do a four-seasons quiz and see how you do since your book is about the seasons. Are you up for that?


Glenys -Okay, I hope I pass.


Valerie-Okay, it's just ten questions, really simple. And it'll either be a fill-in-the-blank answer, or you'll be able to decide whether it's spring, summer, autumn, or winter is the answer. So here we go. Number one, going back to your British roots a little bit, name the Shakespearean play, A Mid-Blank Night's Dream.


Glenys- I think it's summer. I hope it is. You're making me nervous, Valerie.


Valerie -Yes, Midsummer Night's Dream. It's so fun. I'm trying to keep it simple, you know. There are some odd questions on here, but they're mostly simple, I think. We'll see. All right, number two. The Chinese New Year is also known as the blank festival.


Glenys -Oh my gosh, the Chinese New Year, oh.


Valerie -This is hard for me too. I had to look it up myself.


Glenys Nellist Interview

Glenys -I don't know. Is it the winter? I don't even know.


Valerie -It's actually the Spring Festival. Yeah, this is kind of their introduction into the spring season, their celebration of winter ending and spring beginning. So that was news to me, too. Okay, here's an easy one. In temperate regions, during which season is the squirrel known for storing nuts?


Glenys -Is it? Oh my gosh, what, I think I know this one. Is it the... Well, it has to be the fall.


Valerie -He shows up in your book. It does. Yes. Okay. This one's fill-in-the-blank. The dog days of blank.


Glenys -winter.


Valerie -Really? Here in Texas, it's the dog days of summer. Yes! So, what are the dog days of winter?


Glenys -Really? Oh, oh. Well, when it's just all cold and you can't go out and you have to stay in.


 Valerie -Well, the dog days of summer is when it's way too hot and muggy outside to go outside, so I guess it could apply to both seasons.


Glenys -So, right, either way, you have to stay indoors, right?


Valerie -Yes, well like the phrase actually comes from like Greek mythology and I think with the stars Siri the star Sirius which is known as the dog star which is close to the Sun and They they blamed that for the sweltering heat in the dog days of summer apparently Me too, it was kind of fun to go through find out all these questions. So okay number five


Glenys -Oh well, I'm learning, I'm learning.


Valerie - Which season can you experience the midnight sun? in the Arctic regions. Hint, hint.


Glenys -Is it, is it somewhere? I don't -


Valerie -It is summer, so when the earth tilts in the Arctic regions they get either 24 hours of sun, so at midnight there's a midnight sun. So it's kind of neat. Okay, now which has never been held in the southern hemisphere? The summer Olympics or the winter Olympics?


Glenys -Um... Well, it's got to be the winter.


Valerie -That's right, the Winter Olympics have never been held in the Southern Hemisphere. It's kind of like, huh, I never thought about that.



Glenys -Yeah, but I guess they need all that snow for the tobogganing, the skiing, and all that.


Valerie -I guess so. And I just don't really think that it doesn't snow that much in the southern hemisphere. So you'd think it would be equal, but I don't know. Well, number seven. We're almost done with this bit of torture. Primavera is Italian for which season.


Glenys—Mmm. Well, I feel. I know that vert in French means green, so I'm thinking either spring or summer. I'm going to go spring. Yay!


Valerie -You're right, spring, kind of that fresh new life. You get fresh herbs in your pasta and that kind of thing. So way to go. We're gonna pull in some French there. Okay, number eight. In the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe, Narnia experiences an eternal blank.


Primavera image

Glenys -Well, it's gotta be winter.


Valerie -You got it, that was an easy one. Number nine, what season is the only time of year you can get a PSL or a pumpkin spice latte. That's okay. If you don't know, you don't know. And if you do, you do. Cause it's like the day that PSL comes out at Starbucks is kind of the start of fall in a lot of people's books. It's fun to get something that you can only get a certain time of year. If you're a coffee drinker.


Glenys -Oh I see a pumpkin spice latte, okay that's gotta be fall. I didn't know what that was.


Valerie -All right, last one. This one might be kind of tricky. Which season is the most nostalgic for singer -songwriter Bryan Adams? Blank of summer 69 is the name of the song. I might have given you a hint.


