Christian Director Harold Cronk Writes a Children's Book for Boys
Inspired by his own little boy, the filmmaker behind "God's Not Dead" hopes this story will help lead to "quality time" between fathers and their sons.
Harold Cronk is one of the top directors in the faith-based genre, with the first two God's Not Dead movies, Unbroken: Path to Redemption, and God Bless the Broken Road to his credit. He also wrote the screenplay for that latter one, but the world of authoring children's books is new to him.
His first endeavor is called The Beard Ballad and it tells the tale of a father and son who strengthen their bond as they begin to both grow their beards. He tells Faithwire he got the idea for the book a couple of years ago when he gave a hug to his boy, who immediately pushed him away because Cronk's face "was all pokey and rough," as the youngster put it at the time.
Not missing a beat, the director told his son that was because of his "ferocious, facial follicles." Realizing instantly that he might be onto something, Cronk decided to commit the idea to paper. The next day he went to a local coffee shop - a place near his home in Michigan where he writes his screenplays - and sat down with the beard story in mind. He says "the book...just poured out" of him in a dramatic way.
"It felt in that moment like it was something that was kind of given to me, because I read it and was like, 'Wow, that's pretty cool.'"
He later showed it to friends who agreed that the book spoke to a critical need in society, namely "the importance of dads and sons spending time together, and fathers investing in their sons," according to Cronk, who also referenced what he perceives as "a huge crisis of fatherlessness" in America.
At a more personal level, he points out that while it is relatively easy to find bedtime story books to read to his little girl, it proved not to be the case for his boy. That ultimately led him to get this story published.
"It was difficult for me to find books to read for my son that were affirming and that were fun and, 'it's okay to go get your hands dirty and play in the mud and be a man'...and I thought this one will be a great one for fathers and sons."
A serious and very committed Christian - he actually got death threats over the God's Not Dead movie - Cronk's book has a foreword from another well-known and devout Believer: Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame. The filmmaker knew the Louisiana family already, having worked with them on both the first and second iterations of the God's Not Dead franchise, and when they read the book, Cronk says "they loved it" and Phil - who is well-known for his impressive beard - was glad to support it.
If you'd like to get a copy, you can do so at the book's website via this link or from Amazon via this one. And we recommend you check out the full interview Cronk gave to Faithwire, in which he talks about his faith, his filmmaking career and future plans - which include a Christmas movie he is "super excited about." It runs just under 12 minutes and you can watch it below.