Alphabet of Flowers is a fun children’s book that teaches young readers about different flowers. What was the inspiration for the idea behind this book?
I love flowers, especially wild ones. I began drawing using wax crayons with our toddler about a year ago. As a painting medium, crayons are readily available and not messy for quick sketching and painting. Sometimes, we draw together, or I do it alone as a relaxing activity during the short breaks between motherhood responsibilities. I shared the flower sketches on my Instagram stories. A Tanzanian author and literacy specialist advised me to write an alphabet book. So, I wrote this book with a Tanzanian child in mind. I was already working on a bilingual book project on a similar topic. It seemed fitting to branch off from that original project and complete the suggested small one first.
My favourite picture from the book is the Poppy. Do you have a favourite flower from this book?
I love all of them and intended to avoid the popular flowers appearing in the A-to-Z lists of flowers. However, letters such as the X were challenging as there is not much variety of commonly known flowers. As I was writing with a Tanzanian child in mind, I focused on what is possibly available in their tropical environments like the African violet, bougainvillea, or okra flowers. Nevertheless, the African violet would be close to my heart because it originates from the Usambaras where I grew up. Unfortunately, found only in East Africa, the African violet is in danger because of its habitat shrinking.
What do you find that children most love about flowers?
From the observation I made with my son, it’s the different colours and shapes. They are also available to touch and smell, which is great for their sensory development. Flowers can also be used as a painting colour. On touching, one has to be well informed to know which are poisonous in case of ingestion.
Do you have plans to write more educational books on flowers or other things in nature?
This book was a smaller version of another bilingual children’s project that I am working on.
Most of my children’s stories use nature as the story background. For example, the Lamellia series as fables also offer a lesson and curiosity on mycology.
First published by: Literary Titan.