Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.
Hello, Mom’s Choice readers! Thank you for joining us for another interview in our ongoing series! For this interview, we had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Rana Boulos, author of the Mom’s Choice Award-winning book, Tamara the Tornado! Tamara is a newborn tornado who goes on an adventure and ends up being the hero of the day. This story relates scientific facts about tornado formation in an engaging and colorful way while teaching basic concepts. It is the perfect mix of entertainment and education for elementary readers! Keep reading to learn more about Rana and her award-winning book, Tamara the Tornado!
MCA: Hi Rana, thank you so much for speaking with us today, and congratulations on your Mom’s Choice Award! Can we first start the interview off by finding out a little bit about yourself?
Rana: I’m an Educator, Entrepreneur, and Children’s Books Author. I’m a graduate of the prestigious McGill University, Canada, where I hold a B.A. in Modern Languages (Russian & Japanese) as well as a B.Ed. in Elementary Grades. I’m also a mother of two wonderful daughters. I have taught grades K to 6 for a total of 15 years.
In 2011, I founded and directed my own accredited Preschool in the UAE, and in 2020, after closing the doors of that successful business, I started my own publishing company – Rana Boulos Author Limited. I have published 4 books so far, and presently working on Book 5.
I am most passionate about children’s education and languages. I believe that the traditional way of teaching children is outdated and that picture books, when integrated into the curriculum can tremendously help children extend their learning and gain the knowledge and learning outcomes needed to succeed.
I am multi-lingual and speak 6 languages. I realized that when learning a new language, one doesn’t only learn the language, but also the culture of its people. When traveling, I enjoy immersing myself in a holistic experience by getting acquainted with the country’s people, food, culture, and language.
I do my best writing in a café with a view of the sea, or in my cozy home in the United Arab Emirates, where I’ve been residing for twenty-two years.
MCA: You have lived quite an interesting life! Can you tell us more about how the closing of your preschool due to the pandemic led you to become a children’s book author?
Rana: When the pandemic hit, I had to permanently close the doors of my school. This allowed me to pursue another dream of mine, writing and self-publishing children’s picture books with the aim of educating children through them.
MCA: As the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens, quite literally in your case! Tell us about some of the key lessons that can be found in your award-winning children’s book, Tamara the Tornado?
Rana: Tamara the Tornado aims to educate children about tornadoes: how and why they form and their consequences. A sub-topic within the book is how two primary colors can be mixed to form a secondary color. It also touches upon changes in physical matter and how an object can be transformed, but through these changes, the matter is always conserved.
The story is a mixture of fantasy and non-fiction. Children will relate to it through its simplified delivery and wonderful illustrations.
MCA: Tamara the Tornado is Book 3 in the Nature Speaks Series, what is the overall purpose and message of each book in the series?
Rana: The Nature Speaks Series is a series of books written to inform and educate children about the acts of nature and natural disasters in a fun and entertaining way. With character personification and vivid illustrations, kids can easily grasp concepts that would otherwise be too abstract for them. The books are meant to be read inside and outside the classroom as a complement to science subjects. They are a great resource for educators (K-3) and parents who want to deepen children’s learning through picture books.
MCA: Every book in The Nature Speaks Series is definitely an amazing resource for any educator or caretaker, with characters that really help little readers relate to each story! Tell us more about the characters of each book in the Nature Speaks Series, and what their purpose is.
Rana: Book 1, Pearl the Raindrop: The Great Water Cycle Journey is a story about a personified drop of seawater who experiences the water cycle first-hand.
The book begins with an introduction in which the water cycle is described in a diagram. This cycle is presented in the following pages of the story. Each page of the book describes a particular part of this cycle. Moreover, the whole book is illustrated and the reader can visually follow the whole process from beginning to end.
Book 2, Vladimir the Volcano: A Tale of an Unforeseen Eruption is a story about a personified volcano who one day wakes up from his deep slumber feeling really sick. The step-by-step process of volcanic activity is fun and entertaining. It is accompanied by colorful and vivid illustrations.
This book, like all other books in the Nature Speaks Series, begins with an introduction and diagram which summarize the volcanoes for adults, who can use this information in subsequent discussions with their children.
MCA: What kind of response from readers have you received?
Rana: Readers, young and old, seem to really enjoy these books. I have had a really good response from educators, parents, and grandparents telling me how much they have enjoyed the stories in my books and how their children asked to read them again and again.
I love the children’s smiles, giggles, and wonders when I read my books. Parents, educators, and librarians use my stories as an introduction to Weather and Earth Sciences.
MCA: Reactions such as those are so very rewarding! If you could ensure readers of your books walk away with one main lesson, what would it be?
Rana: It is a wondrous world we live in and nature is all around us. Science is fun! Learning about nature and natural disasters doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, all acts of nature bring about something positive and necessary, not sole destruction.
MCA: There’s nothing better than being able to learn while also having fun! Thank you for a wonderful interview, Rana. We hope to hear more from you and the Nature Speaks Series very soon!
You can learn more about Rana Boulos and her award-winning book, Tamara the Tornado by visiting her MCA Shop pages.