A couple of years ago, being a “children’s author” was just a dream I had. It was a fantasy, and just that. Fast forward to today and here I am announcing my second children’s book: Zaid and the Gigantic Cloud.
With each book I wrote, I began the writing process because I was grappling with something. It’s common, I guess, for people to find repose in writing. However, each time I felt the urge to write I found myself heading towards my most beloved state… a mother, a teacher. I wrote my feelings and ambitions out as children’s stories… because surely if I was grappling with something, I would want to equip our most precious community members with the language to sort those issues out too. Heck, if my children are going to face issues in this world I’d like them to have a positive lens to view it all through.
So, what issue was I grappling with when I wrote Zaid and the Gigantic Cloud? It was the refugee crisis that was and is challenging the world around us. Seeing the horrific scenes of children in the grips of war, fleeing their homes and resettling in strange lands (if they were lucky) left me feeling worn. What becomes of those children, I often thought, when they resettle. What terrible scenes do they see when they close their eyes at night? What challenges await them? Those questions stirred within me, they whirled around like a tornado, uprooting and unearthing me. I began to think: I want these kids to know that things will get better. If I could extend a literary hand and wrap them up in my words I would tell them, “your future can and will be bright”.
I began writing a story about a young girl named Yusra (in Arabic it means “ease” and is often used in opposition to its antonym “Usra”, which can mean “difficulty” or “hardship”). However, the story morphed, as they do, and featured a young boy named Zaid.
Zaid receives some bad news about an upcoming camping trip. The bad news weighs on him, and follows him around the whole day. However, something positive happens which shows him that he can overcome the bad that has happened. He can and will move forward, and with a positive attitude.
I know that this story and the problems featured within it are nowhere near reflective of the traumas faced by some children. However, I wanted the moral of the story to be relatable to all. The theme and spirit of this book empowers kids with the idea that negative things may happen, but we can persevere and overcome our challenges.
Here is hoping that this story empowers our children and instills a sense of positivity within them. Thank you for your support. You can check the book out here. Also, look out for upcoming giveaways and further sneak peaks into the book on Instagram!