Children’s Author Teaches Kids to Build a Personal Relationship with God
Author Interview with Lisa Umina, Milo Moments
by Lisa M. Hendey
Lisa Umina and her buddy Milo are on a mission – to share with children around the world the good news that they will always have a best friend in God. With the recent publication of her second book, Milo Moments (Halo Publishing, May 2005, 32 pages), Umina encourages readers of all ages to view God in the simple moments that fill each of our days.
Young readers will find themselves drawn to Umina’s loveable character Milo, and his fresh way of seeing everyday situations. With bold illustrations and adorable text, the book has a way of reaching both young children in its simplicity and their adult reading buddies in its insightfulness.
A former journalist and businesswoman, Lisa Umina recognized her calling to serve in the year 2000. Since then she has gone on to pursue her mission of teaching children about the important relationship she has with her best friend – God. With her self proclaimed motto, “When God calls you, He never gives you time to pack,” Umina has traveled far and wide with her buddy Milo, reaching children’s audiences that they too can have a personal relationship with God. With Milo Moments, Umina has succeeded in finding yet another vehicle for sharing her excitement about her faith.
Lisa Umina recently shared the following thoughts on her work and her adventures with Milo.
Q: What qualities make Milo unique and attractive to children?
A: Milo is a beacon for children to show them how easy it is to talk to God and the importance of having a relationship with Him.
Q: Please tell us about Milo's latest adventures in your newest book and what prompted you to write and publish Milo Moments?
A: I wrote Milo Moments because I wanted to incorporate my humor and faith to help children in a simple way to understand God. Milo Moments teaches young ones about God in a comical, humorous and witty way through a cuddly character named Milo. The "moments" make kids giggle by tickling their inquisitive natures and by light-heartedly bringing religion into everyday life in simple terms they can understand. The book shows how faith and a binding relationship with God can influence and guide even the simplest of situations and actions.
Q: Which of the "moments" in the new book is your favorite?
A: My favorite moment with Milo is when he is innocently trying to clean the world up and he is looking for an outlet outside and he is standing under a sign that says, "no outlet" and he has a vacuum in his hand.
Q: I've heard that Milo's been traveling lately, even to Mexico! Can you share some of your recent book tour activities and school events?
A: On a recent trip to Lima, Peru, I went with an organization called "Isaiah's Promise." Isaiah's Promise visits different countries and brings money, supplies and mostly love to the less-fortunate people of the world. Before we left, we gathered supplies, food, toys and money that were donated by friends and family who supported our mission. I was fortunate enough to spend time in the several schools with many children on my visit to Peru and my heart was very moved by what I saw.
I like to think of my book and my performance as a unique experience for all to share. Our presentation is one-of-a-kind! I have 11 different voices for the characters, along with sound effects. The performance includes 11 volunteers to hold puppets of each character in the book, Milo with a Halo along with a special visit from Milo! Some of the unique impersonations of well-known character voices that I have are; the munchkins from the Wizard of Oz, ET, the gopher from Winnie the Pooh and many more!
Q: What do your young readers take away from these experiences?
A: I believe the readers and students learn a valuable lesson through this message...that we have a friend in God and that He is the only person we can trust and believe in at all times. God also gives us all gifts and talents and how we can show God that we love Him is by listening to Him and becoming what He has planned for us.
Q: How can parents foster in their children a love of reading and an active prayer life?
A: Parents need to teach their children to talk to God - just a simple hello or to pray to God when something important happens or they are faced with troubles. Prayer should be our first response to situations in our life good or bad.
Q: Does Milo have plans for future books? Are you working on any new projects?
A: We have plans for another book, but first Milo and I want to first take our message across the world and teach children of all circumstances that they have someone who loves them very much.
Q: Are there any additional thoughts or comments you'd like to share with our readers?
A: The most important part of my life was having a mother that instilled such important spiritual values in me. She gave me a strong foundation in Christ and I can't begin to express my gratitude. I don't know where my life would be if I didn't believe and know Christ as my Savior. I hope that anyone who is called to be a parent will take the time to instill these priceless values with their children. It is by far the greatest gift you can give your children.
For more information on Milo Moments visit
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0971835055/catholicmomcom To book your own visit with Milo and Lisa Umina, visit www.halopublishing.com for additional information.
Lisa M. Hendey is a mother of two sons, webmaster of numerous web sites, including http://www.catholicmom.com and http://www.christiancoloring.com, and an avid reader of Catholic literature. Visit her at http://www.lisahendey.com for more information.