Glenys -Well, is it summer then? Did you just say summer? Well, I'm glad you did because I wouldn't have known.


Valerie -Yeah, I did. I did. I let it slip. Too fun. Well, congrats. You got, what is it, 60 %? Six out of 10, so good job. Now, after all this fun, why don't you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind your latest book, Song of the Seasons?


Glenys -Well, thanks, Valerie. That was fun. Song of the Seasons is really inspired by, well, inspired by a lot of things in my life because I've always been a nature lover. I grew up in a home of nature lovers. My dad, you know, was an avid walker and he collected acorns even when he was 90 years old, you know. Yeah, so I've always had a love for nature and trees and being outdoors, but it's also inspired by Psalm 98, where in that Psalm, the idea is explored that perhaps the earth is singing God a brand new song. And so, and so in that Psalm, it talks about the mountains singing and the rivers clapping their hands. And so, I thought that was just a lovely picture to explore with children how each part of creation might sing God a brand-new song.


Romans 1:20 image

Valerie -I love that. It reminds me a lot of Romans 1 20, where it's talking about how the invisible qualities of God are revealed in nature so that no one is without excuse. And I'm a nature lover myself and God speaks to me the most through nature experiences. And I love how his word communicates that too, that nature just sings of God and speaks of his majesty and beauty. So I love that's what you're trying to do with this book. You said you are an avid walker, a nature walker, what is one of the strangest or funniest encounters you've had in one of your walks?


Glenys-Well, when we lived in England, we used to, we were doing this walk, it's called the Cumbria Way, like in the north of England. And we would go once a month and you stay in youth hostels, you know, and you, it's just gorgeous countryside. But you never quite know what animals you're going to meet. And so I remember coming to a gate once, we were supposed to go across this field, but it was actually full of cows. and cows are, I don't know, like they're not, you wouldn't typically think they're scary creatures, but it was really scary because they all just came up to the gate, like, I'm sure they were looking for food, but they're


big, Valerie. When you were right next to a cow, they're massive, they're big, and they all started mooing, and they've got these big brown eyes, and it's And all of a sudden, we were about to climb over the gate. And then we were just too scared, you know, because this field of cows would not let us through. I mean, so we didn't cross it. We had to go a long way around because, well, we didn't know if there might be a bull. You know, and that's a bit scary. But yeah, it was just funny to be encountered by a big herd of cows that were barring our path.


Valerie -It's funny, you don't really think of cows being ominous or a force of nature and you're just like, you are a very big creature and if they don't want to move, they won't.


Glenys -Right, right. And well, you know, it was just, they're unpredictable. We didn't know if, if we climbed over, would they run off and be scared of us or would, but they trample us down because they certainly could have done so. It turned, it turned what should have been, I don't know, into an eight mile walk into like a 14 mile walk because we had to go all the way around the field. 


Valerie -Oh my goodness. That is definitely a memorable experience for sure. I know I do a lot of walking around a nature trail near my house and I learned something new one time I was walking, it was dawn, it was beautiful. There was a little pond and I saw an armadillo walking. I'm like, Oh, this is really cool. But then he just jumped in the water and swam. I was like, I had no idea armadillos could swim. And I was just like,okay, I guess you could do that because he just in all purpose and intent just swam right in. I was new information. Well, we see them a lot down here in Texas, but I had never seen one swim. I had no idea. Now, you talked about how Psalms 98 was kind of one of the inspirations for this, but What about, what keeps you going back to writing stories for kids that point to God's work?


Glenys -Well, I mean, especially ones that point to God's Word. God's Word, the Bible, is just full of inspiration, isn't it, Valerie? You know, I mean, I just, what I love about the Bible is that even though I've read it, you know, in certain parts, like in the Gospels, many, many times, it

Glenys Nellist quote

Just seems to me there's always something new to learn. you go back to scripture even if it's a familiar passage there's like I love it the way that's the mystery of scripture the magic of scripture that you can read something and suddenly you have a new picture in your mind or a new understanding or I don't know a new character that pops to the front so the Bible really does I mean I don't go to the Bible with the purpose of finding a new story, but that's often how it happens. I'll read a verse and I'll think, oh my gosh, that might make a nice children's book, you know. But I think inspiration is all around, especially in the wonderful world in which we live. So for me, I get a lot of inspiration when I'm outdoors, when I'm walking or just sitting or, you know, in nature. I think it's just a great space to be, to let that creative energy come to the forefront.


