“Children love stories and there is good reason for that—this whole world is telling a story. It’s that very story, that very narrative, that is so wonderfully described and illustrated in this beautiful little book. I’m sure it will prove a great resource to parents and a great blessing to their children.”

Tim Challies
Blogger at Challies.com

The Book

A core value at Gospel Grown is to produce books that introduce children to more and more Scripture, especially the parts of Scripture that usually do not feature in your average children’s book. The Darkest Day is a kids book on the biblical book of Joel—thats right, the minor prophet Joel! This fully illustrated book illuminates Joel’s message with vivid illustrations (look below!) and accessible language.

The Darkest Day walks through the message of Joel in four parts: (a) Ruin, (b) Repentance, (c) Restoration, and (d) Jesus and Joel. The book teaches that sin ruins our lives just as sin brought on the ruin of the crops in Joel’s day. It teaches that a day of final judgement is also coming. But it teaches that God is gracious and compassionate and for those who repent, for those who “call upon the name of the Lord” (Joel 2:32), God will turn away his anger and abundantly restore all that sin had ruined.

The Darkest Day also shows how Jesus “died according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3). In the fourth part of the book, Jesus’ death is shown to be a fulfillment of Joel’s message. Jesus died in our place, undergoing the ruin that sin brings so that God would graciously restore his people. Jesus died on that day so his people would not be condemned on that final day.

“What a wonderful and creative idea to write a children’s book on Joel, reminding us that all of Scripture is for all ages and for all times. The story is relayed simply and elegantly, and the drawings are nothing short of amazing as they communicate the message of Joel in another dimension. I am grateful for this beautifully illustrated rendition of Joel’s message for children and for all of us.”

Dr. Tom Schreiner
James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament
Interpretation and Professor of Biblical Theology at
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

The Deal

Because your pre-order is so helpful for us, we want to thank you in return. The first way we are doing that is by allowing you to pre-order the book at a great price. We have four different ways you can pre-order this book and get yourself a great deal.

$5 OFF! One way is to simply pre-order one copy of The Darkest Day and you’ll receive $5 off the book, getting it for $15 (it retails for $20).

$15 OFF! If you do not yet have a copy of our first book, The Promise of Life: A Big Story about God’s Law, now is a great time to get it. If you bundle, not only will you receive the The Darkest Day for $15, but you’ll also get The Promise of Life for our lowest ever price of $10, saving $15 off retail!

$35 OFF! If you want to get multiple copies for friends and families, you can get our Pre-Order-Five package for $65, thats just $13 per book!

$80 OFF! And lastly, if you’ve got lots of grandkids, kids at your church, or maybe you’re a Sunday School teacher and want to fill your classroom with this book, you can purchase ten copies at $12 per book with our Pre-Order Ten package.

Oh, and for all who order the Pre-Order Five, or the Pre-Order Ten, if you enter the coupon “pre-order” at check-out, we’ll throw in free-shipping!

The Author and Illustrator

Jonny Atkinson was born and raised in Northern Ireland and moved to the US in 2010 to marry his sweetheart and study the Bible. He is now married to Janaye and holds an MDiv and a ThM from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. They live together in Louisville with their six children, where Jonny serves as a pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church.

“Being from Northern Ireland, I enjoy some banter and a proper cup of tea. Janaye and I have been married for almost ten years and have three boys, three girls, aged 13 to 8 months. This makes our home not a little lively and gives us no reason to want a dog. I’m working on a PhD in Old Testament, and love to break the Bible down for kids, and show them how it all points to Jesus.”

Caitlin Blaylock is the founder of The Katalina Studio where she creates custom artwork for a variety of clients. Originally from Iowa, she currently lives in Louisville, KY where she attends Clifton Baptist Church with her husband and two daughters. Caitlin holds an MA from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and enjoys the outdoors and being a stay-at-home mom.

Our two sweet girls are Addi and Ellie. We also have a dog, an American Akita named Ashe who is easily twice as big as both our girls combined. We’ve been married for seven years. I’m originally from Iowa and Richard is from the Philippines. We’ve both completed masters degrees at Southern Seminary, and Richard is currently working on his PhD dissertation. We love sushi and game nights.

