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Q & A with the Author

Saryana and the Wonderful Djembe Drum 

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In this section, we sit down with author Madalina Hubert to get an insight into what inspired her to write Saryana and the Wonderful Djembe Drum.

Madalina Hubert is a Toronto-based writer and editor who has written dozens of feature stories for magazines, newspapers, and websites. She has also written several scripts for children's mini-series. 
 
Madalina is passionate about art and culture and loves creating stories that inspire young readers. She is the author of three lovely picture books: A Hat for GrandmaLydia the Warrior Princess, and Saryana and the Wonderful Djembe Drum.

What inspired you to write Saryana and the Wonderful Djembe Drum?

 

Many years ago, I was admiring a beautiful djembe drum displayed in front of an African store in Toronto. Seeing me there, the salesman, dressed in traditional garb, came out and said, “Go ahead and play it.” “But I don't know how,” I replied. “It's simple,” he said. “Just play to the beat of your heart.”

His simple yet profound words stayed with me for a long time, leading me to reflect on the wisdom within. Some time later, the story of Saryana came to me unexpectedly. The lines of dialogue started flowing into my head, and I wrote them down as they came. As time went on, I went through several drafts, trying to make the story as clear and meaningful as possible.

 

What did you enjoy most about the writing process?

 

I wrote the first draft in a very short time, but the process of crafting and editing the story involved a long journey of self-discovery and self-improvement. Looking back, I can certainly see my growth process through the various stages of writing and editing.

 

What was the most rewarding aspect of writing Saryana and the Wonderful Djembe Drum?

Every time I think about this story, I feel inspired by its beauty and wonder. Perhaps this is because it includes so many experiences and understandings I've had about the wonder of nature, the wisdom of tradition, and the preciousness of intergenerational connections.

 

To be able to share this story with children and their families is a great joy!

 

What was it like to see this story come to life through the illustrations?

 

It was a treat to see the story emerge visually through the wonderful illustrations of Bella Maher.  I worked with Bella on my first story, A Hat for Grandma: A Knitting Story, and I was glad that she was able to bring her warmth, generosity, and enthusiasm to Saryana and the Wonderful Djembe Drum as well. 


                                                       

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Saryana and the Wonderful Djembe Drum
 

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