The Spring Solstice New Year Festival that...
turned into Saving the Goldfish!
An English/Persian Bilingual Nowruz Story from Iran & Afghanistan
First Title in our Afghanistan and Iran Diverse Children's Book Series (TBA)
A limited edition of the Persian (Farsi/Dari) version of this semi-autobiographical picture book was launched to critical acclaim in March 2019 at Bukhara Mag in Tehran, Iran.
The non-governmental Bukhara Mag is one of the most respected literary institutions in the Persianate world.
What started out as one of Dr. Bashi's colorful visual infographics in English titled "Nowruz is Science" led Iranian-born children's author and academic Golbarg Bashi to team up with the prolific Canadian illustrator Annie Wilkinson to create the First Title in our Afghanistan and Iran Diverse Children's Book Series (TBA).
In this forthcoming semi-autobiographical picture book, Bashi shares one of her own many childhood adventures as an avid albeit mischievous cyclist on "Pine Street" in southern Iran--set as preparations for the 13-day long "Nowruz" (New Year) Holiday is about to commence and on a New Year's Eve that's not in December but in March! A fully illustrated body-positive children's story picture book about this transnational holiday and which centers around animal rights, transnational anti-racist and climate solidarity, Persian-language bilingualism, and like Dr. Bashi previous titles focuses also on girls' and children's empowerment and in righting either misrepresented or condescending representations of in this case Iran and Afghanistan in mainstream mass-media.
A suspenseful and humorous story that introduces young readers, elementary and middle school classrooms and teachers, and families around the world to a New Year Holiday that is globally marked in the Northern Hemisphere of our planet as the moment of Vernal Equinox, first day of Spring (Spring Solstice).
Nowruz also spelled as Nawruz in the Latin script is an ancient New Year Festival shared across Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, as well as the Caucasus, Central Asia, parts of the Indian Subcontinent, and Kurdish speaking regions of Turkey and the Arab world.
The story book has an accompanying note to families who celebrate or who are interested in celebrating Nowruz as well as a one-page scientific guide to the marine biology, the environmental impact of gold fish world-wide and responsible and informed animal adoption for life.
Easy Readers Category in English
Elementary Grade Two for native Persian-speaking (Farsi/Dari) school children in Iran and Afghanistan.
Suggested Read for School Projects (Culture, Heritage, Spring Solstice, Iran, Afghanistan, Marine Biology of Aquatic Fish, Climate Change, Climate Action ).
Our Counting Up The Olive Tree: A Palestine Number Book is a social justice homage to Bill Martin Jr. and his Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. A legendary classic children’s book we love.
Excerpt from the book:
"When the woeful woodcutter came to cut down the last olive tree
The kids cried,
'Please don’t cut our precious tree in our land yet to be free!'
. . .
Player number 1 told player number 2,
get hold of number 3
who told 4,
'we must protect the last olive tree,
all of us and some more.'
. . .
Tlick - Tlock Tlick - Tlock
Will there be enough time?
. . .
Snoring cracking humming and roaring!
. . .
Wait! The woeful woodcutter is waking up,
no longer snoring!"
To find out what happens next, as children practice counting the numbers (cultivating their math skills), buy your copy or copies of the now 2nd edition of the large, fully illustrated children's picture book Counting Up The Olive Tree: A Palestine Number Book here!
Palestine on Children's Map
For decades, in the U.S. children's book publishing industry, the slightest trace of bold Palestinian children's names and stories have been barred from publication and thus denied to generations of American children--furthermore, voices speaking on behalf of Palestinian freedom have been suppressed whether they be in a theatre play, a music concert, in a university classroom or even publication of a small children's ABC book financed through a long and modest crowd-fundraiser.
We know this firsthand as our own small contribution, the publication of our P is for Palestine in 2017 was and continues to be met with astonishing levels of attacks, unconstitutional legal actions by vigilante groups on American institutions and businesses.
Perhaps, the words of Dr. Yousef Munayyer, the Executive Director for USCPR (link) can convey why we do what we do as a small independent publisher, as fellow marginalized, underrepresented, former child refugees from the Middle East:
"As a Palestinian living in the United States, I pay close attention to how American media and popular culture talk about our people and homeland. There is no escaping the pervasive, constant pro-Israel bias and harmful stereotyping of Arabs and Muslims. The racist portrayal of us as violent, angry, irrational, uncivilized, and incapable of living in peace with their neighbors is far too common. As an adult, I am able to see these narratives for what they are, and guard and work against them. But I am constantly concerned about how these negative stereotypes are impacting our kids, and how they might shape their thinking about their identity and our homeland. [Golbarg Bashi's] P is for Palestine is exactly the kind of positive reinforcement needed by children whose identity is constantly under attack. Sadly, that is also why the book has come under fire from from Zionist critics seeking to take it off book shelves and cancel public book readings." (link)
The Missing Number Book
The tradition of number books goes back at least a century--helping children become familiarized with numbers and basic math skills well before school start. There are currently countless number books about themes and countries in the world—helping inform children about any number of topics, nations and cultures other than their own by also cultivating basic math skills. 'Canada 1 2 3,' 'We All Went on Safari: A Counting Journey Through Tanzania,' 'Counting on Community,' 'Around the World in Numbers,' 'Count Me In! A Parade of Mexican Folk Art Numbers,' and more etc…But none about or for Palestine in English. Until now!
Photo Library: P is for Palestine