This week has been brilliant so far. I’m recovering from a bout of flu and I need all the good news I can get.
Earlier this week we found out that Pattan’s Pumpkin, published by Candlewick Press in the US has been added to the 2018 Notable Social Studies Book list! It’s an amazing honour and also I’m glad many schools and children will be able to find out more about this wonderful story.
Then a casual glance at last year’s round-ups of books published in the US led me to this wonderful list. The School Library Journal had created a 2017 list of folktales and fairytales and Pattan’s Pumpkin is featured in that too.
And some exciting news about my upcoming title with Lantana Publishing. You’re Safe With Me has won a lot of praise for its wonderful artwork and the stunning design. Fiona Noble has chosen it as her editor’s choice for the 2018 May releases of this year in The Bookseller this week!
Well, February is already here and I’ve just lifted my head and looked around to see January gone. I usually like January because after all the quiet during Christmas, things start happening again. But it does get colder here in London and this January has gone past in a flash.
What have I been up to then?
First, the most important part of my job – writing the stories I want to tell. I’m working on a number of interesting projects. I’ll share more when I can actually claim victory over the words. They are all in different stages of development.
Second, I’ve been planning interesting events for the rest of February and spring. Find out more here.
Third, I’ve been travelling and meeting some wonderful writers, old friends in Singapore.
I returned to London’s cold weather a week ago and hard at work getting ready for the madness and joy of World Book celebrations. From a day to a week to a month, it is elastic. But we writers of children’s books are available on other days too. Find out more here about that.
Now to some book news!
You’re Safe With Me, my next book that will be out in the UK in May 2018 has been getting wonderful reviews. Check it out here.
Farmer Falgu Goes on a Trip came in 5th place in the January HT-Nielsen Rankings in India. We were always very happy for our optimistic farmer.
learnt to dance Salsa a little bit, still learning,
started to learn photography,
finished my Masters,
rode a horse
visited California, Spain and Rome.
It was a year of the Great Bucket List.
Notwithstanding the political and natural disasters this year that we all suffered through, on a personal basis, I met many wonderful new people, reconnected with old friends, met children in classrooms and bookshops across the UK and US and wrote a lot of new stories.
Professionally I had multiple milestones this year – I met my agent and they signed me on. I finished my MA in Writing for Children, albeit with a lot of tears, nail-biting trauma, and a lot of drama.
Pattan’s Pumpkin got brilliant reviews in America and got included in the Read Across America calendar for October. A Jar of Pickles and a Pinch of Justice has been shortlisted for the Surrey Libraries Children’s Book Award and Farmer Falgu makes new strides in Germany.
Sometimes it felt like I was shuttling between things, or living in train stations and lounging in airport lobbies, but I managed to combine book tours with holidays, squeezed time out of every day and night and I’m still here, unscathed, a little wiser, a lot more childish (I seem to grow down than grow up) and I can’t wait to find out what 2018 will bring.
Thank you to everyone of you who came to my events, talked me through a bad draft of the novel, gave me advice, encouragement and support. Thank you to every teacher, librarian, PTA organiser, parent and literacy activists who brought diverse books into children’s hands. Thank you to all my family who hardly saw me this year as I breezed in and out of family gatherings and celebrations.
I thought just a couple of photos looking back wouldn’t do. So here is a quick recap of the year.
I’ve been slow in blogging the last few months due to really hectic schedule. I finished an MA in Writing for Young People, travelled to Rome and wrote a few picture books in between all that.
So what’s the good news then? Where should I start? As it’s October and Pumpkin season, I’ll start there.
Pattan’s Pumpkin has been making waves here in the UK and in the US of A.
Closer home, CLPE has chosen Pattan’s Pumpkin to be one of the texts for their Power of Reading programme. This is so brilliant because so many more schools and children will get to read a story from a corner of India. And enjoy the illustrations of Frané Lessac.
In the States, Pattan’s Pumpkin has been chosen as a book to Read Across America in October. Find out more here along with wonderful resources created by Reading is Fundamental. Check out their awesome calendar too.
I’m so happy to share the good news that Lantana Publishing will be publishing my next picture book You’re Safe With Me (illustrated by Poonam Mistry) in April 2018. Here is a sneak peak into the cover! The book has been making waves already and I’ll share the good news when I’m allowed to tell. Shh!
And finally, I’m doing a number of events in the UK and in the US over the coming weeks. Keep an eye out for me in your neighbourhood. Check out the details here.