How do you tell your children about the love that Christ has for them, and that they were made to know, love, and serve God?
Each day, Christian parents all around the world struggle with that question, wrestling with the best way to share their faith with their kids.
Over the past few decades, great advances in technology have opened numerous new avenues for children to learn about God’s love for them.
One way is through “The Garden,” a new animated show for children ages 3-8 that is “centered around the Christian teachings of Jesus Christ.”
Created by Butch Hartman along with his wife Julieann, the show follows the adventures of Lenny (a lion) and Lucy (a lamb) who “live in a magic garden where literally ANYTHING can grow! Their days start by hearing from THE BOSS (God) who gives them an assignment but, try as they might, they usually mess it up.”
“Yet, through biblical stories, awesome songs and the teaching of God’s word they quickly learn how to fix the issue and come out victorious in the end!”
Butch grew up loving cartoon and decided to pursue that passion as his career, graduating from the California Institute of the Arts.
Impressively, he’s created four shows for Nickelodeon, including “Danny Phantom,” “T.U.F.F. Puppy,” “Bunsen Is a Beast” and “The Fairly OddParents,” which he created in 1997. Butch served as the executive producer for “The Fairly OddParents” during its entire 16-year run.
In an interview with The Daily Citizen, Butch said that “The Garden” is his first project since he left Nickelodeon in 2018 and is also his first project specifically for Christians.
“The key is comedy, fun, teaching the Bible and making the show as fun and interesting as possible,” Butch told us. “If I had a show like this when I was growing up, I probably wouldn’t have made a lot of the mistakes that I made.
“I believe that if you have a kids show that’s not only entertaining, but you get the word of God in there too, I think that’s hitting it 100%.”
Julieann told us that it’s important to get Scripture to children in ways that are easy and accessible.
“If I would have had this, my life would have been a lot different as well,” Julieann said.
“I had a chaotic family and we thought that everyone lived that way, we didn’t know that there was another way. But I believe that through this show, kids will know that Jesus loves them and He gave Himself for them. That’s our goal.”
Also in the works is an app, which will contain all the show’s episodes. The app provides Scripture verses, songs, lessons and discussion ideas for each episode.
“If you’re a parent driving, hand it back to your kids and they can watch whatever on there,” Butch said.
Additionally, HarperCollins has commissioned Butch to create an illustrated edition of the Bible for children, called “The Garden Bible,” which will be released after the show comes out.
“The Garden” doesn’t have a specific release date yet, but the goal is for it to be released in August or September 2022. The first season will have 20 episodes, with each episode a half-hour long.
“The goal is to affect as many children as possible and get the Scripture to them as early as possible,” Butch said.
“We want kids to know that God loves them, and that God is easy to understand. When I was a kid, I was very intimidated by the Lord because I wasn’t taught properly. I don’t want that to happen to kids anymore.”
You can find more about “The Garden” by visiting www.gardencartoon.com.
Photo from The Garden.