Books for Kids and Families

Author Tara
McClary Reeves

Tara is the author of five books, including the award-winning children’s book, The Knight and the Firefly, and family devotional Point Me to Jesus

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Is Your Dad a Pirate?

Her daddy went away to fight for our country. And he came home changed.

“Is Your Dad a Pirate?” will challenge your perspective and deepen your commitment to love.

In this tender account based on her childhood experiences, author Tara McClary Reeves shares how her family adapted to changes once her father was back from war. With warmth and humor, this book encourages children and spouses facing similar trials to cherish the gift of family. To hold on to faith. And to choose to be loving heroes on the home front.

The Pirate and the Firefly: A Boy, a Bug,
and a Lesson in Wisdom

Oliver loves pretending to be a pirate, but learns that blindly following others doesn’t leave him with a good feeling inside.

In this Scripture adventure, kids join Oliver as he rights the wrongs done by his so-called Pirate friends.

Through it all, Captain Oliver learns that following God’s way is the true way to wisdom!

The second book in the Firefly Chronicle series brings entire sections of Scripture to life via imaginative, fantastical stories that use a passage from Psalms to help children understand and apply biblical truths to their lives. Each book in the series will depict Oliver wearing a different costume as he imagines and adventures his way through God’s Word with the help of Phineas, the firefly. The series will address the felt needs of children ages 4 to 8 including courage, confidence, friendship and more with biblical truths about God.

 

Other Books

The Knight and the Firefly

Oliver may be a brave and noble knight by day, but he is terrified of the dark by night—until a wise, old firefly helps him understand that God’s Word is our light. In this Scripture adventure, kids join Oliver as he hides under an eagle’s wings, is hoisted onto the shoulders of a strong angel, tramples poisonous snakes, and even rides on the back of a mighty lion. Through it all, Sir Oliver learns that God always protects His children and that we are never alone, even when it is dark outside.

Based on Psalm 91:1-2. 

Don’t Tell that to Beasley

Children love to feel that they “belong.” But as friendships grow in importance, the value of individuality can be overlooked. Filled with endearing artwork, this charming, easy-reading picture book helps children resist the pressure to conform by promoting confidence, celebrating uniqueness, and fostering enthusiasm for life.

Children ages birth to three will watch this lovable buffalo Beasley pursue some of their favorite activities, like baking cookies and playing at the beach. They will also learn about the need for responsibility as Beasley joyfully cleans his room, splashes in a bath, and brushes his teeth. Through each activity, children are told, “Buffalo aren’t supposed to like…” Then they hear the phrase that repeatedly affirms Beasley’s individuality: “But don’t tell that to Beasley!”

Inspired by the verse, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”(Romans 12:2), Don’t Tell That to Beasley illustrates that uniqueness is something to be celebrated and joy can be found in the most simple activities.

Point Me to Jesus

Scripture encourages adults to take an active role in disciplining children, in making them students of Christ. Moms and dads, grandparents, and mentors are on the front line of helping the youngest to understand and trust God’s Word.

In Point Me to Jesus, author Tara McClary Reeves equips grown-ups with 365 quick lessons to be shared with their children. Each day begins with a key verse from the Bible. Reeves then uses stories and insights to help build a Christian worldview around the topics of who Jesus is, why He came, how He lived, how He wants us to live and share His love with others, and more. Every reading concludes with a question for reflection and discussion.

Psalm 127:3 declares that children are a reward from the Lord. Steward these treasures from heaven as you grow together in God’s Word and in passionate, obedient love for Jesus.

The story BEHIND

Is Your Dad a Pirate?

What’s a wife to do when tragedy or disappointment threaten to steal her dreams? When the fairy tale plans she wove for her marriage begin to fray? Today’s American families rarely share the spiritual grounding, stability, and camaraderie known to previous generations. When trouble comes, when what is expected to be a lifetime romance fails to blossom into a happily ever after, mothers and daddies walk away. And both their children—and the once happy couple—spend the rest of their days trying to build new lives, all the while working to forget what once was.  

