It was 2 a.m. when 1819 News Editor-at-Large Erica Thomas woke up with an idea for a children's book. For months, she had been covering stories of concerned parents and community members fighting to keep inappropriate material out of children's sections in public libraries.

After reviewing some of the material herself, Thomas realized there was a real issue she wanted to continue to cover. But she had no idea what was about to happen.

"I did not write this book," Thomas said. "God did it. He woke me up in the middle of the night, and I knew I had to write down what He was telling me or I would forget."

So, she did. "Things God Made" was written with a purpose.

"I hope that children read this book and realize that God is in control and he made everything on this earth exactly how He wanted it," Thomas said. "From trees to poison ivy and dogs and cats and even snakes, God made it all."

"Things God Made" was written and illustrated by Erica Thomas.

Thomas said it was important for her to share with children that they should love themselves because they were made exactly how God intended.

"No one is perfect, including myself," she said. "But I was made the way God wanted me to be made. So was every child on the planet. I want every child to love themselves and embrace their true identities. I think a lot of parents want that for their children, too, and this book is for the children of those parents."

The book also teaches a lesson to children to always trust in their parents and to know God is omniscient.

"Parents of Christian homes deserve a positive, colorful, beautiful book that isn't trying to brainwash their children," Thomas added. "I illustrated the book myself to ensure it was exactly what I imagined. But I'm no artist. God did that part, too. It only took me 10 days to do the whole thing.

"You will see some of the things God made, including the rainbow, and you will see that He gave us the rainbow as a symbol of hope and hope is what we all need right now."

"Things God Made" is best for children up to 10 years old and can be purchased on Amazon.

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