About the Author
Mir Khalid Ali is an avid traveler, blogger, and foodie. He is the husband of an outstanding woman and father of two amazing children (a boy and a girl). He immigrated to the US from Pakistan as a 7-year-old and grew up on a farm in a small town in western Pennsylvania. He currently lives with his family in Philadelphia. He and his children have been taking Brazilian jiu-jitsu lessons since 2017.
In the author’s own words:
Ever since I was a kid, I have loved to read. I devoured books of all shapes and sizes. Pizza Hut’s “Book-It” program was made for me, and man, those “one-topping personal pan pizzas” were a boy’s dream come true! I’d pretty much read anything I got my hands on, including my female cousins’ The Baby-Sitters Club series. At some point, I started to write my own stories, secretly aspiring to emulate my heroes: Roald Dahl, Sid Fleischman, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Gertrude Warner, Lynn Reid Banks, R. L. Stine, and a whole bunch of others. Over the years, I’ve written several short stories, blog posts, some spoken word poetry as well as some regular poetry. My writing has never been anything more than a hobby though, shared only with family and close friends. I believe, however, that the “The Jiu-Jitsu Ponytail” is a story worth sharing more broadly. So I decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to see if we can get it published as a children’s picture book. Yes, I admit, it’s a big dream, but like they say, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take 🙂
About the Illustrator
Taahira Halim is a young artist living in Wilson, North Carolina with her husband. She is trained in early childhood education and took the full leap into children’s book illustration in 2017. “The Jiu Jitsu Ponytail” is the first full-length book featuring her work. In the illustrator’s own words:
The power to convey stories through artwork is one that has always fascinated me. I love getting lost in beautifully illustrated books and attempting to delve into the whys and hows of the artist’s mind when he/she crafted the details of an image. So naturally, my fascination became admiration, and I wanted to become that artist — to wield the ability to turn a story into artwork. I am new to children’s book illustration, although I have been producing other types of art for many years. So far, illustrating is a lot of fun! Especially when I run into a challenge that I must problem solve, like trying to figure out the best colors and composition to convey the emotions of a scene. I am so excited to have done this project, and I look forward to further learning and developing this amazing craft.
For more about the illustrator, please visit her website.