Additional funds will help publish new writers of children's literature.
- Under the patronage of Saint John Chrysostom, in partnership with Eastern Christian Publications, to support original works of classical children's literature.
This world is a place of great activity. Technological innovation seeking ease and efficiency. Money seeking security. Health seeking beauty. All good.
But what about the internal virtues and goodness? There is no greater power than an act of goodness. But where does goodness come from? And how do we learn goodness, and use goodness to help others?
In our literary tradition, we see notions of goodness in the earliest writings of western civilization. In The Republic of Plato, Socrates stands in defense of literature and poetry when he argues that literature is intregral to everyone's development, and that only the fairest notions should enter the minds of children.
The poets understood that goodness can be seen in, and learned from, nature. In literature, virtue and goodness are often presented through descriptions of the animals.
The writer of Proverbs describes animals as being extremely wise, and encourages us to look carefully at them to learn important lessons about goodness. In the New Testament, Jesus points directly at the animals. We see him pointing to the Sparrow to teach his disciples about how much God cares for them. He points to other animals to teach us how to be good to others.
Browsing through an old library one day about twenty years ago, I stumbled across a book from the Middle Ages called a Bestiary. It described animals from the Bible in metrical verse to convey lessons about goodness. The Bestiary is founded on the writings of the Christian mystics and Saints, including Saint John Chrysostom, who relied extensively on observation of nature and the animals in his homilies to lead people to devotion. Only a few Bestiaries have ever been written, and none include every animal named in the Bible. The concept of the Bestiary was so fascinating, I knew that someone either had to build a National Museum of Bestiaries, or I had to write a Bestiary that included every animal named in the Bible.
This book is written in the manner of the ancient bestiary. In the various translations of Scripture, I found one-hundred and one animals. Each animal is used to teach a valuable spiritual lesson about virtue and goodness, and to help us grow at being good to others. Each of the animals is coupled with a masterful engraving from the seventeenth century; a lively glossary; and the scriptural verse about the animal.
For each animal, a four line quatrain in metrical verse has been crafted in classical form to captivate the imagination and inspire the heart towards kindness.
Each entry coupled-comes with illustration,
Intended to enhance imagination.
Engravings and persuassive poetry,
A zoo of words where animals run free.
The Bestiary is an original form of devotional. This is the first blessed bestiary written in hundreds of years, and the only one ever to include virtually every animal named in the various translations of the Bible. A smaller version of this project has been test-marketed.
The Blessed Book of Beasts is presented in three volumes. Volume one includes the fantastical beasts, along with the creatures of the sea, and the crawling creatures. Volume two includes the birds of the air and the beasts of the field. Volume three includes the living creatures, the great mammals of the earth.
This book is scheduled for publication and distribution to churches and religious communities worldwide through Eastern Christian Publications. With your support, this book, and other books like it, can be published and distributed to independent bookstores across the nation, as part of a sustainable publishing initiative for orginal, classical children's literature.
Praise for The Blessed Book of Beasts:
"...a remarkable, ingenious work, melding art, poetry and moral philosophy... an answered prayer for all who believe... Read it!"
-- Dr. Bernard Nathanson, best-selling author of The Hand of God.
"...reintroduces the old tradition of the blessed bestiary. Delightful!"
-- Michael O'Brien, best-selling author of Father Elijah and A Landscape of Dragons: the battle for your child's mind.
"Solidly in the tradition of Aesop's Fables, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien."
-- Dr. Onalee McGraw, Director of the Educational Guidance Institute.
So welcome to this blessed bestiary,
A zoo of words, where animals run free.
May ever you enjoy each antique fable,
Placed nearby, upon the family table.
Saint John Chrysostom, pray for us!
The three volume covers:
Volume 1: Dragon, Unicorn, Behemoth, Faun, Leviathan, Gryphon, Whale, Fish, Basilisk, Crocodile, Gecko, Lizard, Chameleon, Frog, Moth, Gnat, Worm, Ant, Wasp, Flea, Caterpillar, Bee, Katydid, Cricket, Grasshopper, Beetle, Fly, Locust, Snake, Scorpion, Asp, Viper, Cobra, Serpent.
Volume 2: Rooster, Hen, Pigeon, Dove, Vulture, Sparrow, Eagle, Owl, Swallow, Pelican, Hawk, Ibis, Falcon, Peacock, Partridge, Ostrich, Cormorant, Kite, Swan, Heron, Stork, Hoopoe, Osprey, Seagull, Crow, Quail, Raven, Bat, Hyrax, Badger, Shrew, Weasel, Rat, Mouse, Rabbit.
Volume 3: Ox, Donkey, Lamb, Pig, Sheep, Camel, Dog, Goat, Deer, Cat, Gazelle, Stag, Horse, Antelope, Hart, Roebuck, Bison, Ibex, Ram, Lion, Wolf, Fox, Elephant, Leopard, Hippopotamus, Ape, Baboon, Bear, Hyena, Jackal, Rhino, Giraffe.
Risks and challenges
The three volume set is complete and ready for publication through Eastern Christian Publications. Additional funds will help expand distribution through independent bookstores.
Your input and support are greatly appreciated.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)