Saturday, 29 December 2018

Review: Children's Books by Ayesha Marfani

I have always been a BIG fan of stories with moral lessons. Books that aim to bring to light a social issue and ways to address them. I am sure we all remember those short stories about ‘Greed is Curse’, ’As you sow, so shall you reap’, ‘Honesty is the best policy’... morals that impacted our young impressionable minds! I am so grateful that we were repeatedly taught these basic things in school and at home. 
Ayesha Marfani, a Pakistani Children’s book author, shared with me two of her books a few days ago. Beautifully written, with a clear moral message, carefully chosen words, illustrations and even after-reading activities, these books are really a treasure. 

I had the privilege and absolute pleasure of reading THE BIG-CROWNED PRINCESS and MISS NEVER-PLEASED. The best part is that both these books address two issues prevalent in today’s world; not cliched and overused lessons. It was a refreshing change and I felt that perhaps more than the kids, we as adults need to read her books too because her stories depict the moral dilemmas of the world we live in today. 

While The Big-Crowned Princess mainly teaches us to not to judge people based on their appearance and wealth, it also lightly touches on depression, isolation and bullying which children nowadays get to experience in one way or the other, sadly. It encourages children to look beneath the surface and to love people for what is in their hearts. The light and fun read evoke empathy and compassion - two things that we need to reinforce in children and adults every single day. 

Miss Never-Pleased, however, impacted me more. I must say that daringly Ayesha has dealt with a very complex subject. I have to admire her writing ability for simplifying such a big issue for children and putting it out in such a lucid way. The story revolves around Habiba’s journey of self-discovery and redemption. Habiba, the protagonist is an obstinate and self-righteous young girl seeking admiration and perfection through cheating, manipulation and arrogance. She fights a battle with her evil-self to learn the most important lesson in life. But, her journey which is set in a ‘Joint Family’ also brings to light actions of those around her who contribute to her pride and selfishness. The book touches just the right spots in just the right way. 
I strongly recommend everyone to go through her books. Especially if you are raising little humans, these books will be a gift to them that will leave a lasting impression.

*The books are available on Amazon. In Pakistan, you can contact Ayesha Marfani directly.

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