Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 1, 2022

Book Giveaway: All God’s Critters Sing Allelu by PJ Lyons

PJ Lyons has a new picture book, All God’s Critters Sing Allelu, illustrated by Carol Herring and published by Beaming Books Press. They have agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the USA.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping PJ and Carol.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


Bow-wow, meow, cocka-doodle-doo. All God’s critters sing allelu!

Dogs and cats, cows and sheep, frogs and crickets: all creation comes together in this rhyming picture book. All God’s Critters Sing Allelu uses all the English phonemes, the smallest unit of sound that distinguishes one word from another word, to assist ages 0-4 in language acquisition and reading readiness. Follow along as lively illustrations depict each part in a harmony of sounds, encouraging kids to join in praising God.


The journey to publication for All God’s Critters Sing Allelu has felt like a game of Candyland. The story was inspired when a good friend of mine commented that though her toddler loved books with silly words, as a mom, she wished they had more take away value. So I wrote her a silly word book with take away value: it celebrated God’s world and it contained all the phonemes (sounds) in English.* Roll the dice and move ahead six spaces!

Bow-wow, meow, cocka-doodle-doo.

All God’s critters sing allelu!

The friend loved it and showed it to her co-workers. It just so happened this friend worked for a publisher. The children’s book editor saw it asked me to write other stories that would work as a series with the first. Take the Mountain Pass for having an inside connection.

But the editor took a job elsewhere before she could submit them to the acquisitions board. Darn! Stuck on a Licorice space in Licorice Forest.

Years later, out of the blue, I got a call from a new editor at the same publisher. She had stumbled across my manuscripts. They weren’t exactly what she was looking for, but would I be interested in writing something different? Of course I was! Moving on to Peanut Acres.

A few years after that, the editor called and said they were finely ready to acquire my manuscripts. Woohoo! Lollipops for everyone. Well, two of the stories, at least. Just not the first one. The story that started it all. Stuck on a Licorice space. Again.

Along with my routine, highly targeted submissions, I also participate in Twitter pitch parties. Roll the dice and see where you land. The Acquisitions Editor from Beaming Books Press contacted me after the October 2019 PB Pitch party about a pitch I had made during the June party. Was All God’s Critters Sing Allelu still available? It was! And in February of 2020 we signed a contract. The book was due to release in February 2021, but then Covid hit, and its release date was postponed. Stuck on another Licorice Space. And now, finally, the story I wrote for a dear friend’s toddler celebrates its book birthday on March 15. I’m the Queen of Candy Land! And that toddler? She’s graduating college this spring.


Which is why Albert Einstein’s quote, “You never fail until you give up,” is my writing mantra.

*Phonemes are the smallest unit of sound in a language, such as “th” in the word “the” or “then” (two different sounds) or  “zu” as in azure versus “z” in dizzy. It’s important for infants and small children to hear these sounds repeatedly to aid them in language acquisition and reading readiness.


PJ lyons is constantly creating: stories, art, food, and her specialty: messes. She lives near Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her 8-pound pup and her very tidy husband. She is the author of the Little Lamb, Little Lion, Little Chick, and Little Bunny fuzzy Bibles (Zonderkidz, 2011); Thank You, Lord, for Everything and God Is Watching Over You, both illustrated by Tim Warnes, (Zonderkidz 2014 & 2015). You can check out some of her artwork at Her newest book, All God’s Critters Sing Allelu, may be pre-ordered here:



Carol Herring is a freelance illustrator living in North Canterbury, New Zealand. She enjoys painting digitally on the iPadPro, and also traditionally with gouache on paper.

Her inspiration comes from her favourite childhood illustrator/author Richard Scarry, as well as other contemporary children’s book illustrators, her kids, and the menagerie of pets she is surrounded with while working from home.

In her free time Carol loves to run, mountain bike, go hiking, and get beaten by her kids at board games.

Carol Herring is represented by Lucie Luddington at the Bright Agency.

PJ, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. It is important to have interesting books that help children learn to read. Rhyme plays a big part of accomplishing that and Carol’s illustrations provide the stimuli needed to learn and keep turning the pages. Good luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. What a journey! Love, love, love, and can’t wait to read the book! Allelu-yah!


  2. Praising God, educational, in rhyme, animals, lovely illustrations-wow! Sure to be a favorite of mine and many others.


  3. This is the fun, joyful book we all need right now! I’m thrilled to know about it!


  4. What a journey you and your story have had, P.J. Glad you stuck with it. Congratulations to you and Carol! (And I love the board game references woven throughout your blog!)


  5. This book is so bright and cheery and has an important message. Congratulations on your beautiful book. I’m an email subscriber and shared:


  6. I love this. Absolutely darling! Congratulations!!


  7. Thank you, P. J, for sharing your writing journey. How wonderful for you to include all phonemes to support language acquisition and reading readiness.

    I shared this post on LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter. I also receive email messages. Thank you.


  8. This looks fabulous! Our students and teachers would love it.


  9. Wow, that’s a great story of publication! Congratulations!

    I follow by email and tweeted this post, though you may have already chosen a winner. Just found this in my inbox…


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