This is part of my “Little Lit Author’s First…” series. Today I feature the author cum illustrator of Singapore’s first children’s Board Book in Malay.
Ildasolha Jamari, a Math and Science school teacher, wrote, illustrated and self-published two Malay board books for children 3 years and below.
She launched her books at Asian Festival Children’s Content 2014 in June. Her board books have been well-received, with parents and bookshop owners expressing admiration for the innovative appeal. There are very few imported Malay board books, so Ildasholha’s titles are a refreshing change to the Malay-speaking community.
~ Ildasolha’s Board Books ~
This board book is about patterns and where these patterns are found.
This page is about dots – ‘bintik’. ‘Badan ikan ini berbintik’ on the next page describes the dots found on the fish. This simple text encourages children to read and relate to the illustrated picture.
The second board book, ‘Mengapakah Awak Tersenyum?’ is about feelings
This book introduces children to various facial expressions, taken from the circumstances the child is experiences and the emotions triggered. The concept, presented in a question-and-answer format, teaches children to express their feelings and explain why they feel and behave in a certain way
Linn Shekinah: What motivated you to do board/concept books in Malay and why did you choose to self-publish your books?
Ildasolha: I decided to self-publish board books in Malay language partly because there is a lack of variety of such books in Singapore and partly because local publishers do not publish board books. As a mother of young children, I see a need for more Malay board books for babies and toddlers. As fewer Malays are speaking Malay language at home, we should encourage parents to read in Malay to their young children and expose their young children to Malay books.
Linn Shekinah: How has the Malay-speaking community responded to your books?
Ildasolha: So far, parents who have bought my books have given a lot of positive feedback and encouragement. For most of them, my books are their children’s first Malay books. That’s good news for me. I believe that if the quality of the product is good, people will come to know about my books eventually. Also, I hope that more parents will understand the need for early exposure (at infancy stage) to books in both languages.
Linn Shekinah: Share with us your self-publishing experience? How long did the whole process take, from conception to print?
Ildasolha: I went through some trial-and-error processes and read up online on how to self-publish. It’s not easy, but hey, nothing is easy right? Even eating can be difficult at times right (laughs)! The whole process took about 3 months.
More about Ildasolha’s Concept Board Books at http://www.facebook.com/babyncapbooks