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Flower Sketches

Gloria D. Gonsalves Author Interview

Alphabet of Flowers is a fun children’s book that teaches young readers about different flowers. What was the inspiration for the idea behind this book?

I love flowers, especially wild ones. I began drawing using wax crayons with our toddler about a year ago. As a painting medium, crayons are readily available and not messy for quick sketching and painting. Sometimes, we draw together, or I do it alone as a relaxing activity during the short breaks between motherhood responsibilities. I shared the flower sketches on my Instagram stories. A Tanzanian author and literacy specialist advised me to write an alphabet book. So, I wrote this book with a Tanzanian child in mind. I was already working on a bilingual book project on a similar topic. It seemed fitting to branch off from that original project and complete the suggested small one first.

My favourite picture from the book is the Poppy. Do you have a favourite flower from this book?

I love all of them and intended to avoid the popular flowers appearing in the A-to-Z lists of flowers. However, letters such as the X were challenging as there is not much variety of commonly known flowers. As I was writing with a Tanzanian child in mind, I focused on what is possibly available in their tropical environments like the African violet, bougainvillea, or okra flowers. Nevertheless, the African violet would be close to my heart because it originates from the Usambaras where I grew up. Unfortunately, found only in East Africa, the African violet is in danger because of its habitat shrinking.

What do you find that children most love about flowers?

From the observation I made with my son, it’s the different colours and shapes. They are also available to touch and smell, which is great for their sensory development. Flowers can also be used as a painting colour. On touching, one has to be well informed to know which are poisonous in case of ingestion.

Do you have plans to write more educational books on flowers or other things in nature?

This book was a smaller version of another bilingual children’s project that I am working on.

Most of my children’s stories use nature as the story background. For example, the Lamellia series as fables also offer a lesson and curiosity on mycology.

Author Links: Facebook | GoodReads | Website | Instagram

Can you learn to read and identify flowers?

Auntie Glo invites you to have fun with this book. You can learn to read or enjoy looking at the pictures, and you can also learn to draw a flower yourself using wax crayons, just as she did.

And Then You Left (Poetry Video)

For Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day by Gloria D. Gonsalves

Grieving, they say, is the cousin
of loneliness, bonded through
closeness or distant blood.
You left my body the same way.
Slipped away silently, as far kin
of my clan, and yet closer for I
still, feel the knives cutting through
the womb where I had you alive.

Our conversation was one-sided,
but I knew you were listening.
We already had names for you,
representing us, from two cultures.
We manifested you as a girl.
I had begun recalling wisdom
to share with you, our child.
When pain slowed my right leg,
I held hope that we would meet.

That night on my birthday,
I prayed, asking the virgin mother
to take you was the holiest prayer
I have ever offered to the ascended.
The pain was too much to bear
and faith guided me to let you go.
You held on tight, determined to
stay, but the boat carrying you
was sinking to the death realm.
I helped, perhaps more myself than you,
by drinking chamomile tea.
The tea drowsed, and pain floated
like a red amaryllis flower.

My beloved unborn, forgive me
as my waters failed to keep you safe.
It was a long night of life
until I dragged myself to your gravesite;
a bowl of waste and other discharges.
I heard you leave with a ‘plop’ sound,
from waters of life to the waters
of the dead and unwanted remnants.

I still wonder whether you finally rested
in heavenly waters, or you were minced
in the sewer, like a thing, not human.
I keep your existence in this world,
but a mother is not one without proof.
When in the forest, I still hear you
swimming and murmuring in the streams
and that gives me a sea of comfort;
you are still in this life, only parallel to
that which my boat sails saddened.



Leo siku ya simanzi
tuzibebe kanga zetu.
Tusambaze kona zake nne
zikawe ngao ya uchungu wetu.
Kanga zetu zibebe faraja
hadharani na faraghani.
Magufuli katutoka
kama jua linalozama.
Tuzibebe kanga zetu
tukasambaze matumaini.

Machozi yatutiririka
kwa kasi ya mto Ruvu.
Tuzibebe kanga zetu
tukadeki nyuso zetu.
Kilio kimetutia kikwi
tujisitiri na kanga zetu.
Waliotangulia tuwaombee
heri iwavushe kwa maulana.
Tuzibebe kanga zetu
kama mkeka wa sala.

Kanga zetu tuzifukize rehema
ili tujawe karama.
Vinyongo na visasi tupepee
vitoweke kwa haya na soni.
Marehemu wetu tuwaenzi
fedheha sio kanga yetu.
Tuilinde amani yetu
kwa umaridadi wa kanga.
Tuyavae maneno mema
kwa madaha ya utanashati.
Tuzibebe kanga zetu
tukamuage baba yetu.

Tamati ya maisha imefika
buriani haitoshi pindo.
Kanga zetu ni vigawanyio
kati ya mauti na maisha.
Sare za kanga zetu
ni shada zenye thamani.
Tutandike kanga zetu
kwenye njia ya mazishi.
Waliolala wanafarijika
kusindikizwa kifahari.
Tuzibebe kanga zetu
safari ya baba imekwisha.



Today is a day of mourning
let us carry our kangas.
Let us spread its four corners
as a shield for our pain.
Our wraps should carry comfort
publicly and privately.
Magufuli has left us
like the setting sun.
Let us carry our kangas
to go spread hope.

