Esma Farouk, Lost in the Souk

Lisa Boersen and Hasna Elbaamrani; Illustrated by Annelies Vandenbosch

Available to buy

Quick Look

  • A lively story rooted in the authors' memories of adventures as children, filled with intriguing characters in an enticing setting
  • Perfectly captures a young child's excitement and awe at the sights, sounds and smells of a busy marketplace in Marrakesh
  • Evokes the wonder of family holidays and exploring
  • Celebrates bravery and the kindness of strangers, as Esma enlists the help of the souk's inhabitants (including a fortune teller and several acrobats) in her effort to find her mama
  • Rich illustrations capture the vivid bustle and vibrancy of the souk

Esma is excited to visit the souk on a family trip to Morocco, but the huge market is an easy place to get lost! Can she find someone friendly to help? A vibrant picture book about a North African family's ordinary experiences in an extraordinary place.

240 x 273 mm
Floris Books
Picture Books
colour illustrations
Age Range:
From 4 to 7 years
32 pages
Publication date:
21 Mar 2024


Esma is excited to be visiting family in Morocco for the summer. She can't wait to explore the souk -- a giant market full of incredible acrobats, delicious-smelling spices, and cheeky monkeys. But while Esma is being charmed by swaying snakes, she loses track of Mama and Auntie Fatima. Esma is lost!

With the help of the souk's lively inhabitants Esma makes a daring plan to find her mama. Will she be brave enough to step up and stand out?

Esma Farouk, Lost in the Souk is a vibrant, fun picture book about familiar family chaos in an extraordinary setting. Inspired by their own family adventures, Lisa Boersen and Hasna Elbaamrani cleverly and amusingly capture a child's viewpoint of a bustling Marrakesh souk and its characters. Annelies Vandenbosch's illustrations are packed with brilliant details, bright colours and real warmth.


'A sweet tale about celebrating the joy of childhood summers and the love of families across countries and cultures... The story evokes the heady scents, bright colours and hustle and bustle of the busy marketplace.'
-- The Scotsman

'A wonderful book about family life - the reality, the chaos and the love.'
-- OurBookDays (Instagram)


Lisa Boersen is a children's author and head of the children's department at a Dutch public broadcaster. She grew up in the Netherlands with a Dutch father and a Dominican mother. Lisa's books bring a touch of fantasy to the real world. Partly inspired by her own childhood adventures visiting family in the Dominican Republic, Lisa co-wrote Esma Farouk, Lost at the Souk with Hasna Elbaamrani. Lisa lives in Amsterdam with her husband and two sons.

Hasna Elbaamrani was born in the Netherlands to Moroccan parents. She has a background in law and social justice and is currently an editor for a Dutch news website. Hasna's desire to see greater diversity in children's books led her to write her first picture book, Esma Farouk, Lost in the Souk, with Lisa Boersen, which is inspired by fond memories of childhood trips to Morocco. She lives in Amsterdam.

Annelies Vandenbosch is an illustrator and graphic designer with a master's degree in animation. She has illustrated several books for children, including Esma Farouk, Lost at the Souk and The Proud Button. Annelies loves creating illustrations with a positive and humorous touch. She lives near Antwerp, Belgium.

Just feel like browsing?

Browse our catalogues

Interested in an author?

Discover authors