Multi-platinum selling and three-time Grammy Award-winning artist Michael W. Smith is launching an infant and toddler series called Nurturing Steps, aiming to provide parents and grandparents music and books to bring young children hope and faith through song and storytelling.
The first offerings in the series is a new album, Lullaby, and a book, Nighty Night and Good Night, releasing May 4 and May 8 through The Fuel Music and Zonderkidz respectively. Nurturing Steps is Smith's the first-ever children's album and book, so to assist with the projects he collaborated with renowned VeggieTales co-creator Mike Nawrocki.
"One of the greatest joys of my life is being a parent and a grandparent," says Smith, father of five, and known as "G-Daddy" by his 14 grandkids. "I want to serve the next generation well. That's why I created Nurturing Steps, to provide stories and songs that will help shape the faith of our newest generation."
On Lullaby, Smith has thoughtfully arranged his own hits "Agnus Dei" and "Friends," along with new ballads "No More Crying," "Sleep Tight" and more, and leads an audio bedtime drama for young children with the Nighty Night characters. The Nighty Nights also join Smith as his band with Bear on guitar, Lamby on keys, and Sleepy Puppy on upright bass.
In the book, Nighty Night and Good Night, members of the Nighty Night band are called upon to help their friend, Ben, as he tries to fall asleep. Following bedtime prayers and a few going-to-sleep rituals, a lullaby sung by the band of animal characters finally does the trick.
"I have wonderful memories of reading, singing and praying with my children before bed," says co-author Nawrocki. "It can be a sacred time with our little ones, and I'm thrilled to be able to partner with Michael to create stories that parents and grandparents can use to help pass important values on to their children and grandchildren."
Despite a busy touring schedule and releasing two new albums A Million Lights and Surrounded this year, along with numerous radio and TV appearances, Smith makes time for his children and grandchildren and treasures the special moments he has to speak into their lives.
"I hope they see these books and this music as a gift to them, to remember that they are loved as they fall asleep every night," he says.
For the latest on Michael W. Smith and Nurturing Steps, please visit the respective websites MicahelwSmith.com and NurturingSteps.com, where you can already preorder the book, along with Smith's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.