Who I Am


Salam & Hi, I’m Emma Apple, author-illustrator and indie publisher of over 16 Islamic and Muslim children’s books. I’ve been working in the indie children’s publishing world for almost a decade and also have almost 15 years of experience in design and illustration.

These are my creative hats:

Emma Apple the indie author-illustrator & publisher

I write and illustrate children’s books for families and teachers who want unique and multicultural bookshelves.

Through my books, I introduce children to complex concepts and new ideas that help them understand the people and world around them. My goal as a children’s writer is fearless honesty and respecting the questions and intellectual abilities of young minds.

My journey as a writer began in the anthology Bona Fide: 53 true Kiwi stories about life as a teen (Avocado, 2003), with a piece about being a Muslim teenager in my native NZ. A decade later I debuted as a children’s illustrator in Hind’s Hands: A Story About Autism by Umm Juwayriyah (As Sabr Publications, 2013).

My debut as an independent author-illustrator, How Big Is Allah? (2014) quickly reached #1 in the Amazon Islamic Children’s category and set me on the path to an indie publishing career.

As of 2022, I have written, illustrated, and/or 16+ books published through Little Moon Books. Including bilingual, Islamic, non-religious, coloring & activity, and Arabic translation.

When I’m not working, I’m having adventures with my family, working on personal art, or taking photos of the clouds. I’m Emma, lover of yellow and Star Trek, collector of picture books and stones.

Emma the designer

I have experience in a broad range of design, illustration, and indie publishing work. Here’s a list of some of the kinds of freelance work I’ve done over the past 10+ years: logo design and branding, design and illustration for children’s clothing and merchandise, print ads, children’s and adults educational material, children’s book layout and illustration, Amazon and Ingram print and eBook setup, and cover design.

I got my start freelancing in Chicago, USA with multicultural companies and individuals from all over the world including the US, UK, Canada, NZ, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. I’ve also done work with a broad range of industries, including publishing, education, counseling, children’s media, and food.

Emma the community organizer

In early 2001 I began building informative Islamic websites on the original Angelfire website building service. By 2004 I was creating communities on Yahoo! groups and then forums. For the next several years I co-ran large and successful Muslim women’s forums.

In the mid-2000’s I developed and built Muslimas’ Oasis, a successful collaborative Muslim women’s blog. From there grew offshoot brands: Muslim Friendly Apps, a Muslim-centered app review site that focused on children’s apps, and Blue Hijab Day, a global autism awareness and acceptance event, one of the first of its kind geared towards the Muslim community.

2015 saw the creation of Creative Muslim Women, a large community of professional, diverse, and broadly creative women.

In 2022, The Alliance of Muslims in Children’s Books is my focus. A networking community of Muslims who, like me, are passionate about children’s literature. I hope you’ll join me there.

A few of my favorite things