A mother’s tale of Lost And Found

Ayesha felt there weren’t enough storybooks for children.


Momina Sibtain November 22, 2012

LAHORE:


Reading stories to children is one of the most crucial activities during their primary socialisation, according to psychologists. While growing up in the ‘90s was simpler — as several Disney tales and Dr Seuss books were available — the advancement of technology in the modern world has changed things around.

As the iPad took over, interactive applications became more en vogue than storybooks. Ayesha Aslam, a working mother, felt there weren’t enough storybooks for children in local bookstores and thus set out to write one herself.


“My son Eisa is seven, but it was around the time he was four-years-old that I realised how hard it was to keep him interested in storybooks,” Aslam confesses. “Therefore, I decided to write a children’s book, to see if I could keep him at bay.”

Keeping her son in mind and taking inspiration from Dr Seuss’s style of writing, Aslam set out to write Lost and Found. “As a child, Eisa was so messy that it was always a mission to find something in his room,” she explains, in regard to how the ideas for her book came about. “Hence, this inspired me to write a book that would teach him to be tidy and clean up his room in a fun and more interactive manner.” The book begins with the tale of a little boy who is unable to find specific toys in his untidy room. Consequently, he realises he needs to clean his room in order to keep everything in line.

After writing the script, Aslam approached her sister Sara Aslam, who is currently studying architecture at the National College of Arts (NCA) in Lahore, to provide some illustrations to go with the text. “It was so difficult finding a publisher and like many others I even searched for them in India,” she continues. “But then I got lucky when I messaged Ameena Sayed from the Oxford University Press on Facebook who replied promptly and put me through to the right people.” After a year of negotiations and editing this 20-page children’s book, it is now in print.

“I am so happy that it’s finally printed and the joy it brought to my son’s eyes was worth it,” Aslam says, adding that all the illustrations are based on her son and his room. “We had to take a few pictures of him in different poses with his toys scattered across the room in order to achieve the look we wanted.”

Lost and Found expresses the love a mother has for her son and how she found a new way to keep her son interested in storybooks. With no prior degree in writing, Aslam is now a published author at the Oxford University Press (OUP) bookstores nationwide.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2012.

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COMMENTS (1)

malik | 9 years ago | Reply

I would like to congratulate and commend Aslam for doing a wonderfull job all of us should be doing, rather than pushing technology, she used her mind and imagination to keep the little one and a lot of other little ones amused and entertained. There is no substitution for using ones mind as there is a very old proverb " which is bigger a brain or a cow". There have been studies here stating TV should not be used as a baby sitter as it causes issues down the road. I wish the author the very best for a wonderfull job

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