Edna Khalily of Great Neck has published her first book, Alisha’s Magical Red Lipstick: 999 Ways To Feel Beautiful. The book follows the main character Alisha on a journey to become more confident and discover her inner beauty. The book shares an important message with vibrant illustrations done by Stan Jaskiel.
Khalily is married with three boys and has been a teacher for almost three decades. Seven years ago, Khalily lost her mother unexpectedly to throat cancer. During the three months Khalily’s mother was sick, they spent much time together and shared some beautiful moments. Khalily shared how her mother asked her to remember the messages she taught her as a child.
After her mother’s passing, Khalily reminisced on some of the meaningful lessons and advice she remembers from her mother. One that stuck out to her the most was when her mother told her there are 1000 ways to be beautiful.
“Every mother thinks that her daughter is the most beautiful girl in the world and my mom wanted me to always feel beautiful,” said Khalily. “She told me a woman has a thousand way to be beautiful, but only one of them is the physical beauty. And I asked her to tell me what are the other 999 ways of being beautiful. She said to me, that’s your journey. That’s what you have to go out there and find.”
Khalily’s book stars a young girl named Alisha. Alisha doesn’t feel pretty and she tells her mother her concerns. Alisha and her mom have a strong relationship where they share their thoughts and help one another. While Alisha is listening to her mother’s advice, she sees a glowing red lipstick and asks to try it on.
“My mother was always wearing red lipstick and she even gave me red lipstick as a gift,” said Khalily. Khalily’s own mother inspired many aspects of the book, including the magical red lipstick that takes Alisha on a journey.
When Alisha tries on the lipstick, she gets sucked through a portal in the mirror to another land where she meets a friend, Binsa, that guides her on the journey around the world.
“The two girls travel around the world to find people in different places,” said Khalily. “This book will teach child geography and it’s diverse. You see people of all cultures. The characters travel to places like India, Australia, England and Africa.”
Throughout Alisha’s journey aross the globe and meeting new people, she learns how to accept herself and feel confident in her own skin.
Khalily is excited to help spread this message to parents and young girls about how important inner beauty is. Now more than ever, social media shows seemingly perfect and beautiful people to young girls that makes them feel like they aren’t good enough. Khalily hopes her book can help children discover their own inner beauty and hold onto it.
It took Khalily about a year to put together her book. Since the book was published in early January of this year, Khalily has been overwhelmed and humbled by the feedback on her book.
Khalily is currently planning reading events at libraries, schools and bookstores across Long Island to help spread the message of her book to young children.
Alisha’s Magical Red Lipstick: 999 Ways To Feel Beautiful is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit ednakhalily.com to learn more.