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Illustrated Childhood Memories

Updated: Apr 10

children's book illustrations by Meital Regev
Children's book illustrations by Meital Regev

Today's column takes a delightful detour from coffee paintings to colorful watercolor escapades. I had the joy of illustrating two enchanting children's books penned by the legendary author Mali Peleg. Mali is a couple and family therapist specializing in diverse therapeutic approaches.

The first book, "I Don't Understand the Grownups", delves into the world of two brothers navigating the maze of family conflicts. The second book, "Agam Travels in the World of Names", follows the curious Agam on a quest for a perfect name in the whimsical world of names.

Growing up as the lone girl in a trio of mischievous brothers was an adventure in itself. 

I was the tomboy center of attention, courtesy of being the first granddaughter after a grand parade of six grandsons.

Amidst the chaos, I vividly recall an incident when a forbidden curse slipped from my lips, resulting in a spicy punishment of Yemeni Sakhug on my tongue ( Haven't cursed since – thanks, Mom!)

The spicy ordeal not only left me tongue-tied but also served as a comedic family tale for years to come.

Then came the watermelon betrayal orchestrated by my older brother, when he volunteered to make me a bowl of diced watermelon. 

The generous offer made me suspicious but indeed after a few minutes, he appeared with a seemingly generous bowl containing juicy watermelon. 

I sniffed the bowl suspiciously and took a large bite that was completely covered in salt.

'Painting a cat' an illustration from the book "Agam"
'Painting a cat' an illustration from the book "Agam"

One particularly memorable night brought a sneak attack from my older brother, as I got into my bed to sleep I felt something crawling on me, I was amazed to find a matchbox filled with tiny beetles strategically placed under my blanket. 

Even the babysitter wasn't spared from our brand of amusement. A plastic worm strategically placed at the bottom of her tea sparked a moment of shock and screaming in terror. We haven't seen her since.

As we entered our teenage years, my brother coordinated an alarm clock symphony, when he hid 5 alarm clocks in the room. The clocks went off at staggered intervals.

One clock was inside the piano, one was tucked inside a large speaker, requiring the unscrewing of four screws to retrieve the hidden clock. The other clocks were hidden in bizarre locations, creating a bluster that woke up the entire household.

Purim (a Jewish holiday) at my grandparents' house brought a unique form of amusement. Behind the big gate facing the main street in Rehovot, my brothers and I would use a farting pillow to startle unsuspecting passers-by. The laughter that followed became a cherished part of our Purim tradition.

'Tomato girl' an illustration from the book "Agam"
'Tomato girl' an illustration from the book "Agam"

These heartwarming stories struck a chord, whisking me back to my childhood days 

These childhood adventures, filled with laughter, pranks, and shared moments, find a new resonance as I illustrated Mali Peleg's stories.

While the books aren't autobiographical, they capture the essence of childhood experiences and the unique bond that siblings share.

Curious to dive into these illustrated wonders? Grab your copies directly from Mali Peleg at +972-52-4262121. 

Happy reading!

Meital Regev Coffee artist and art kids book illustrator


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