Mahhfuz Rahmaan's book Gooltoo was one of the most popular books for children at the Ekushey Boi Mela 2020. Written and illustrated by the writer, the colourful book is a collection of seventeen short rhymes. Mahhfuz, who is currently working as a journalist with Prothom Alo, received the Panjeree Chhotakaku Shishu Sahittyo Puroshkar, recently.
The writer has been an avid fan of literature since a very young age. "My journey as a literature enthusiast has crossed twenty years and I stepped into the world of authors with my first book in 2011", he said. As a writer and illustrator, Mahhfuz is inspired by the works of eminent Bangali author Sukumar Roy and American author Shell Silverstein. He is also finds solace amidst the drawings of little children and treasures a large collection of postage stamps drawn by children from around the world.
His first book, Sheetburo'r Thanda Legechilo (2011) is a collection of nine stories revolving around the protagonist, Tuntun, a little boy. In a quest to find them medicines for his sick grandfather and younger brother, Tuntun came across a strange old man named Sheetburo who had been treating flu but had fallen sick too. "Eminent cartoonist Rafiqun Nabi was so fascinated after reading the manuscript that he completed the illustration without any further discussion", shared the writer.
His second book, Bhuturey Tilay Khepa Club (2013) is a teenage adventure novel. It is a story about a team called Khepa Club. The protagonist Anik is an orphan who stays with his uncle. He is really good at playing cricket but his uncle always keeps him in strict discipline. After fighting with his uncle, Anik leaves to meet his school-dropout friend, Joynal, who has a strange hobby of fishing at night. So, the two of them go for fishing and spot a boat heading to a hill. The next day they explore the hill and come across many suspicious activities. Later, all the members of the Khepa Club embark on an adventure to the haunted hill. The story narrates their experiences as the Club finally unleashes a tiger smuggling team on the haunted hill and rescues two tiger cubs. His third book, Pori Ar Virus (2017) narrates the story of girl, Pori whose father is down with fever due to a virus. One night, Pori sees the virus, which looks like a green balloon with a long tail and large teeth, wandering and singing around her father. As soon as Pori tries to catch the virus, it runs towards her father's nose.
His latest publication Gooltoo revolves around three characters – Bagoo, Gooltoo and Tunee. One fine day, Tunee comes across a magic lamp and after rubbing it, a giant named Gooltoo appears before her. Mahhfuz looks forward to working more on children's literature as he relives his childhood through his tales. "Mixing segments of the three characters we get the name 'Bagootoo', which will be the main theme of my upcoming projects," he added.