Friday, April 21, 2023

Book Giveaway...It's here! Egyptian Lullaby

I drove to work on Tuesday and found myself sobbing…deep sobs…coming from a wave of sorrow unexpectantly bubbling up from somewhere hidden. Finally, the day had come, pub day for my picture book, Egyptian Lullaby.  It has been a long time coming…five  years…I had anticipated intense joy  but not sadness. And then I remembered that my father had died a little over a year ago.  There would be no phone call today to share the anticipated book birthday. 

 In fact, I was in Cairo exactly a year ago because he passed away on March 19th.

Click here to view post about my trip to Egypt

Even more heart breaking was the memory of my Aunt Zina who had been the inspiration for the book. She too died before the book came out.  Again, there would be no phone call. 

I thought about legacy and memories and what we leave behind as I drove to work to be with with my 19, 5-year-olds. I thought about the lifetimes they have ahead of them. I thought about the audience I wrote for when I wrote this book over 5 years ago.  I thought about the irony that the students who would share this book birthday with me were either yet to be born or were just born.  I thought about how their parents were incubating them at the same time I was incubating this book.  I felt how it all swirled around me... Life and death, beginnings and endings, celebrations and being alone…and I marveled at it all through my sobs.


Click here if the video above won't play

Click here if the video above won't play

As an artist, I am always seeking to speak my truth and tell stories through different mediums.  My current way is to write children's picture books.  When I became a parent, I found it difficult to continue to develop as a photographer and visual artist.  My days as a parent were too delicious to divide between being present with my child and creating new works. I chose parenthood and paused my artistic endeavors.  Now that she is transitioning into young adulthood, I am finding the time and energy to return to my former life.  

Picture books seem to come out on Tuesdays.  An odd day of the week to ask children to come to an author event.  This book held so much emotion. It is my love letter to Cairo and all that it means to me. It is also my way to counter the negative media depictions of Arabs that demonize the culture. 

I wanted to acknowledge the day, so I created a photography exhibit with photos of Cairo titled, Dear dear Cairo. The artist reception served as my artist/author event designed to complement the book and carry the same intention and message, to normalize Arab culture for those who are unfamiliar and to celebrate for those who are familiar with it. The Los Angeles photo exhibit is happening simultaneously at two different venues, the Venice Abbot Kinney Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library and Village Well Books and Coffee in Culver City.  Different photos will be on display at each venue as part of the exhibit. There will also be a second artist reception on April 22 4:00pm - 6:00pm.

To celebrate the release of Egyptian Lullaby by Zeena M. Pliska, illustrated by Hatem Aly and the 14th Blogiversity of Teaching Authors, we are giving away a copy of the book! See below for instructions on how to enter.

By Zeena

We are giving away ONE copy of the latest TeachingAuthor picture book, Egyptian Lullaby (Roaring Brook Press) written by Zeena M. Pliska and illustrated by Hatem Aly! 

To enter the giveaway drawing, use the Rafflecopter widget below. (Note: if the widget doesn't appear, click on the link at the end of this post that says "a Rafflecopter giveaway" to enter.)

You may enter via up to 4 options. The more options you choose, the better your odds!

If you choose option 3, you MUST leave a comment on TODAY’S blog post or on our TeachingAuthors Facebook page. If you haven’t already “liked” our Facebook page, please do so today!

If you prefer, you may submit your comment via email to: teachingauthors [at] gmail [dot] com.

Note: if you submit your comments via email or Facebook, YOU MUST STILL ENTER THE DRAWING VIA RAFFLECOPTER BELOW.  The giveaway ends May 8, 2023 and is open to US. Residents only.

If you’ve never entered a Rafflecopter giveaway, here’s info on how to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway. And a second article explains the difference between signing in with Facebook vs. with an email address.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Carmela Martino said...

Congratulations, Zeena! I can't wait to read your new book!

Danielle H. said...

Congratulations on your beautiful book! I can't wait to read it.

Linda Mitchell said...

Many, many congratulations on the new book. We need this book so much. I am seeing students from around the world register at my school and they need opportunities to talk about home in between the moments when they want to show just how American they can sound/look to everyone. There are many people in the world today that are a tiny bit homesick. Lullabies can help--and do! Thank you for writing this.

Kathy Doherty said...

I can't wait to get my hands on this! Such a lovely book!

MG said...

Hi Zeena, I’m not having good luck in trying to leave you a message. I filled this out, tried to publish, but then I was brought to a place to create a Blog. Anyhow… LOVE your book. Maybe my other comment will post. They (Google) shouldn’t make it so difficult to leave a comment. :)

Esther Hershenhorn said...

Maazel tov, Zeena!
This post, like your beautiful EGYPTIAN LULLABY, gifts us with your love of your family, your home, all you treasure.
You've written the perfect post to celebrate our blog's 14th Anniversary!
Thank you!

Margaret Simon said...

I am crying happy-sad tears with you. I have a picture book out on submission. My father died a year ago. I recently had a medical episode and he was my go-to person because he had been a doctor. Tears when I realized I was on my own to face it. But your photos also show the joy. The joy of leaving a legacy, being a part of a family who embraces your achievements. Congratulations!

April Halprin Wayland said...

My heart wells up. Thank you for opening your heart to all of us.