Valerie -It's kind of when in those times when we sit and be still either in nature or with God in his word that he, we calm our thoughts, calm our minds and just get to know God better. Like it says in Psalms 46, 10, be still and know that I am God. And when we sit and just marvel at who he is, whether it's in God's word or in nature itself, he's, ready and willing to speak to us. And I love that about what you're communicating in your book, Song of the Seasons is that God is always there. He's always revealing himself in spring and summer, you know, fall and winter that, you know, no season is without God's presence and his purpose. And I love that. Now of the four seasons, which is your favorite?


Glenys -Oh, that's such a hard question, Valerie.


Valerie -Or okay, okay, I won't make it too hard. What is your favorite thing about each season?

Glenys -There you go. That's a good one. That's a good one. All right. So, well, spring, it's got to be all the new life. Spring is just like now in Michigan. The trees are bare, but you know that spring is coming and then you see the little buds. And right now we do have little shoots that, I don't know if it's, well, the crocuses are just peeping their heads and I have some tulip bulbs and the shoots are just beginning to show and I love that about spring, that season of new life and the thinking of what's happening that we can't see. You know, because I think about God a lot that way too, you know, I can't remember the reference but it says something about no eye has seen, no ear has heard what God is preparing for those who love God. But I always think about we can't see, we can't hear what's happening under the soil, but it's happening, you know, so it's like a mystery. So that's what I love about spring. And then summer, well, my husband builds wooden boats for a hobby. And yeah, I know that that's everybody's reaction. They're like, OK. So yeah.


Valerie -Okay. Interesting choice.


Glenys -He has actually built, he's built three. There's one that's half done in our garage, but he built, if you can believe it, a wooden houseboat that we have lived on for a few weeks at a time, like on the Erie Canal. It's amazing, Valerie. I never thought he would finish it and I never thought it would float, but it did both. And it's like a tiny home on the water. And... So it's 19

Boat dry docked

feet long and six feet wide, that's it. No electricity, a teeny little bathroom, like a camping bathroom, you know. So it's very rustic, but it's the best. It's so fun to do that in the summer with my husband, just to take off on the boat and be with God in nature. Because on the Erie Canal, you get these huge big luxury boat, these big yacht type things with leather seats and air conditioning for the dogs and then there's our little matchbox of a boat you know but but we're watching the same sunrise and the same sunset you know so we're right there in nature so that's summer and then fall well the colors the colors of fall I mean like in the boat. So I don't know if you're going to ask me about the illustrator, but I'll just give him a little shout out. He's called CB Kanga. And the interesting thing is he lives in California. So he hasn't actually lived through the Four Seasons, which I didn't think about. You know, in England, the Four Seasons are just there and here in Michigan, they are. But I guess he hasn't lived like through winter like we do. But anyway, his color in the fall, all the oranges and the golds and the leaves tumbling down, the pictures, they're just so vibrant. So I love the colours

Snow in trees

in fall and then winter. Well, I love walking in snow. It's so fun, isn't it? Like crunching. Yeah, that sound you get and the trees. when the trees are all covered in snow. You get some pretty pictures. So how could I choose a favorite out of all that?


Valerie - I know it's like choosing a favorite book. It's hard because there are wonderful things about each season and it is unique that your illustrator, you know, what was it, you know, living in California, they don't really have, you know, a variety of seasons where in Michigan you do. In Texas, we do. It's just different. We get really cold and for like a weekend or experience all seasons in a weekend. So we like to keep things interesting. But it is like, I know my parents recently went on a trip up to Vermont and Maine during the fall seasons. And it was just amazing to see the different colors that they were witnessing on the trees. And it's kind of  a science person, so it's kind of neat to think that those are actually the trees colors. Like they're only green because of chlorophyll and photosynthesis, but you're seeing

Autumn leaves

their true colors in autumn. And I kind of, I like that symbolism and just thoughts that, you know, sure, for some seasons we show what everybody wants to see. And then, but every once in a while we really, when it really gets little bit harder and a little bit different, we show our true colors. So I love that about Autumn too. Now we are coming up on Easter this coming weekend. What is your family up to this weekend?


