Bholu and Totu are flying a Kite. They are best friends. Bholu is a pudgy grey elephant and Totu is a tiny white mouse with shrewd eyes. The wind blows harder and the kite gets stuck up in a tall oak tree. Totu is just too small to get this kite back. Bholu is tall but not tall enough. If only there was someone taller.
Enter Zarafoo: dark, broody giraffe, moping around in his jacket, boots and a Pushto hat. Zarafoo’s is their friend and being a giraffe is also the tallest. Zarafoo can’t help rubbing it in as he plucks the kite with ease from the tree and saves the day. But this is forgotten in a minute as they lose themselves playing with the kite.
These three wonderful characters were created to solve a very important question:
What would be the best way to teach the little kindergartners the concept of height?
But it wasn’t just this singular question that they solved. There were so many more. These characters were later used in stories to introduce mathematical concepts among like size, weight, length, temperature among others. These three friends got so much love in the classrooms that they became somewhat like SABAQ’s darlings, and started getting regularly featured in other subjects like Urdu and General Knowledge.
This trio is not the brainchild of one, but of a group of very talented writers and illustrators. Stories that explained concepts yet managed to keep the child engaged through and through with vivid colors and delightful sounds, all presented on a tablet that just added on to the novelty. Keeping in mind that it is the audience for whom we create, we focused on basic shapes with solid colors.
Since these stories deal with explaining a concept, clarity of expression is emphasized throughout, whether it is the artwork or the tone or the concept explained. But that doesn’t mean we don’t get to have fun with our characters. They are brought to life through comedy, sometimes through fantasy to make reading and learning from a memorable experience.
While creating them has been quite the experience, we at SABAQ can’t wait to see these characters in motion as we work on animating them. Just imagine the trio tottering about on our screens, something that we’re looking forward to!