Devin Lonergan Holt with her daughter and son

Devin Lonergan Holt never expected to author a children’s book, but she says the most surprised person of all is likely to be David Wood. The 1996 Lake Highlands High graduate says she didn’t exactly kill it in Wood’s senior English class, so she was especially proud Monday when her book was delivered and she got to hold it for the first time.

Writing “Play on Word: Bible Playtime Activities for Young Children” required tenacity and persistence, admits the mother of a daughter, now 10 and a son, now 13, especially considering that the idea for the parent-child devotional book sprang from her days teaching lessons to her daughter’s Little Lambs Sunday School class when the girl was just 2. When she headed off to Kindergarten, Holt figured she had time to write.

“The children surprised me with their capacity for faith at such a young age,” Holt told me. She included 52 lessons – one for each week of the year – and designed them for kids aged 2-6, but says her older kids enjoy them today. Lessons use household materials, like flashlights and corncobs, to illustrate biblical messages for tactile learners.

Play on Word is available on her website here now, where she fills orders herself at the local post office. June 21 the book will be available on Amazon here and via the publisher, Deep River Books, here.

“Deep River Books has been amazing,” says Holt. “They have professional avenues for publishing and public relations, and they’ll promote the book to big outlets like Barnes and Noble and Lifeway.” Holt will be visiting churches and preschools to share the book, and the former teacher will be speaking to moms’ groups and other organizations in the coming weeks and months.

Future books are in the works, says Holt, but she’s reveling in the joy of her first book’s release. And she’s holding her breath to hear David Wood’s reaction.