June 18, 2023 will mark 40 years since 10 Baha’i women were hanged in Shiraz. Their only ‘crime’ was their refusal to renounce their beliefs in a faith that promotes the principles of gender equality, unity, justice, and truthfulness. This collection highlights Baha’i Blog content relating to the ongoing persecution of Baha’is in Iran.
Baha’is see the young as the most precious treasure a community can possess. In them are the promise and guarantee of the future. Yet, in order for this promise to be realised, children need to receive spiritual nourishment, such as can be found in the children’s classes happening all around the world.
Sara Gore has authored a whimsical book for young children called Baha’u’llah Loves You. The book tells children how much they are loved using metaphors and imagery from the natural world and through rhyming verse. The vibrant illustrations by Alison Gore contribute to the book’s sweetness and I think it will be a book cherished by little ones and their parents.
Sara is a good friend and I was excited to discover that she had written the book. I immediately contacted her to learn more about it and what inspired her to write it. Here’s what she shared:
Baha’i Blog: Hi Sara! Can you tell us a little about what the book is about?
The title gives this one away I’m afraid. This book is a picture book for children aged 0-3 years old about how much Baha’u’llah loves you. Also included is the prayer ‘Blessed Is The Spot’, so it can be used as a lovely night time book routine of story and prayer together.
Baha’i Blog: Why did you personally decide to write it?
When my son Alex was about six months old, I wanted to start talking to him about Baha’u’llah and felt that the only meaningful way I could do this at his age, was by reading him a story with engaging pictures. My hope was that this would spark the beginning of a personal relationship with Baha’u’llah that could then be developed further as he got older. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any stories that explicitly talked about Baha’u’llah, especially not for this very young age group, so I decided to write and publish a picture book that did just this.
Baha’i Blog: What do you hope readers will gain from the book?
My main hope is that children from a very young age are able to form their own personal relationship with Baha’u’llah through this book by hearing His name, feeling His love and praying together with their parents. This book is also an opportunity to touch on God’s creation and His love that flows to us through all He has offered, including His messenger, Baha’u’llah.
Baha’i Blog: What advice do you have for others who would like to write and publish something as well?
Go for it!! Nowadays there are so many ways to create professional products without spending thousands. Self-publishing is now so easy with companies like Ingram Spark (where I publish my books) and you can print as little as one book and also on demand through Amazon, for example. In the past it was very hard to self-publish when minimum print rules that required you to print at least 1000 books at a time but this is no longer an impediment for those wanting to publish a book without the backing of an established publishing company. We need more quality Baha’i resources for children so work hard to make it as polished as you can. Find a good illustrator, graphic designer and pass the written content by people whose opinions you trust. Also remember to have your work approved by your country’s National Spiritual Assembly before publishing.
Baha’i Blog: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Yes!! I have another book coming out!! This next book is a story about Abdu’l-Baha (for ages 0-5 years old). Unlike other books that share stories from Abdu’l-Baha’s Life, this beautiful story, also illustrated by the talented Alison Gore, highlights what made Abdu’l-Baha special and how we can be more like Him in our daily lives. Also included are discussion points and activities that help to further develop your child’s understanding of who Abdul-Baha was, as well as concepts like service, virtues, and striving to be better every day.
Baha’i Blog: Where can people find your book?
My book can be purchased directly from my Etsy shop (you can find it here) and Baha’i Books Australia (you can purchase it here). Otherwise you can also find the title on Amazon.com and BookDepository.com. As international shipping can be very expensive from Australia, it is generally cheaper to purchase from Amazon or other vendors if buying from outside of Australia. Just make sure to scroll down for the best price as there may be multiple copies set at different prices.
Baha’i Blog: Thank you, Sara, for taking the time to tell us about your book, Baha’u’llah Loves You.
Naysan is passionate about using the arts and media to explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith. Back in 2011, Naysan started up the Baha’i Blog project, channeling his experiences in both media and technology companies to help create a hub for Baha’i-inspired content online.