Tears are welled up
like the speed of the Ruvu river.
Let us carry our kangas
to mop our faces.
Weeping has hiccupped us
let us shield ourselves with our kangas.
Let us pray for the gone ones
to cross over with blessings.
Let us carry our kangas
like a prayer mat.

Let us fragrance our kangas with mercy
so we may be gifted with deliverance.
Let us wave away bitterness and vengeance
that they depart ashamed and confounded.
Let us honour our late loved ones
for ridicule is not our kanga.
Let us protect our peace
with beauty of the wrap.
Let us wear good words
with pride of elegance.
Let us carry our kangas
to bid farewell to our father.

The end of life has come
farewell does not fit the hem.
Our kangas are a border
between death and life.
Our kangas as uniforms
are valuable wreaths.
Let us lay our kangas
on the road to the funeral.
Those gone are comforted
by this elegant escort.
Let us carry our kangas
our father’s journey is over.

The Wizard in the Forest – Trailer

Can a song save a kingdom? When King Polipoli discovers his wife caused the sickness of his child and the weakness of other members of the Lamellia Kingdom, he imprisons her.

But is Queen Nobilia really guilty after all? What is the mystery of her sad song? Does a strange wizard in the green forest have the answers? Or will they harm the kingdom further? Get your copy now to find out the answers and reveal to your children the importance of being kind or brave and the consequences of our actions.

Amazon | Website


We Are Earth (A Speech Poem)

We Are Earth (A Speech Poem)
Gloria D. Gonsalves


Danloria: The Secret Forest of Germania

Danloria: The Secret Forest of Germania by [Gonsalves, Gloria D.]

The magical forests of Germania beckon! When five-year-old Stan is invited to a party by a talking Fern, he eagerly enters a lush, verdant world of discovery. When Stan falls ill, his forest friends find a cure. When he gets lost, they guide him home. The forest’s generosity truly knows no bounds.

Danloria: The Secret Forest of Germania reveals the protective and healing powers of the forest and its vegetation. Author Gloria Gonsalves cleverly teaches children the names and characteristics of plants, and their ability to heal or harm. Her enchanting fable reveals the countless ways the Earth protects and provides. The true magic of this book is in the illustrations that were created by children. Each drawing is engaging and gives the story an added layer of meaning through the imaginations of young artists. It is a heart-warming story that speaks to the giving nature of the Earth.

Pages: 61 | ASIN: B07926X9S4

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The Ocean Seeks My Sorrow As Its Water

Poetry movie by Gloria Gonsalves


Stay Faithful to the Stories in Your Head

Gloria D. Gonsalves Author Interview

Gloria D. Gonsalves Author Interview

Lamellia: The Kingdom of Mushrooms follows the king and queen of Lamellia as the kingdom is dealing with the appearance of a human child. What was the direction that you wanted to take this book that was different from The Wicked Queen?

Lamellia: The Kingdom of Mushrooms is the prequel to Lamellia: The Wicked Queen. There was no direction for the plot except that I honoured the file downloaded to me by nature. The story line seemed absolutely piffle but it nudged to be told and I had to respect the idea as it came to mind. Perhaps I was paying tribute to Paula Hawkins words “Stay faithful to the stories in your head.”

In this book we get to explore more of the king’s backstory. What were some themes you wanted to capture in his character?

I recall seeing this big, ugly and brown mushroom during a forest walk. As I sat down to write the story based on that particular mushroom, it seemed natural that regardless of its appearance it’s going to be the story lead because I saw it first and the idea of the book followed.

Why did you choose mushrooms to be a large part of your world?

This book was not planned at all. I got the idea while out in the nature. One could say that the inspiration was fuelled by my husband, who likes to point out names of wild plants in the forest.

Being authentic with this story was important even though to some people it seemed ridiculous or not one to pay most money.

Some parts of the books might appear harsh to a child. I am not keen to block truth and reality from a child such as there are poisoning mushrooms out there or some human behaviours have negative impacts to nature.

I also remember one marketing person who saw the draft and told me that their child did not like the story and went further to suggest I write a different book based on trending topics at that time which made more money. It did not put me off because humans are different and our motivations are diverse. A child who is not raised to explore nature and its residents will probably not be excited by this book. It was essential to tell this story without money being the motivator.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am working on two projects simultaneously. One is a children’s Swahili book co-authored by Tanzanian writers. The other is of course the continuation of Lamellia story. For the latter, I am open minded to receive ideas for where Lamellia story should go but I trust to know when the end has come.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Lamellia: The Kingdom of Mushrooms by [Gonsalves, Gloria D.]

Can a lost baby girl find a new home in a world of enchanted, talking mushrooms? King Polipoli is kind to all who enter his magical kingdom. When he learns that a human baby girl needs his help, he sends out all his mushroom troops to rescue her. But the journey wont be easy. After all, how can the little fungi carry a baby? Or feed her? Mushrooms of all shapes, sizes, and species must use teamwork and creativity to bring the girl safely to the kings castle. Lamellia: The Kingdom of Mushrooms is a delightful educational picture book for children. During the fun-filled adventure, your children will discover the importance of kindness, tolerance, and acceptance. If your child likes seeing beautiful illustrations, learning about nature, and using their imagination, then theyll love this charming fantasy tale. Journey to Lamellia today to have a fun time with fungi!

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