Two Sets of Siblings Create Children’s Books

Image via Unsplash

Image via Unsplash

Utilizing their unique talent of illustration and writing, two Irvine High sibling duos created children’s books to educate younger generations on COVID-19 and social injustices. 

Junior Monica Pal and sophomore Neil Pal, co-authored The COVID-19 ABC Alphabet Book. Similarly, Because the Peacock was Blue, was created by seniors Alex and Ashley Palakian to spotlight systematic racial issues and emphasize the importance of empathy and acceptance. 

“We want children to not only know about COVID-19 in itself.” Neil Pal said. “It was dangerous and very sudden for a lot of people, but we are all in this together. It’s not just affecting one person specifically, but us all as a community.” 

In early April, when the world shut down due to the pandemic, the Pal siblings created a book targeted towards younger children helping them understand why they could no longer do their usual activities. They compiled a list of words related to COVID-19, from A to Z, that explained and taught children about the virus. The simplicity of the book also allowed children to absorb and learn new vocabulary.  

“It’s not easy, nothing is easy, especially during these hard times.” Monica Pal said. “Getting through to people is very important and very hard. It’s the collaboration and the teamwork with all the players that really matters.” 

They initially found it difficult to relay their overarching message while keeping the words simple so children could still understand them. While the process may have been difficult, they hope their book will help children understand COVID-19 and be a crutch during their critical developmental periods. In the future, they hope to write other holiday-themed books. 

 “We can now truly understand what it’s like to write a book.” Neil Pal said. “It’s not a quick process, it takes time and a lot of effort goes into it. We can now understand what some of our favorite authors had to do to give us some of the most influential books ever.” 

Also wanting to educate the younger generations, the Palakian siblings created a book in June focusing on Peacock’s first day of school where she dealt with discrimination because of her unique feathers. At the end of the story, Peacock embodies the mean comments into colorful feathers and uses it as empowerment. They hope their book will encourage people to have more empathy, respect and love towards each other. 

“I think back to when I was in kindergarten or preschool and what really got me into reading were the pictures.” Ashley Palakian said. “They were so colorful, so vibrant, so engaging. I knew that if we wanted to reach this younger audience it needed to have artwork.”

The Palakian siblings decided to publish the story for others to enjoy, as they were proud of what they had accomplished, even though it was never their intention. Alex Palakian spent months hand drawing pictures that would narrate peacock’s day at school, while Ashley wrote a majority of the storyline and getting the book’s syntax to rhyme. In the future, they hope to create other books educating younger generations on social injustices.

“After creating the book, I realized how much power people have to make a difference, even if it is just with a product.” Alex Palakian said. “It was a ‘woah I did that realization’ when we finished. It was an out of body experience and reminded me to trust and have self-confidence in my abilities.”