Meet the Illustrator of the Book “Writing without Reversing in One Week”

It has come to my attention that, despite the success of any book, the illustrator(s) involved in the project go by unnoticed, which is unfair in many ways and for several reasons. Illustration, especially in children’s books, is way more powerful than words in conveying the book’s message. Well-conceived graphics captivate children’s attention and help them with perceiving what they are reading about in a much quicker way and allows for retaining this visual perception for much longer in their memories. Most importantly, children are usually fascinated with eye-catching illustrations and this usually gets translated to a fascination with reading itself and developing healthy reading habits.

The name of my illustrator is Julia Hatoum and she has to be noticed for four good reasons: 1) she’s only 11 years old; 2) it was her idea to write this book and share its benefits with others; actually, she was my importunate supporter during the writing and publishing of this book, she believed in me and encouraged me all the way; 3) she skipped lunches to work on the book’s illustration during her school’s recess periods; and 4) I happen to be her proud mother!

Julia was identified as a gifted and talented child at the age of 6 years; we were living in Pennsylvania at the time. The story behind having her tested for giftedness is bittersweet and I most probably will share in another article. Prior to having her tested, I consulted with her on whether she would like to go through this ordeal and, boy was she up to the challenge. She scored high and her major strength was perception, and that did not surprise me at all! I had always talked to her as an adult and she has always replied as one!

Julia is a 6th grader now, she’s a distinguished student in every subject matter, she plays the guitar and just passed her 3rd grade guitar exam with distinction. She is a talented artist, a word spelling competitor, a swimmer and has a green belt in Taekwondo.

Now I would like you to meet Julia through a poem she wrote for a school assignment. The assignment was for students to follow the lead of the poet Kit Wright and put what their hearts desire in their magic boxes. Julia was 9 years old at the time and this is what she wrote word to word:

I will put in the box
A tree I grew with care,
A giggle from a child,
The biggest heart of a person.
I will put in the box
A piece of every world,
A taste of a fairy god mother,
My puppy’s cute smile when she looks at me.
I will put in the box
A piece of the most chocolatiast chocolate in the world,
The gleaming lamp of a genie,
A huge hug from my family.
I will put in the box
The 8 wonders of the world,
The beautiful orange sea,
The 8th day of the week.
My box is fashioned from
Silver gold and nature,
with my special pictures on the lid,
And smooth leaves on the corners.
The hinges are big flowers with ladybugs on them.
I shall swim in the orange sea,
That the sun sets and rises on,
I’d swim on the never ending world,
In the magic box.

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