Growing Up – A Children’s Book About Life’s Stages

A dynamic team made up of Catherine A. Honeyman (or Catie) and Bahiyyih Maani (Bahi) have created a resource for children called Growing Up: A Book About Life and Love, Inspired by the Baha’i Writings and we were excited to learn all about it! In this interview, Catie and Bahi tells us about their book, how it came together, and its purpose.

Here’s what Catie and Bahi shared:

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourselves?

I’m Catie, the author, and right now I live in Silver Spring, Maryland, in the United States. My husband Neil and I have three children who surprise and delight us with their unique personalities—Naim, Elena, and William. Our first two children were born in Rwanda, Neil’s home country, and we keep a lot of connections there. I work for an international nonprofit organization promoting youth training, employment, and entrepreneurship programs in many different countries. That means I think a lot about how to help young people transition into fulfilling adult roles in our society!

I’m Bahiyyih, the illustrator, and I live in Vila Velha, in the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil, with my husband Diego, and our two daughters, Agatha and Jade. I’ve been a Baha’i since I was born as the daughter of Persian pioneers. I studied architecture and urbanism and served in the Holy Land twice: the first time as a gardener and the second time as an architect. The second time I stayed for three years and that period gave me the chance to learn how to paint with watercolours. Since 2015, I’ve been learning more and more about the techniques and have been illustrating books and doing personalized commissions. Continue reading

Abdu’l-Baha’s Little Brown Cat – A Children’s Book by Carolyn Sparey Fox

I’ve gotten to know Carolyn Sparey Fox through our interviews for Baha’i Blog. Several years ago, she told us about her book The Half of It Was Never Told and then she shared with us some details regarding her book about the German Templars (Seeking a State of Heaven).

It’s a delight to hear from Carolyn again and this time it’s about a children’s book called Abdu’l-Baha’s Little Brown Cat, written in honor of the centenary of His Passing. Here’s what Carolyn graciously shared with us:

Baha’i Blog: Could you please tell us a little about your book?

Abdu’l-Baha’s Little Brown Cat is an illustrated story book for children of all ages, and for adults who like to read to them. It was written in commemoration of the centenary of the passing of Abdu’l-Baha in November 1921, and tells the story of His last years through the eyes and ears of His little brown cat.

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Light of Unity – A Podcast of Stories About Abdu’l-Baha for Children

In this year’s flourishing of online resources related to Abdu’l-Baha, I have found it particularly poignant to see materials created for children by children. Light of Unity is a nine episode podcast mini-series of stories about Abdu’l-Baha as told by a group of children in Indonesia.

Wendy Yap graciously shared the initiative with us and in this interview, she tells us how it came about, what’s it’s meant for the participants, and what they hope you will take away with you when you listen to podcast:

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Remembering Abdu’l-Baha – A Debut Children’s Book by Shira Trick

Shira Trick is an all-round magical person, but especially with children. It is a delight to interview her about her book about Abdu’l-Baha for children called Remembering Abdu’l-Baha.

In this Baha’i Blog post, Shira tells us a little bit about her book, what inspired her to write (and illustrate!) it, and what she’s learned along the way.

Here’s what she shared with us:

Baha’i Blog: Can you please tell us a little about yourself?

My name, Shira, means poem or song in Hebrew and somehow this has always felt fitting given how much I love to write and how much I enjoy singing and finding meaning in the lyrics of songs. I was born in Haifa and later served there myself for a little over a decade. It was the beginning of my story as well as the beginning of my children’s stories and holds great significance in our lives. My family left Israel when I was 3 months old though, so I didn’t grow up there, I grew up in Juneau, Alaska, and even though I haven’t lived there since I was 15, it is still my heart’s home. It shaped the beauty my heart responds to – as you can see in the picture on the front of my book. Mountains, snow, trees, water, these pieces of God’s creation have a deep connection to the story of my heart.

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The Winter Cloak – A Novel for Children About Abdu’l-Baha

The Winter Cloak is a short novel for young readers by Ronald (Ron) Tomanio. It tells the fictional story of an impoverished ten year old named Ahmed who meets Abdu’l-Baha in November 1921, who is given a cloak by Him, and who becomes one of the many who mourn His Passing.

Although a work of fiction, Ron draws on historical texts to bring his story to life and to give young readers a sense of what it would have been like 100 years ago, to lament and grieve the loss of Abdu’l-Baha.

Ron graciously agreed to tell us about his book. Here’s what he shared with the Baha’i Blog team:

Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m 74 years old, married for 40 years to a wonderful woman named Karen. We have two daughters and five grandchildren who are all Baha’is. Karen and I live in the shadow of Green Acre a few miles away in Eliot, Maine (USA). I became a Baha’i at Green Acre when I was 17. My early teachers were Stanwood Cobb and Curtis Kelsey. Both men knew Abdu’l-Baha and all they wanted to talk about was Him, which was fine with me. I wrote my first children’s book 27 years ago. It was called Lilly & Peggy for George Ronald. I write mostly books for children, but did co-author With Thine Own Eyes: Why Imitate When You Can Investigate Reality? for George Ronald. This is a book I didn’t want to write because it diverted my focus from writing books for children.

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Mighty: A Children’s Resource About Abdu’l-Baha by First Valley Books

The dynamic team at First Valley Books that created the vibrant and engaging children’s book Little Champions of Justice have a new project in honor of Abdu’l-Baha as we commemorate the centenary of His Passing.

Mighty: 7 Stories About Abdu’l-Baha for Children Who Want to Serve the World is their latest creation and it’s really a gift to the children of the world: it’s been translated into five languages, it’s available as a free download and you can purchase physical copies of the book on www.firstvalleybooks.com, you can listen to all the stories here on our Soundcloud page, and you can see simple videos of the stories on our YouTube channel.

We’re beyond beyond grateful that the team at First Valley Books gave us permission to share this wonderful resource on Baha’i Blog. We wanted to share with you a little bit more about the book so we asked the team a few questions, and here is what they told us:

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MIGHTY – 7 Stories about Abdu’l-Baha for Children Who Want to Serve the World [VIDEO]

The team at First Valley books has graciously given Baha’i Blog permission to share the audiobook with images of Mighty, a children’s book about Abdu’l-Baha. Told through the eyes of a traveller, a doctor, an aristocrat, a writer, a young boy, a wealthy woman, and a little girl, Mighty consists of seven stories about Abdu’l-Baha, and His extraordinary life of love, justice, compassion and humility will inspire children to be of service to the world. Continue reading

MIGHTY – 7 Stories about Abdu’l-Baha for Children Who Want to Serve the World [AUDIO]

The team at First Valley books has graciously given Baha’i Blog permission to share the audiobook with images of ‘Mighty’, a children’s book about Abdu’l-Baha. Told through the eyes of a traveller, a doctor, an aristocrat, a writer, a young boy, a wealthy woman, and a little girl, ‘Mighty’ consists of seven stories about Abdu’l-Baha, and His extraordinary life of love, justice, compassion and humility will inspire children to be of service to the world. Continue reading

Two New Books to Nurture Love for Abdu’l-Baha in Children’s Hearts

Celeste Finn has created two children’s books about Abdu’l-Baha. While they would be valuable resources any year, they are particularly precious this year as we reflect profoundly on the Life of Abdu’l-Baha and as we share stories about Him with the children in our lives in honor of the centenary anniversary of His Passing.

Celeste kindheartedly agreed to tell us about her two books, and to provide a little sneak peak of one of them. We hope you enjoy our conversation and that the sample story at the bottom whets your appetite to read more! Continue reading