"Would parents and children who haven't had first-hand encounters with adoption be able to appreciate What Sallamah Didn't Know?"
"Were the (emotional) layers expressed in the writing too difficult for these readers?"
"Are the writing and illustrations too depressing?"
These were the questions I have been pondering over the last few days, given the comments that two trusted friends had passed recently. One had a sibling who was given away and another was a theatre practitioner with an eye for visual detail. Both were candid and had the best of intentions. And I do appreciate their feedback very much.
This morning, I was greeted by this email:
We received your book and my daughter was the first person to read it. She was intrigued. Her whole body, really, I mean whole body, was absorbed in the book. It was simple to read, easy to understand, and it touched her. Very clever illustration by Mr Khairuddin. Not so cartoonish. It is different from the usual picture story books which she has read and that interests her. She told me the whole story. She is into story telling now, with facial expression and gestures. It felt great to see such improvement in her.
Kudos to you and Khairuddin!!
Suraya - mother of Nadiah, aged 8.
And this came by SMS a few days ago:
My daughter enjoyed your book so much and asked so many questions about Sallamah - why her parents did not want her, etc. Very intriguing to her. She told me to ask you if you can write more of this type of local tales because she enjoys them so much!
Rahimah - mother of a primary schooler.
What I do know for sure is - it's been a very gratifying journey. And I relish every bit of learning that comes with it. :)
So please keep your feedback coming.
P/S - By the way, I am thinking of the next story - perhaps something about a little boy this time. If you have an interesting story about a boy growing up in Singapore, do feel free to mail me at email@example.com.