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Shlomi Nachmani: "This book is a bit like stand-up" | Israel today


Says the illustrator and graphic designer, who wrote about his family experiences in the shadow of the corona virus in a new and entertaining book of poems • "Everyone experiences routine events all the time, but almost no one stops to think about them until the stand-up artist arrives who illuminates everything with humor and creates empathy and connection between everyone, that's a bit of what I tried to do"

"I have a baby grandpa, his name is Grandpa Moshe and he is so sweet. He doesn't really talk and sits in a wheelchair, he is missing a few teeth and he even wears diapers.

Grandma shows me old photographs from the days when grandpa had a lot of hair and lots of muscles. But slowly he Being a baby again. Because sometimes that happens when you get old"

In quite a few children's books, elderly people are described and illustrated with a kindness that is characterized by smiling faces, glasses, curly hair, baldness and also likes.

Shlomi Nachmani's children's book, as is the best tradition in the genre, is also illustrated and full of poems and rhymes, but he insists on not skipping over the sometimes complex facts of life, and tries to mediate different family situations for the children, even if they are less convenient for the parents.

"This song is based on a private experience of ours in the family," he explains, "but like other topics that come up in the book, they are actually shared by many, many families. Old people are really kind, as is often described in children's books, but sometimes they end up in difficult situations and that Part of life, so I saw no reason to ignore it."

The book "Family Matters", which was recently published by Tangier Publishing, was written by Nachmani inspired by stories and family events that he, his partner Abigail and his children - Sheri (10), Aner (7) and Amari (3) - experienced as throughout the book he tried to present the things from the children's point of view.

"Our third child", he tells about the process that led to the creation of the book, "was born during the Corona period, a month before the first lockdown. The level of stress and madness at home during the closures and restrictions flooded a lot of things with us and among many families. There was a kind of brotherhood in Basa and family situations were created that were common to everyone.

"I really like to sing to children in rhymes and during the corona virus many ideas came up and I didn't want it to be lost so I thought I would just write a sort of coming-of-age diary that would include songs from the family. Little by little it accumulated and when I shared the songs I wrote with friends, they said these were exactly the stories that happened in their family. So we decided to gather Everything to tell."

The book is intended for children, but the appeal and wink to parents is evident in almost every poem.

"I'm happy that it came out in such a way that it's both a book for children and a book that parents have fun reading and identifying with the content, which creates a shared experience."

The book has a lot of realism, but it is equipped with a lot of humor designed to make accessible to children serious topics that are subject to controversy in the public discourse, such as ethnic identity.

"I like to eat foods with strange names: okra and amba, mahamar and harara, slops, lahochim, siniya and sphinj, metafonia, hamusta, mufalta, hobaza, maprom, maamol and shabkia as well. baklava, sambusk, pastels, malavah, bulgul and tapand , but most of all I like to eat pizza"


"Grandma Esther keeps telling me: my freckles are atonement for you, Jean dell'Amer. And it's nice to hear even though I don't understand anything."

According to Nachmani


"As a society, we need to show, learn and recognize as much difference and diversity as possible. There is no reason to text it. Sectarianism should appear in a subtle way. It is part of my children's identity and part of the identity of many children. Sectarianism is part of who we are, so it came to me An expression in the book as well."

One poem in the book also deals with religion and God and the different perception and worldview that exists regarding them.

"A lot of children's books touch on these things in a certain way, but very few are afraid to touch on the thing itself. I don't think there is a family, whether it is very religious, traditional or secular, that does not have a stage where the boy or girl does not ask about God. This is the question of the questions in the end Every child and parent faces this, that's why I flooded it in the book and showed that there are different approaches and that everyone can shape their own perception and decide for themselves how and what they believe when they grow up."

The book also deals with topics such as money and health, but beyond that, it also goes down to much smaller family resolutions, such as one of the favorite things of every family - the quarrels.

"There are many songs about little brothers, I have a brother like this and I have a brother like that and we are always the best of friends... No, with us it's not like in the songs. My brother is not sweet at all and certainly not cute, not even jokingly."

And there is also the part that puts a mirror in front of the parents and reminds them that despite the many demands of their children, they are also not perfect.

"Mom wants us to eat the healthiest. Fruits, vegetables, and bread that is made from saffron... instead of chocolate spread, she uses carob spread... she calculates calories and balances carbohydrates, grows sprouts and squeezes juices and thinks that we don't know... that at night when we seem to be sleeping, father and she gobble up lots of sweets" .

"We all do it," explains Nachmani, "we demand that the children eat healthy things or not be constantly in front of screens, but we also don't always maintain a healthy diet and don't really manage to disconnect from our cell phones. We really want to protect our children but we ourselves do the opposite It's fine and logical, but it's important that it be on the table, we shouldn't feel bad that we sometimes eat sweets at night, but it's important that we acknowledge and admit it."

Nachmani (43) from Tel Aviv is an illustrator and graphic designer, a graduate of the visual communication major at Bezalel.

In 2009, he founded The Studio with his partner, the book designer Abigail Rayner - a studio specializing in branding and art design that designed covers for novels, bestsellers and poetry books as well as some children's books.

 "Family Matters" is his first book and he illustrated the illustrations himself after consulting with his children, "I read them the poems and asked them about the illustrations. They think differently and their ideas are very natural and free and this helped me. The illustrations in the book largely reflect the way they see Us parents."

When you look at the world from the children's point of view, you can also find here and there some for life, for raising children from the little ones themselves.

"And one last question I have for parents,"

the book says,

"when a child asks for 'something tasty' for lunch, do you really not understand that he actually wants candy?"

"This book is a bit like a stand-up show," concludes Nachmani, "everyone constantly experiences routine events, but almost no one stops to think about them until the stand-up comedian comes along who illuminates everything with humor and creates empathy and connection between everyone. To a certain extent, this is also what I try to do In the book - to take everyday experiences from raising children and in general from the family unit, and show that they are related to all of us and we can only learn and laugh from them."

And after dealing with world-class issues, it is impossible not to mention the author's rest described in the book, which, like a common man, is conveyed, of course, not in the bedroom or on the sofa in the living room, but in a much more exotic place.

"When dad is in the bathroom, dad is on vacation, he tells me and slams the door shut. I don't know what he's doing there. Mom says he'll enjoy it, it's a short vacation. But I kind of feel sorry for him, because what I do know is that dad's vacations stink.

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Source: israelhayom

All life articles on 2023-01-31

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