Dreams can still come true in the midst of a pandemic. For first author Shivani Ramoutar, her early aspirations to write and publish her own children’s book came true.Ramoutar’s pilot post, Susan Meets Mia the Mask, tells a story about her personal experience explaining covid19 to her children. It addresses some of the relevant questions that most parents faced during this time.
Online school, stay-at-home restrictions, inability to see friends in person, wearing a mask, and using disinfectant are among a host of other open conversations Susan has with her. mother in this simple but very relevant story. Susan’s mom gently explains these changes to her daughter since covid19 remains a scary subject, even in adults.
One of the goals of the book is to reassure parents and children that they are not alone on this historic journey through a pandemic. Ramoutar believes his first book will do just that.
âSusan is picked up by her mom from school and a conversation about covid19 ensues. They come home, they talk about it, they put on the TV and she tries on her mask.
âSusan’s mom gives her her first bottle of hand sanitizer, which excites her because she’s never owned one before.
âHer mother tells her that she may not have ballet or swimming lessons anymore. It’s a lot for her to understand, âsaid Ramoutar.
Likewise, the first author remembers picking up her daughter and son from school in mid-March 2020 and unbeknownst to them, it would be the last day of physical school for over 18 months to date.
Ramoutar reflected on the plethora of questions she faced from her own children about why there was no more school. How would they learn from a computer? Why was a face mask necessary? Why couldn’t they fly or attend birthday parties anymore?
âThey were so curious and I had to answer all of their questions. I decided to write this book based on my experience explaining this virus to them. This book will serve as a reminder of something we’ve been through, âshe added.
Writing has always been Ramoutar’s passion, especially poetry and short stories. She even wrote songs and poems for friends and slogans for those with businesses and products. It was something that came naturally and she appreciated it.
Famous author Enid Blyton was her first childhood inspiration and for every birthday and Christmas her parents always gave her a new book which she finished within hours.
This love for reading evolved into writing and she began to write her own short stories and poems.
âHaving two kids in elementary school also meant that I had to help them develop their writing creativity and propel them to enjoy that love of reading that I had at their age and I was most definitely ready. to take up this challenge, âshe said.
After graduating from ASJA Girls’ College, she studied Management at UWI, St Augustine. Ramoutar then found a job and two years later she married and became pregnant with her first child. She always wanted to write a book, but life has come.
When the pandemic hit last year, Ramoutar had to be at work occasionally and / or working from home. She used the extra time at home to sit down, collect her thoughts, and take the first step towards making a long-held dream come true.
Ramoutar said that although the pandemic has had and continues to take a toll on the world, the first deployment of public restrictions outside has forced people to stay indoors, which has allowed some to put things in place for themselves and make dreams come true that might not have been possible before.
When she finished the story, she started looking for a talented local illustrator to help her describe her story. Her research unearthed the skillful lively artist Charlene Chattergoon, who was thrilled to delve into the world of illustration and seized the unique offer.
The duo worked hand-in-hand to create images that mesh with the story being told, and as you turn each page, from the cover to the end, readers feel all the emotions and images associated with the story. delivered.
She said: âCovid19 opened up an opportunity that didn’t exist for me before, it was time. It also allowed me to focus a little more on myself and put my dream into action. I decided to take the plunge and release this book. “
After receiving the first official copy of Susan Meets Mia with the mask in her hands, to finally touch, smell and experience flipping through the luminous pages of her inaugural publication, Ramoutar was speechless. She had done it!
âWords cannot express how I felt when I received the finished product and held it in my hands. It was a lifelong dream come true and seeing it unfold was something that brought me so much joy and pride.
âIn whatever task you set out for yourself, I think getting started is always the hardest part, and once you take that leap it gets so much easier.
âIn fact, writing it down and seeing my name on the cover was an overwhelming and moving feeling that I will never forget. “
Ramoutar also recognized Royards Publishing for playing a key role in its first publication.
She is now about to complete her second book in the children’s genre with another installment of the Susan series.