On June 12th, Saturday Gulhan Moeel is going to read us, Havalı Fasulye (The Cool Bean) in TURKISH! Everyone knows the cool beans. They’re sooooo cool. And then there’s the uncool has-bean… Always on the sidelines, one bean unsuccessfully tries everything he can to fit in with the crowd–until one day the cool beans show him how it’s done.
Who is Gulhan Moeel?
I was eight years old when my second grade teacher sent me to audition for the Children Chorus of Ankara. A year ago, my first grade teacher had given me “iyi” (B) in music, finding me too advanced for that grade. So unnecessary for her to sing Brahms’ Lullaby in class, she had said to my furious older sisters. But lucky me, the conductor didn’t know that story. He accepted me into the chorus.
While working for the children’s chorus, I found my passion, theater. I auditioned for it and started to work in the children’s theater of Ankara Radio up until I went to college. For a brief time I worked for Ankara Art Theatre (AST). I loved theater, but I knew I had to go back to my studies. I studied engineering at Abadan Institute of Technology, and worked as an engineer for 30 years in Iran and the United States. I speak Turkish, Farsi fluently in addition to English. I mostly write in English.
Years later while vacationing in Cirali, Turkey I came upon the most amazing phenomenon. The fascinating sea turtles! We were lucky to be there in time for their eggs to hatch. It was just before sunrise when a few of us gathered to witness this beautiful nature show. We were told year after year these turtles called Carreta Carreta, return to lay their eggs on the same beaches of their birth. We stood there transfixed to watch them climbing out of their 30-40 cm deep nest in the sand. They seemed to be in a hurry. They pushed themselves with their tiny arms over everything regardless of their size or shape. The sun was barely visible, and these tiny dots were rushing toward cool waters of Cirali. The only little kid in our group was with his mother and grandmother. Suddenly he jumped ahead and squished one of the baby turtles with his feet. His mother was mortified. She kept asking but why? His grandmother came to his rescue.”What’s the big deal, there are hundreds of them here” she said. We felt bad for the mother and left the scene. I wanted to write about the incident to get over it somehow. The idea of this book stemmed from that experience. I wrote the story from the turtle’s point of view. I wanted to write this story for my granddaughter to teach her about turtles and how precious they are, I had to write it for her age group. It had to be positive. It had to be a hero’s journey. It had to have a happy ending. That’s how “Please Don’t Push” was written. The best part was the book was illustrated by my younger daughter as a gift for my 60th birthday.