Never Show a T-Rex a Book will ignite any child’s interest in reading. In a fun way, Rashmi Sirdeshpande explains why reading is so important: from how clever it will make you to how much it will spark your imagination. We asked Rashmi Sirdeshpande ten questions.
Why did you start writing/illustrating books for children?
I always loved writing and playing with words. I found my way back to it when I discovered how amazing children’s books are today – they’re so diverse and beautiful and clever and completely wonderful. This made me fall in love with writing again, got picked up by the lovely people at Puffin, and the rest, as they say, is history!
How did you get your book out into the world?
My journey to publication began with a competition Penguin Random House were running for underrepresented voices. I finally felt like a writer like me could actually belong in publishing if that makes sense. I took the leap and applied and I’m so glad I did because I met an editor I totally clicked with. She loved the idea of Never Show a T-Rex a Book and kickstarted the most amazing writing rollercoaster!
Why did you write this book? Why did you want to illustrate this story?
Never Show a T-Rex a Book is a love letter to libraries. I wrote it as a super silly adventure that slips in lots of nods to the power of reading and learning and the doors that those two things can open up! Diane Ewen, the illustrator, has brought the story to life with so much fun and a truly diverse cast of characters and that makes me smile the biggest smile every time I see the book!
Do you relate to any characters in your stories – which ones and in what way?
Absolutely! I’m like that little girl with a big imagination, enjoying a world of make-believe. I’m also like the T-Rex, racing through books and wanting to learn absolutely everything!
What’s your favorite book and why?
Ahhh you can’t ask me that! Like T-Rex I love SO many books! Lots of different types too. But one picture book I’ve adored lately is Barbara Throws a Wobbler by the wonder that is Nadia Shireen. Just fantastic!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an inventor like Caractacus Potts from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!
What do you want children to get from your books?
I just want children to enjoy them! I want to bring a smile to their face or spark curiosity or start a conversation. That’s true for all my books whether they’re fiction or non-fiction! I want to leave them knowing they can do absolutely anything they set their heart on.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Best advice – don’t compare yourself to other people. There’s no joy in that. Just be proud of who you are and all that you’ve achieved.
Finish this sentence for us…Reading from diverse bookshelves….
…is one of the best things you can do. Our world is so richly diverse – our books should reflect that. Everyone deserves to see themselves and, importantly, the people around them in the books they read!
A message to readers of your book?
Read LOTS and read WIDELY – anything that makes you smile, laugh, think, feel, and dream! You never know where it’ll take you!
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