Many little girls are fascinated by princesses. Having celebrated the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, in the UK, this summer, has done nothing to damp this interest!
Catherine Mackenzie has taken the lives of eight princesses in the Bible, re-told their stories, applied it (princess tips) and has a section at the end of each chapter Think about Jesus. The interesting thing about this book is that the princesses covered are not just the obvious good examples but also some bad princesses: Herodias' daughter and Jezebel.
Jehosheba, who rescued Joash, seemed a striking example for a princess setting a positive example and someone who is rarely discussed. The chapter about Pharaoh's daughter made it clear that the real princess was Miriam not Pharaoh's daughter. Every chapter made it clear that glamour is not the important thing but the heart and our relationship with God . The last chapter "So what about you?" makes this very plain and introduces girls to the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31.
Catherine Mackenzie has kindly given a short interview to Delivering Grace.
What made you want to start writing books?
I’ve always read books avidly, since a child. When I heard of the Bronte sisters writing little books as young girls that made me want to do something similar. Then as a young child my parents started their own Christian publishing business and that introduced me to the world of printing and books in a big way. Much later on when I had left University the company my parents had started requested me to write a youth biography on Richard Wurmbrand which was what started me off on writing for real.
Why did you want to write about Bible princesses?
For years I’d been thinking about a particular princess in the bible – Jehosheba – because I’d listened to a sermon by Dale Ralph Davis on her which he’d entitled “The woman who saved Christmas.’ I thought the title to his sermon showed creativity and the sermon itself was a real insight into the ancestry of Jesus and God’s plan of redemption. It made me think that there should be a children’s book that covered her story. The more I thought about that the more I thought about the other female characters in the Bible that often do not make it into a children’s book. Roughly about the same time my two sisters between them produced six nieces. One or two of them are definitely ‘girls’ and definitely like pink. One niece for her birthday got a big pink blanket – and someone asked, ‘How many flamingos did you have to kill to make that?’ You get the picture. Therefore princess stories are big hits with these girls. That’s what made me think about how these stories from the Bible could be joined together by the common theme of royalty/princesses.
Which books did you enjoy when you were a girl?
I loved Enid Blyton books, Lavina Derwant books (she’s Scottish but a great series she did is based around a fictional island called Sula). Patricia St John was another favourite author – titles included Treasures of the Snow; The Rainbow Garden and others.
Can you let us know about the books in your reading pile at present?
I’m dipping in and out of The Necessity of Prayer by EM Bounds; The Obedience Option and have just finished reading a lot of different books on John Knox due to just completing a youth biography on John Knox for the Trailblazer series. At the weekend I purchased a book when I was on holiday in Raasay (an Island just off the Isle of Skye in Scotland) it’s called Calum’s Road – about a man who wanted his children to be able to go to the local school but they didn’t have an access road from their isolated house in the North of Raasay – so he built it himself, a task that took him ten years.
Thank you so much for this interview. I look forward to reading your biography of John Knox with my children.
How to be a Bible Princess was provided by Christian Focus. The opinions are entirely my own.