Glenys -Oh, well, we will probably have a quiet Easter. We'll probably just celebrate with our daughter at home. We'll have a nice meal together after. Well, of course, we'll begin. We'll be at church on my husband's a pastor. We'll be at church on Easter Sunday in the morning. We have a lovely tradition in our church where we decorate a cross with flowers, probably daffodils. So we cover the cross with this beautiful yellow symbol of new life and then we put it outside our church for people driving past so that'll be our morning then we'll just have a nice lunch with our daughter but then the day after I get to go and pick up my two grandsons and they'll be coming to stay with me for a few days so then we'll do an egg hunt in the backyard and all the fun Easter things.

easter eggs

 Valerie -Way fun. Yeah, you definitely have to be more flexible when your family starts. Not so focused on the day itself, but just like, let's have fun together. Very neat. I'm excited for both the Easter season and your book coming out here in April. Now, what can we expect next from you?


Glenys -Well, later this year, in late summer, I have a book releasing with Zonder Kids, and it's called Gathered at the Table. And it's a celebration of communion. And it's kind of a partner book, a companion book to one that came out a couple of years ago called Baptized in the Water. And that book explores all the varying ways to be baptized, but that's at the end of the

Gathered at the Table Cover

day, in baptism we all belong to God. And so it's kind of an attempt, you know, us Christians, Valerie, because we belong to many different denominations and we believe many different things, but we're all Christians, you know, and so these books are the kind of an attempt to find common ground, you know, and not to say that any one way is the right way or the only way but what's the common denominator that joins us as one? And so gathered at the table, explores all the varying ways to take communion, the varying times at which people take communion. But at the end of the day, that in communion,

Baptized in the Water

we're all remembering Jesus and what Jesus did for us, you know. So, I'm excited for that book. Really, really beautiful illustrations by Anna Kazemi and she, because it's communion, she chose like the color of grapes and the gold of like wheat for the bread. So, it's all like gold and purples. And so yeah, I'm excited for that book.


Valerie -That'll be really neat because it, I mean, with your Baptized with Water book, you know, kind of walks through, like you said, all the different ways people are baptized and the win of people getting baptized, whether it's as a baby or as an adult. And then I think communion is another one of those innocence ordinances that are given to us in scripture that have taken on lots of different meanings, but it all points back to Jesus. So, I love that those books are attempting just to unify what has become a very divided religion. And so that's really neat. I'm looking forward to that. 

Glenys -I know, I know. It's sad, isn't it, when we look at things that divide us rather than things that bring us together?


Valerie -Yes, yes. And well, that's what the enemy's goal is to take everything that, you know, God gives as a joy and to make it, you know, not a joy, to make it harsh and divisive. And so I love that we can take steps with children's books to communicate to young kids that, golly, God is not trying to hold out on you. He's not trying to force you to do something a certain way. He just loves you. I love that we get the chance to do that.


Glenys -Right, right, yeah, the bottom line is always love, isn't it?


Valerie -Yes, yes, it is. Now, Glenys, where can people find out more about you and your books?


Glenys - Well, I might have said it last time we chatted, but I really am the only Glenys Nellist in the world. So I'm on Instagram as Glenys Nellist. I'm on Facebook, Glenys Nellist Author, and my website is just my name .com. G -L -E -N -Y -S and Nellist, N -E -L -L -I -S -T .com.


Valerie - We'll make sure to have those links in the comments. Thank you so much for joining me today, Glenys.


Glenys -Oh, thanks so much, Valerie. It was fun.


Valerie- And thank you for joining Glenys and me on this final season two episode of the Bookworthy podcast. Season three will start on April 22nd, but don't worry, we'll be revisiting some great books from season one during the break. But the fun never stops over on social media, so be sure to follow along.

Check the show notes for any books or links that we discussed and let us know in the comments how you did on our Four Seasons Quiz.

May you have a blessed Easter and happy reading.


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