Sunday, February 22, 2015

3 Ways to Create A Picture Book that Shares Spiritual Concepts

A few years ago I came up with a picture book idea that shows a Baha'i child progressing through his day, and incorporating spiritual concepts into his activities. I was lucky to have had an opportunity to show the idea to an editor at Bellwood Press/US Baha'i Publishing Trust and my book Kamal's Day was published last year and is now available at www.baha'ibookstore.com
Click here for a direct link:
http://www.bahaibookstore.com/Search.aspx?k=kamal%27s%20day

Here are three ideas that I used in creating this picture book! Happy Writing!

  1.Choose what concept or story you want to share with your readers. 
In this book which is a concept book, there's not an actual story with a conflict, and a beginning, middle and end, during which the conflict gets resolved. But there is the story or concept of  what Kamal does during his day and how he practices Baha'i ideals supported by his family. I wanted to help Baha'i children, and others to better understand the activities that many of their families and communities are involved with. Baha'is all over the world are engaged in small grassroots study classes for adults and youth, and what is called "Neighborhood Children's Classes" all of which are based on the spiritual teachings of the Baha'i Faith, but are open and free to everyone who is interested in participating.

For more info. on the Baha'i concept of "Core Activities" click here:
http://bahaikipedia.org/Core_activities

2. Choose what spiritual qualities you want your main character to display. In Kamal's Day I wanted the boy to practice virtues such as being generous, having compassion(at one point his friend gets hurt and he says a prayer for him),being responsible, kindness to animals,( he makes sure that his dog is fed in the morning and that she is welcome at children's class.) creativity, enthusiasm, respect,( He respects his father's need to say his obligatory prayer and sits by quietly )and many more.

3. Choose how you want your character to relate to others. I wanted Kamal to have friends of different religious and cultural backgrounds, as many children do, and to be as comfortable sharing his day with children as well as adults. (At noon he shares a prayer and lunch with the lady that lives next door, helps in her garden and decides to give her a serving tray that he made at Children's class!)

Here are all of the illustrations for Kamal's Day:





Somehow this picture got left out of the book, the story holds together anyway!



















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