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“Narrating stories to children develops their imagination”

Her name is Bisirat Desalegn. She was born in Asmara and at the age of 11 she went to Kenya and there she finished her secondary school. Then after she went to the US and studied Development Studies at the University of California. She is an author of two children’s books.

-Recently you launched two children’s books, “ZAWIA” and “Semira in Eritrea”. What motivated you to write children’s books?

I had the inclination of writing from my early childhood. And I think every child has that. I decided to write children’s after I was married and have children. Because it is good for children to develop the art of reading at their early age. And I was working as a teacher in the US and that might persuaded me.

-Are the cartoons in the book yours?

I was trying to draw cartoons when I was young. When I started writing my book, I consulted professional cartoonists and they told me that children’s books do not necessarily need to be accompanied with cartoons drawn by professionals, and that I could make them by myself. The most important thing for children is not the quality of the carton, but the combination of the colors.

-What is the content of the books?

Let me start with ZAWIA. In Tigrigna you call zawia to a lady with long hair. That word is no more frequented in our society, and I thought better to use it so that it might be frequented. Semira also represents and African lady with Afro style hair.

-How do you think parents could help their children develop the habit of reading?

Telling stories to children helps them develop their imagination. So they have to get simple books that they could easily read and understand. And parents should give them time to sit and read stories to their children. The way of reading should also be artistic, the up and down toning while reading helps children not to get bored and listening attentively.

-What feedback did you get?

Yes I do. And that helps your future carrier.

-How do you think parent should handle their children?

Mothers have strong attachment with their children from the time of inception. Ant they have special and important role in the life of children. Children learn every thing from their parents. So parents should be careful on what they talk and do things in the presence of their children.

-What is your next plan?

I am thinking of writing a book especially for Eritrean children in the Diaspora. The book, I believe could help them have strong attachment with their country and people.

-Good Luck!

Thank you!

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