This three-movement poem invites readers ages three and up to journey with the Papa of their imagination. It can be read in one sitting or spread out over numerous days. A movement or verse can guide a moment of storytelling and reflection. Readers can even skip a day or more and return to a poem for a fresh experience with Papa as God.
With each illustration, readers do not see a physical image of Papa but instead, through the genius of Claudia May’s words and Jena Holliday’s artistry, meet a God who cannot be contained within one single image or limited to one encounter. The child in all readers can experience God in ways that allow their imagination and relationship with Papa to breathe and move freely.
Claudia May is a storyteller, poet, educator, spiritual director, consultant, and professor. She believes children can teach us how to cultivate a meaningful relationship with God, and that we can experience our communal lives together with the God who knows us intimately — warts and all. It amazes her that we can be co-partners with the God who loves to be known and loved. She hopes that children of all ages can learn to love themselves, God, and others for the greater good of humanity. Claudia loves to spend time with the God she calls Papa — her best friend, confidant, and the essence of love in her life. Alongside her readers, she soars with the possibilities available to all when she chooses to fly with Papa again, and again, and again . . .
“A journey of sacred experience and promise . . .” —Luther E. Smith Jr., PhD, author of Howard Thurman: The Mystic as Prophet
“A love song in which the melodies soar and dip, prance and somersault, cry and cradle.” —Rev. Helen Bruch Pearson, author of Do What You Have the Power to Do: Studies of Six New Testament Women
“A visceral experience of what it means to be authentically present in our whole beings before God—unfiltered, unhindered, embodied . . .” —Naisa Wong, Soul Care practitioner, director, producer, performer, and creative consultant
“A delightful, engaging, and evocative book that will capture the imaginations of young readers—and older ones as well!” —Michael W. Holmes, PhD, University Professor of Biblical Studies and Early Christianity emeritus, Bethel University
“A picture of a healthy, secure relationship developing between a young child and Papa . . .” —Jolene Pearson, PhD, author of Pathways to Positive Parenting: Helping Parents Nurture Health Development in the Earliest Months
"I just found out about this beautiful new series from my friend Claudia May that explores 'embodiment of emotional freedom through relationship with God and others.' The first book is called When I Fly with Papa, and its main character, Winnie, teaches us to 'feel without apology.' My kids need that book. I need that book."—Addie Zierman, author of When We Were on Fire: A Memoir of Consuming Faith, Tangled Love, and Starting Over and Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark