Jolly Animals, the initial story

Lama’s dream has always been to write children’s books. Expecting her second baby, having a degree in graphic design, and working in childcare while studying for her diploma, it was no surprise that she took great interest in every children’s book under the sun.

Graced with the excitement of our daughter’s imminent arrival into our life, we set out to get her all the good things we could find. Clothes, toys, and most importantly, story books.

Being a Muslim couple in Australia, we foraged the internet for interesting baby and toddler books with a muslim flavour. We found a very small number of story books for that age group with characters that our baby can build a bond with at such a ripe age.

Now that our daughter is two years old, her love for cartoon characters has reached new heights. She had a Minnie themed birthday, watches Peppa Pig every morning, listens to Dora songs on repeat and only wears dresses like Sophia. Given that her interaction with those characters came during night time reading and limited TV time, we realised the potential that carefully crafted characters have in shaping our little one’s mind. One day, we got so surprised with how excited she was to go to the doctor but soon found out she wanted to get a sticker ‘like Dora’.

That's when things got serious. Lama's husband Kais, who has an MA in graphic branding and identity, and bright young illustrator Nicola joined to make up the core of the tiny Jolly Animals team.

Why Jolly Animals came to be

In The Holy Quran, Allah uses animals to teach us valuable life lessons. With Jolly Animals, we have decided to do just that with our children through stories inspired by those very animals.

This not only ensures that our children will have the most perfect of cartoon role models, but also gives babies and toddlers a chance to bond with characters that could act as their entryway into the Quran when they are old enough to do so.

A jolly good promise

Just like the stories, the Jolly Animals brand is built on good morals, and we only work with producers and contractors that match them.

Meet the team

Lama - our chief dreamer, writer and co-founder

Salaam! Thank you for taking interest in Jolly Animals.

After gaining my Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design, I quickly realised that I loved designing for a cause, and not a client… But my favourite client came in the form of an anima-loving two year old daughter! Wanting to teach her the beauty of our religion, I had the right cause to embark on this jolly journey.

I had always dreamt of writing children’s books and now I had all the motivation to do so. Being from a Palestinian origin, and having migrated to Australia from Lebanon four years ago, I want to share the tender morals of our holy book with the rest of the world.

With the help of my husband, Nicola, friends and family, and with your invaluable support, this is now becoming a reality! Let’s bring Jolly Animals to life, together.

Kais - our designer, writer and co-founder

Salaam, peace, and hello.

I've been a corporate designer my entire career. With a masters degree in branding, my entire focus was in the corporate world. But with the rise of the start up culture, and with some of our friends really going for ideas they truly believed in, it was easy to go all in with Lama when she dreamt up Jolly Animals.

It is incredibly refreshing to be able throw myself into a passion project, especially one that is lead with so much of Lama's love, dreams, and aspirations, and one that is founded on something as pure and as genuine as the Holy Quran.

Nicola - our superstar illustrator and consultant

Hi, my name is Nicola!

I’m an illustrator with a very big interest in colour theory. I’m a visual person, so pictures are the easiest way for me to communicate.

Using them to illustrate the magical journey of The Yellow Cow has been a really fun and challenging task that I enjoyed so much. She’s such a bright and confident character! I had to work really hard to bring out her personality in drawings and colours.

And of course, she had to be yellow! So we chose colours that are just as bright as she is. We put so much love into her, so I really hope when people see her, she can bring as big a smile to your face as she does to mine!