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Author launches children’s novel to inspire youngsters

09:00 16 August 2014

Clayhall children

Clayhall children's author Tariq Rana at a signing of his book Five Baby Blackbirds

Archant

A father has written and published his own children’s book.

Tariq Rana, who lives in Clayhall, wrote Five Baby Blackbirds: Learn How to Fly after being inspired by his youngsters Zakaria, 10, Zahra, 8, and Zayd, 4.

Tariq, who works as a director at BT, said: “I want to encourage children to read and tell their own stories.

“In my book, all the baby blackbirds have very different personalities, just like my own children.

“It’s about believing in themselves.”

As well as being a life ambition for 37-year-old Tariq, he has been donating funds from the book to the charity Care Pakistan.

The organisation takes over failing schools in the country where Tariq was born before moving to London when , aged two.

“The situation there is quite dire,” he said.

“There are a lot of kids that cannot go to school, and a lot of schools are failing.

“They don’t have the funds to keep the schools running.”

So far the charity has taken over the running of around 150 schools, paying teachers and staff and providing stability for students.

“I’ve got family in Pakistan so 
I know that education is something we in the UK? take for granted,” 
he said.

“It’s such a privilege here in the UK. Children are desperate to go to school but they turn up and there are no teachers.”

As well as writing and self-publishing the book, Tariq also produced his own illustrations for the children’s story which tells the tale of a family of five blackbird chicks who discover there is more to the world beyond their own nest.

The author entertained other people’s children at a special storytelling event last week at Redbridge Central Library. Tariq read from the book and brought it to life with his own blackbird puppets.

To find out more about Care Pakistan visit carepakistan.org.

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