A potential Manual for Mischief-makers?

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Prankenstein_Book of Mischief_Front CoverSpeaking Tiger, a fairly new

publishing house, has just launched

their children’s imprint, Talking

Cub. And they’ve announcing their

arrival, quite fittingly on Childrens’

Day, along with an anthology of

stories picked by Ruskin Bond and

Jerry Pinto. Kids will be pleased that

the theme of the book is pranks!

And the blurb promises a wide

variety of  pranksters.

 

The prankster in my short story  ‘Friends or Enemies?’ is a cat! There she is… above the book title, guarding a big bone.

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Veggie shopping and a trip to a mela

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It’s been super fun working on Pratham Books’ series

of STEM books for early readers. ‘Tomato Chutney’ is

about a pair of siblings who discover some messy

truths about relative weights while doing the vegetable

shopping for their mother. Priya Kuriyan’s stunning

illustrations  will ensure every little reader remembers

this concept of ‘lighter and heavier’ for life!

 

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IMG_20171122_215205I explored the idea of tables in the story ‘Maths at the Mela’ — about a bunch of smart school kids out on a field trip to a mela… accompanied by a not-so-bright teacher. Illustrator Nirzara Verulkar’s illustrations are super. She’s somehow conveyed this feeling of the kids being indulgent of a slightly slow teacher wonderfully. These pictures unfortunately are my phone shots off the laptop screen.

Both books will be out soon. It’s particularly exciting to know that they’ll be printed in five languages, including Kannada!

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The Deccan Herald short story contest winners

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This September, the winners of Deccan Herald’s annual short story contest (conducted by Sunday Herald) were announced. I illustrated a couple of the prize winning stories.

‘Crockery’ by Jessamine Therese Mathew

dh sec prize

…and ‘Sea-crets’ by Pragya Joshi

small pic for 3rd prize Sea-cretsbig pic for Sea-crets

 

Asian Festival of Children’s Content

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Books launched at AFCCIt was quite exciting getting to launch my book ‘Trapped’ at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content’ (AFCC) at Singapore this May. Among books from all over Asia, three  by Indian writers were launched at the fest, so it was great meeting Srividya Venkat (launching her book ‘Pickle Mania’) and Varsha Seshan (for the launch of ‘Bholu and the Smart Card’) — two writers who resemble each other so much, that many mistook them for sisters. That’s Varsha on the right, beside the AFCC book launch poster, and I must thank her for sharing this shot.

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Book launch apart, the event was fabulously packed with workshops, lectures, opportunities to meet writers from all over Asia, see their work, buy their books…the illustrator’s gallery was stunning. The country of focus was Indonesia and some of the talks by writers from there — discussing the challenges and solutions – seemed very relevant to India.

I might have missed Lily Kong’s adorable series on Dad, except for the fact that we were both in the cross-platform sessions together. The festival book store ‘Closetful of Books’ was packed, with people and books. I also spotted the Children’s Book Trust stall in the main courtyard.

Dads for sale

The other mega bonus was the library’s coffee shop — the best eclairs I’ve eaten in decades. With good college friends Shanthi and Subu, also in S’pore at the same time, food played a somewhat greater role than literature, over the course of the fest.

Was super impressed by the number of local publishers in a tiny city-state like S’pore. They’ve also got their language publishing programme going at full steam — Malay, Tamil and Chinese books filled the stalls.

I tend to think of libraries as cozy, warm, period buildings and the Singapore National Library, the venue for the fest, just turned all those images on their head. It’s very modern, all-glass and high rise, open and welcoming, with access from two busy roads. And seemed massive enough to absorb the crowds at the fest without feeling cramped.

At the cross-platform sessions, a short chat with Luke Sanoop of YouTube.

Image courtesy – The AFCC Facebook Page

Classic Bond

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I wonder how many editions there are of Ruskin Bond’s popular story…

‘The Blue Umbrella’.   Google the book and you’ll find so many different editions of it. Obviously, countless lucky illustrators all over have had a chance to work on this fabulous story. It’s a novella, so it was only for a short period of a few weeks that I could lose myself in this spunky pahaadi girl’s life, as it got serialised a few months ago.