By Stephanie Abney
As a seminary teacher, he knew how to engage high school students in the Book of Mormon. Yet, as a father of young children, David Bowman was unable to find books that helped children apply the scriptures in their lives. So, he wrote his own.
He created a much-loved series based on Book of Mormon heroes children could pattern their lives after, titled Who’s Your Hero?: Book of Mormon Stories Applied to Children.
Brother Bowman graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in Illustration. During the summers, he worked in the Especially for Youth program and soon discovered he had a passion for teaching. As a teacher, his artistic abilities served him well and he frequently used quick drawings on the board as he taught his lessons.
“I see myself as a teacher first, and an artist second,” he says.
David’s artistic skills range from cartoon and caricature characters to fine art. His “Expressions of Christ” series of fine paintings, which convey the Savior’s love for His children, have been well received among LDS families and in the larger Christian market as well.
In 2005, Brother Bowman left full-time seminary teaching to pursue his career as an artist and author. He moved his family to Snowflake the following year, where he and his wife, Natalie, live in the Snowflake 9th Ward, with their five children ranging in age from a 10-year-old to an infant.
Speaking to the youth of the church is still one of David’s favorite things to do. He teaches in the EFY program and gives firesides. He likes to interact with each student, asking their name, age and something they like to do. At a recent visit to Kimber Academy, a private school in Mesa, one boy in the older class said he liked to longboard. When Brother Bowman responded that his wife had gotten him a motorized longboard for Christmas, one student whispered to his friend, “He just got a lot cooler.”
While he has a wide range of topics he likes to teach about, he continues to particularly enjoy sharing his testimony of the Book of Mormon through the Who’s Your Hero series. He has a new Who’s Your Hero book for girls coming out this fall, and he recently combined several of his hero stories, creating the “Ultimate Collection,” volumes one and two. Long-time fans will be pleased to see he kept the old, while adding some new stories in these collections.
As the subtitle suggests, stories are “applied,” using examples of how children can be like the heroes in the book. Scriptures to memorize and Family Home Evening ideas also are included.
For example, children learn to apply the scriptures to themselves when they realize that Nephi never complained about what the Lord asked him to do. Likewise, they can be like Nephi and do their chores without complaining.
One mother, Jessica Clark, says, “My children … have learned so much about the Book of Mormon by reading the [Who’s Your Hero? books] with me and talking about the stories and the applications at the end of each section.”
Geared to children ages 3 to around 10, these books also include Brother Bowman’s trademark little mouse hiding on most pages among the bright, captivating illustrations his readers love.
To learn more, visit www.whosyourherobooks.com or see David Bowman’s art at www.davidbowmanart.com