Tag Archives: Board Books

Little Lit Author: Ildasolha Jamari [Part 2]

This is part of my “Little Lit Author’s First…” series. Today I continue with Part 2 of my interview with Ildasolha Jamari, the author cum illustrator of Singapore’s first children’s Board Books in Malay.


Photo Credit: Ildasolha

Photo Credit: Ildasolha

Ildasolha Jamari, a Math and Science school teacher,wrote, illustrated and self-published two Malay board books for children 3 years and below. 





Linn Shekinah: Board books usually cover basic vocabulary or concepts such as numbers, alphabets, colours, shapes, sizes and family. One of your books focuses on an original concept – patterns. Any reason why you chose this concept? How longdid you take to conceptualise and write two of your board books? Did you consult anyone? 

Ildasolha: I chose to focus on patterns because…

  1. Pattern recognition is a concept that children should be exposed to at an early age because it is essential in Mathematics.
  2. Patterns are all around us – Dots, stripes and so on. Teaching them the names of patterns will enrich their vocabulary.

I took about 1 month to write and illustrate. I showed my script to a friend who is a Malay language teacher to get her opinion. I also showed my drafts to my sisters, who are also parents of young children to get their feedback. I’m not sure how many times I rewrote, but I remember adjusting the artwork many times. The good thing about digital illustration is that that you can easily amend the illustration digitally as many times as you like. However, I will be using painting in my next book, so it may take a slightly longer time.


Linn Shekinah: What are the joys and challenges encountered in self-publishing as well as distributing and promoting the books by yourself?

Ildasolha: Well firstly, we need to raise awareness in the Malay community on the importance of young children’s exposure to Malay books to help them acquire the language. As we all are aware, nowadays, children in Singapore speak mainly English at home. Therefore we need to encourage parents to also immerse their children in Malay language so that they are proficient in both. Bilingualism has a lot of benefits on children’s brain development so we cannot see our native language as less important than English. In addition, we don’t want to lose our Malay language in generations to come as language is part of our heritage and in a way, it defines our roots and our identity.


Linn Shekinah: What are your future writing plans? Do you plan to write venture into books for older children?

Ildasolha: First, I will continue to improve the quality of my books. In the next few years, I will concentrate on board books in Malay language and bilingual board books. I’m looking into working with overseas publishers/distributors to help distribute the content of the books in other countries. In future, God-willing, I hope to publish Malay picture books with other authors and illustrators to enrich our children with high quality books and wonderful stories.

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More about Ildasolha’s Concept Board Books at http://www.facebook.com/babyncapbooks

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Little Lit Author: Ildasolha Jamari [Part 1]

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, Malay BoardBook Author

Ildasolha, Board Book Author

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.


Malay BoardBook-Cover-Patterns

Photo Credit: Ildasolha

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.


Photo Credit: Ildasolha


The second board book, ‘Mengapakah Awak Tersenyum?’ is about feelings

Malay BoardBook-Cover

Photo Credit: Ildasolha

BoardBook2 - Inside Pages

Photo Credit: Ildasolha

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.

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More about Ildasolha’s Concept Board Books at http://www.facebook.com/babyncapbooks

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