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Yining Zhao and Mishka Nazarania reading their original children's book. (Photo: Ibrahim Robyn)
On Tuesday, September 26, at the Village School’s elementary library, Yining Zhao and Mishka Nazarania read their original children’s book, Lessons of a Lost Hat, to a room full of excited elementary students. Embodying their characters through different voices and postures, the two authors breathed life into the picture book intended for kids 3-8 years old.
This event was not only an official celebration of the book’s release, but an opportunity for the elementary students to get inspired by these two young writers and illustrators. The passion they demonstrated for their craft at the reading fueled the book’s creation.
Yining Zhao and Mishka Nazarania answering questions about their original book. (Photo: Ibrahim Robyn)
Every day at school during lunch time, I personally witnessed Yining and Mishka scurry off to the library, their source of inspiration, to develop Lessons of a Lost Hat. I remember asking Yining throughout the writing process about what inspired her to create this story. She told me it was her love for the timeless Grimm’s fairy tales, and her favorite IB Art unit, studying Wanda Gag’s art style. After spending 6 months dreaming, writing, and drawing, these two full International Baccalaureate students published their debut book in June 2023 through Amazon.
Lessons of a Lost Hat follows a courageous young girl as she embarks on a journey through a magical forest, encountering witches, challenges, and unexpected twists after the wind blows her lovely hat away. This tale weaves together rhyming prose and captivating illustrations to transport readers into a magical world. As the story unfolds, children are invited to reflect on the power of choices and the importance of facing adversity with courage.
Cover art for the children's book Lessons of a Lost Hat, written by Village School students.
Not only does Lessons of a Lost Hat have an enchanting plot and valuable life lessons within its pages, but the art itself, drawn via Procreate, transports any child to a whimsical world of imagination. Even I felt transported at the reading. Lessons of a Lost Hat is available on Amazon, with a quarter of all proceeds being donated to charity.