The Pre-Order Giveaway

We are very excited to have partnered with our friends Chris and Carly from ScriptureType who have very generously donated some of their items for us to giveaway!

We have four bookmarks, a hymn coaster set, and a laser-burned wooden stump to give away. See the details below for how you can win these great gifts!

Caitlin, our wonderful illustrator for The Darkest Day, has also kindly agreed to allow us to print four illustrations from the book as 8×10″ prints! These (literally) one-of-a-kind prints will be a beautiful visual reminder of the gospel to hang in your kids room. One print will be included in each of our four Bundle Giveaways.

“Not just an ordinary book for children! Atkinson has a gift to put an ancient book like Joel into plain and simple English so that not only will children understand, but adults as well. The rendering is not only faithful to the original text but puts Joel within the storyline of the Bible as a whole enabling all to grasp its powerful message and rhetoric.”

Dr. Peter Gentry
Donald L. Williams Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

The Rewards

This is our best deal to-date! By pre-ordering now, not only will you get your beautiful copy of The Darkest Day at the nice discounted price of $15, you will also:

  • receive a $10 gift card to our store
  • be entered into one of our four bundle giveaways to win a ScriptureType bookmark, a Gospel Grown t-shirt, a copy of The Promise of Life and a 8×10″ print-image from The Darkest Day.
  • be entered into our Grand-Finale giveaway to win a unique ScriptureType leather coaster set.

*Reward Details*

Early-Bird Giveaway: If you pre-order your book in the first week, that is before Monday 9/21, you will also be entered into our early-bird giveaway to win a unique ScriptureType laser-burned wooden stump.

To enter the giveaways you must: (1) pre-order The Darkest Day, (2) follow @gospelgrown on Facebook or Instagram, (3) share on social media any of our social-media posts about this pre-order event (once you have pre-ordered, multiple shares of different posts will get you multiple entries into the giveaways), and (4) screen shot your share and send it to us in a DM.

All who pre-order and follow the four steps above will be automatically added into the (1) bundle-giveaway, (2) grand-finale giveaway to win the leather coaster set, and (3) if you pre-order in the first week, into the early-bird giveaway to win the laser-burned wooden stump.

Each new social media share (that you screen shot and DM to us) will gain you an extra entry into every giveaway that you have qualified for.


1. What is the book’s release date? The official release date will be in January 2021. All who pre-order as part of this campaign, however, can expect their books to arrive a little earlier as we will ship them as soon as we receive them from the printer.

2. How do I receive my gift card? You will receive a unique coupon code via email after you pre-order your book. You do not have to wait to receive your new book before using the gift card.

3. Is this book publication contingent upon a successful pre-sale campaign? Not at all. This book is in the final stages of production and ready to be sent to print. All who pre-order will receive a copy of this book. However, a successful pre-sale campaign helps us to know how many books to produce on this first print-run which can also help cut costs. Thus pre-ordering is very helpful to us!

4. If I pre-order five or ten books, do I receive a $10 gift card to the store per book? No, each pre-order will receive a single $10 gift card to our store. The benefit of pre-ordering multiple books however, is the sliding price scale. You save $35 off retail when you order five and $80 when you order ten.

5. When will the giveaway winners be announced? We’ll announce the Early-Bird giveaway winner early into the second week (beginning 9/21/20) of this campaign. We’ll announce the Grand-Finale giveaway winner at the end of this campaign. Each of the four Bundle-giveaways will be given away at different milestones, which we’ll announce, throughout this campaign.

6. If I pre-order the bundle with The Promise of Life do I have to wait until The Darkest Day has been printed to receive The Promise of Life? No! If you pre-order this bundle, we will ship your copy of The Promise of Life as soon as we receive the order.

7. What age range is the book intended for? Any child will love looking at the detailed illustrations and having the story read to them, but a good age range for comprehension is 4 years or older.