Valerie Silva had always dreamed about writing a children’s book, and for most of her life, that’s exactly what it was—a dream.
However, that dream became reality earlier this year when Silva and her friend Hillary Craig collaborated on the self-published ABC Life in the Womb, a pro-life children’s book that was released as an E-book on Jan. 31 and in the following weeks released in paperback and hard cover.
Silva and Craig have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support that the book has received on its Instagram and Facebook accounts along with its website, littlelifestages.com.
“I didn’t think it was going to take off this quickly and have such an impact,” said Silva, who had already done five interviews about the book prior to talking with the Free Lance. “If you go on Amazon, there are some really incredible reviews. People are tagging us on social media and you’re hearing so many great stories about this book.”
With Silva providing the written content and Craig drawing the illustrations, ABC Life in the Womb took about one year to complete.
“God had given me a vision, and it was the title of this book,” Silva said.
Silva and Craig met seven years ago when they were at the Hollister Pregnancy Center, where Craig volunteered and Silva was the chief fundraiser and manager (Silva recently stepped down from that position because she and her husband are moving to Idaho by the end of the month).
The book project was a natural collaboration for the friends because they share the same Christian faith along with a passion for protecting the life of preborn babies and the sanctity of life.
“We knew how important the issue was,” Craig said in a podcast posted on the littlelifestages.com website. “You can talk all you want about changing laws and that’s great, but (the most important thing is) starting to influence children in their first five years and instill in them the importance of life and that God created life and that it’s not ours to decide if that child lives or not.”
Later in the podcast, Craig provided insight into what she was thinking and the challenges of drawing a variety of illustrations on the subject matter when Silva approached her to collaborate on the book.
“I was joking with Valerie that I don’t know how many times I can draw a baby in the womb and make it interesting,” Craig said. “It was, ‘OK, how can we draw it so it’s not scary to children but also approachable?”
In the end, they were thoroughly satisfied with the final product and proud of the work they had done, with each letter in the alphabet telling a story of life in the womb followed by a one-sentence description. For example, “H is for heart, where a baby’s heart begins to beat at 18 days.”
One of Silva’s favorite letters is “F for fingerprint. By nine weeks babies have fingerprints formed and there is only one like that in the world.” Additional facts are included, including one that reads: “At conception, a pair of chromosomes will determine a baby’s gender as a boy (XY) or a girl (XX).”
“This book really shows the value of life and lets a child know how important theirs is, how unique they are and how God created them in his image,” Silva said.
In producing ABC Life in the Womb, Silva and Craig knew it could serve as a valuable learning resource for parents to read to their children.
“Learning starts in the home because parents are the ultimate teachers to their children,” Silva said. “It’s really important to start that process in the home and even when they are in school because they will hear something that could be a contradiction of what we want to instill in them, and that is God-given truths.”
In light of that, Bible verses are featured in ABC Life in the Womb.
“We have Scripture throughout the book, and I really feel it’s a call to disciple children at a young age so they can grow up understanding the value of life in the womb so they would protect life even as they become young adults,” Silva said. “If we’re teaching this to our children, then our next generation would be more pro-life and more Godly.”
Even though Silva and Craig know being pro-life runs counterculture in the U.S., they’ve never been more convicted in their book’s message and how vital it is in light of the cultural norms of society.
“There is a children’s book that is coming out in September that paints a picture that abortion is normal,” Silva said. “That to me is an abomination. I feel more strongly than ever getting our book into the hands of children because it would raise them up to value life.”
ABC Life in the Womb is currently being translated in Thai and Chinese and a Spanish version of the book is “almost available,” Silva said.
Forty percent of the proceeds from the book will be donated to pro-life organizations and providing resources to pro-life pregnancy centers throughout the nation. Even though they’ll be living far apart—Silva in Idaho and Craig in Hollister—the two have additional projects in the works.
“We have plans for more books, a lot more plans with this book and the mission behind this book,” Silva said.
Sports editor Emanuel Lee can be reached at [email protected].