Monday, August 3, 2020

Interview with Rachel Pellegrino, founder of Little Lamb Books

Welcome Rachel Pellegrino to the blog again! We featured her publishing company, Little Lamb Books, on my blog this past Saturday (August 1, 2020).

 Today, the focus is on Rachel as a business owner who has a passion for Jesus Christ and providing faith-based books for children. Enjoy!

Q&A with Rachel Pellegrino, founder of Little Lamb Books: 

Thanks for agreeing to this interview! Let’s start by talking about you, Rachel.

Question: Are you married?

Answer: Yes, we celebrated 12 years in June.

Q: Do you have children?

A: I have an eight-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old stepson.

Q: What is your family life like?

We are a blended family that is constantly on the go and juggling calendars and schedules, and we have good days and bad days as we navigate all our adventures together. But, we are very family-focused and we spend quite a bit of time with grandparents and making memories, whether in our own backyard or traveling to our favorite places.

Q: What is your favorite color?

A: Purple, of course!

Q: Do you prefer to drink a cup of coffee or tea?

A: I’m not a coffee drinker, so in the fall and winter, it’s absolutely hot tea with milk and sugar. Summer is all about ice cold sweet tea.

Q: Who is your favorite author as an adult?

Dee Henderson wrote my favorite adult series ever. Right now, though, you’ll find me reading quite a bit by Lynette Eason and Jody Hedlund.

Q: What was your favorite book when you were a child?

A: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott left the biggest impression for me as a young girl.

Q: Why do you believe in God and choose to follow Jesus Christ?

A: I gave my heart to Jesus as a young child and following Him has been the one constant in my life. He gives me purpose and continues to be the most reliable, trustworthy, and dedicated best friend. Even when I’m hard to love, He loves me. Even when I’ve given up, He carries me through the hard times, and there’s been a few! I may not always understand His plans and schedule, but following Jesus is the best decision I ever made.

Now that we know you a bit better, let’s talk about your publishing company that you launched in 2015 … 

Q: What led you to start Little Lamb Books?

A: I started Little Lamb Books for a few different reasons. First, after having my daughter I knew I wanted to do something that would leave a legacy of faith for her in the future. There are really wonderful books on bookshelves everywhere, but there is a void when it comes to books that are both entertaining and faith-filled. I want my daughter to grow up having books full of God’s truths that she can cherish and pass on to her kids. The second reason was that after 15 years in the classroom as a middle school and high school teacher, I was a proponent of students knowing how to read and enjoying it. I wanted to build a company that was focused on creating inspiring stories, entertaining characters, and colorful settings.

Q: How is your company filling a gap in the faith-based children’s book world?

A: There are good books that re-capture Bible stories straight from the Bible. There are even some great concept books available by amazing celebrity authors. But, where I think Little Lamb Books excels is producing realistic fiction that not only tells a story founded on biblical principles, but tells it in such a way that is entertaining and fun for young readers. Plus, we partner with authors, whether they are well-known or not. I think that makes us unique.

Q: In what ways can people support your small business?

There are several ways parents, pastors, educators, and librarians can support our small business. First, they can buy our books! We have a variety of titles from picture books to young adult novels. Second, they can tell other friends, family and colleagues about our books. Word of mouth is such a big encouragement for new purchases. Third, write a review. If someone has purchased our book and loved it, we would really appreciate an honest review and not just on Amazon. Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart and other places love having product reviews. The more positive reviews we have, the better. Lastly, we are currently hosting a Kickstarter campaign because of the impacts of the Coronavirus. This is a temporary opportunity that will expire in August, but if anyone would like to pledge their support in a monetary way, we are trying to raise funds to produce and market our books over the next year, and every dollar counts.

Q: How will people who contribute to the Kickstarter campaign for Little Lamb Books, help your publishing company’s mission?

A: Our mission is to shepherd the next generation of faithful readers and in order to do this, we have to invest in our authors, our books, our business. Starting a business from scratch is challenging in the best of times. Throw in a pandemic, and well, you lean on your faith minute by minute not just day by day. If fully funded, this campaign will allow us to reward our supporters and fans as well as assist us in producing our 2020-2021 catalog and keeping our family-oriented business open so we can put faith-filled books in the hands of families.

Q: What difference do you want Little Lamb Books to make not just in the publishing world, but in the life of your young readers?

A: Our books are inspired by our faith in God and the Bible. We have three new titles releasing this year and over four titles next year that talk about everything from being kind to loving God’s design for your life to making good choices. All of these messages are positive and uplifting and important for kids to hear.

Q: Who are your bestselling, award-winning authors? Name the top two or three and mention what awards they’ve won.

A: Almost all of our titles have won at least one or two awards, which is pretty awesome. Currently, these three have found quite a bit of success:

1) Shelly Roark, author of The Bubble Who Would Not POP! and Gracie Lou Wants A Zoo, has won a gold Benjamin Franklin Award from the Independent Book Publishers Association and silver in the Illumination Awards.

2) Michelle Medlock Adams is the author of C is for Christmas, which has won gold in the Illumination Awards, bronze in the Moonbeam Awards, and gold in the Benjamin Franklin Awards.

3) Launch, book 1 in Jason C. Joyner’s Rise of the Anointed young adult series, has won gold in the Illumination Awards and won Best Debut in The Realm Awards.

Q: In what ways is your publishing company comparable to Harvest House and Zondervan?

The quantity of titles and the genres of titles we all produce varies greatly, but I think overall, we are each wanting to provide families with resources and partner with them through content that is biblically sound and trustworthy. We all produce illustrated picture books and strong chapter books and that’s really good for young readers.

Q: What are your hopes and dreams for Little Lamb Books in the next 5 to 10 years?

A: My hopes and dreams for this company are expanding daily and as long as God is in the center of it, I believe He has a great story that He is writing with our company. I love watching Little Lamb Books growing and I hope that we can bring on additional staff. I know we will continue to search for fresh talent and diverse voices for our community. We plan to produce amazing titles and branch out and enjoy new opportunities, like hosting our very own conference.

Q: What do you want families to know about Little Lamb Books?

A: I want families to know that we publish high-quality books that are wholesome, clean, and safe for your children to read. Little Lamb Books are picture books, chapter books, and novels that will not only encourage kids in their faith in Christ, but will also entertain the whole family, teach them more about walking out their faith, and leave them wanting to read more.

Q: Where can people buy Little Lamb Books?

A: Little Lamb Books titles are available on our website shop as well as online with Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart, Amazon, and other indie bookstores. If a store or library doesn’t carry a specific title, we encourage everyone to request it.

Thanks for the interview, Rachel! 
Author Bio:

Rachel Pellegrino is the owner and publisher of Little Lamb Books, an award-winning publisher of children’s books. 

Launched in 2015, Little Lamb Books has produced almost a dozen titles, all of which have won national awards, including two golds in the Benjamin Franklin Awards. 

Rachel is passionate about collaborating with fellow publishers as well as empowering authors to be successful.

Based in Texas, Rachel talks with her hands, offers individual author coaching, prefers Pepsi to coffee, and has a growing plush lamb collection much to her daughter’s delight.

Connect with Rachel:

Follow Little Lamb Books:

Support Little Lamb Books by contributing to their Kickstarter Campaign:

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