New children’s books

From time to time we come across labours of love that make life better for the younger generation. They are expressions of belonging that try to close the gap between native and migrant members of diaspora communities. Some may muse us for a while, others could accompany us for the rest of our lives.

Nazila Fathi’s books on Cyrus and Avicenna are among the latter. Two beautifully written and colourfully illustrated stories for children of Iranian descent, the books give a new meaning to Fathi’s inspiration from Louise Rosenblatt’s insight on the impact of protagonists on understanding our own selves.

Cognisant of the symbiotic relationship between stories and self-development, Fathi wisely chooses to begin this new genre in her writings with two universally respected ancient figures, whose lives and contributions shape contemporary human history.

Hailing from ancient Persia, the tales and triumphs of the king of Babylon and the father of modern medicine are written in an easy to grasp language that appeals to both children and their carers. They make for instant immersion in adventures that took place centuries ago. Great reading to enjoy anytime, the books are perhaps best enjoyed at bedtime, when imagination runs wild in young minds and colourful images through the pages of Fathi’s books helps them visualise how one day they too will beautify the pages of history.

Written as narratives, Fathi’s books help familiarise children of Iranian descent with the qualities and cultural traits of two outstanding individuals whose good thoughts, words and actions enrich our children’s sense of identity, confidence and belonging. Available in Persian and English, the creative retelling of the significant biographies for the young uses interactive tactics to engage the learner in creative ways.

A heartfelt initiative by one Iranian descent mother, Fathi’s books are the ideal NowRuz gifts to beautify any parent’s Haft-Seen table and all children’s libraries.

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