In my work as a children’s book author, home Bible study leader, and community volunteer, I have often encountered families teetering on the edge of despair. Maybe a child, like my own son, Daniel, is diagnosed with cancer. Perhaps a mother, like my own precious daddy, is critically injured. It could be that a dad loses his job and can’t seem to find another or spends so much time on the road that he is seldom home. Maybe depression threatens to tear a husband and wife apart. In every case, I long to tell those who struggle, “Hang on to hope!” 

In spite of what the statistics might tell us, marriages can survive traumas and stresses like these. In fact, unimaginable joy just might be around the very bend that now seems so foreboding. 

I say this because I am a product of a difficult season giving birth to blessings. I am living testimony of what happens when a wife and husband choose to relinquish despair to pursue hope. I am the daughter of a couple who beat the odds, sticking together though their dreams were dashed. My mother and daddy—decorated veteran and faithful bride—who started their journey in the Vietnam War era, live as loving proof that God still works miracles and still deeply cares about our families. 

Even when life bruises or shatters our dreams, you and I always have hope. Because we have a Heavenly Father who specializes in bringing beauty out of the ashes. 

Tara

Endorsements and Praise for Is Your Dad a Pirate

The need to support our wounded warriors is clear. We must never forget our military defenders or lose sight of the fact that America’s heroes come home to raise our future leaders. Is Your Dad a Pirate? opens a window of insight into the family life of one Marine warrior, Lt. Clebe McClary, that can remind every reader just what a gift it is to be an American.

Founder, Gary Sinise Foundation
Actor portraying “Lieutenant Dan” in the movie, Forrest Gump explains just what a gift it is to be an American.

My first introduction to the McClary family came when I was sharing an audio tape with my two sons. In it Clebe McClary detailed his wartime experience and the injuries incurred during his service in Viet Nam. His story made a huge impression on me and my boys. Later, I had the opportunity to meet Clebe when he gave his testimony. Now my wife and I attend the same church as Tara and her family. … In Is Your Dad a Pirate? Tara has detailed the lives of her parents — both heroes in her life, and she shares a great message for America.

This book highlights her dad’s heroic sacrifice in defending our country and her mom’s continued dedication to him over the years. It’s a testimony to the many wounded veterans and their families who have all made great sacrifices so that we can enjoy a safe and happy life in America.

Joe Gibbs
Owner, Joe Gibbs Racing

An inspiring read that will touch the hearts of parents and children alike, while reminding us all that freedom has never been free!

Robert E. Guth
Former Chairman, President & CEO, The Reader’s Digest Association

When our warriors return home to the “new normal,” many have both visible and invisible wounds. It’s the reality of the military “job” that each must accept in his own way the lingering challenge of coping and protecting the innocence of their children as they, too, must face dramatic changes. Tara Reeves has walked in the shoes of our military children. Thus, she shares a bond with those youth of all eras whose soldier-parent has been altered by war. Is Your Dad a Pirate? is a simple yet dramatically educational way to help the children of our wounded cope with and understand the sacrifices their parents – military and caregivers alike make. The USO of NC intends to incorporate the messages of Is Your Dad a Pirate? into our evolving resiliency and transition assistance programs.

Lt. Col. John Falkenbury
U. S. Army Retired, President, USO of North Carolina

We’ve known the McClary family since the 1980s and can tell you that the patch over Clebe’s eye is legendary. While he could be mistaken for a pirate on the outside, the courageous spirit within marks a godly hero. Courage is something that works its way from the inside out, and Tara has captured the endearing love of her dad who served our country with great honor and her mom who exemplifies the meaning of Proverbs 31:28. Is Your Dad a Pirate? will warm the hearts of children and parents from the inside out.

Franklin and Jane Graham

I know this ‘pirate’ and his loving, committed wife; I know this child. With a message based on what happens when one family member experiences the tragedy of trauma, this is a simple story about what true wholeness in a person and family are all about. This is about unconditional and sacrificial love, both received and given to others. Tara and her parents model this love, challenging others to love unconditionally. Therein lies all our Hope for mankind.

J.W. Wilson
Col USMC Ret.

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