Happy to be on this list!

Happy to be on this list!

Blog posts

CforCAT is an interesting online platform dedicated to early childhood development. It started with the idea of developing safe, organic and eco-friendly products for the young. There is an astounding array of safe products available through this site. Sweta Sharma talks about the idea behind the website here.

Tanu Sharma draws up her list of the 10 must-read Indian authors. I am thrilled to be featured on it alongside my other awesome kidlit friends. CforCAT, thank you!

10 Indian authors books you must read to your child

Dance of the Wild on Wise Skills

Dance of the Wild on Wise Skills

Blog posts

Wise Skills is a rich and wonderful online resource developed by Surbhi Sarna for activities, ideas and books for character development in children. Thank you, Ms Sarna, for featuring Dance of the Wild on your website.

She writes:  “Dance of the Wild is a great book to instill the concept of self esteem in children. One word that comes to my mind when I read this book was-  purity. The purity of heart, of emotions, of thoughts and of expressions…”

About Ruchi Mhasane’s out-of-this-illustrations, she writes, “The illustrations are absolutely charming with soft tones that enhance the innocent, tender questions of a young child and her desire to be completely unencumbered by social rules.”

Read the entire review below.

Buy a copy of Dance of the Wild here.

Dance of the Wild by Richa Jha

Boo! When My Sister Died shortlisted for Publishing Next Industry Awards 2017

Boo! When My Sister Died shortlisted for Publishing Next Industry Awards 2017

Awards and Recognition Blog posts

‘Boo! When My Sister Died’ is one of the shortlisted entries for this year’s Publishing Next Industry Awards in the ‘children’s book of the year’ category. Gautam Benegalcongratulations! Wonderful books by my dear friends Bijal Vachharajani and Priya Kuriyan have been nominated too. Thank you, Abhishek Jha, for designing this book! Big hugs to all.
http://www.publishingnext.in/

Times of India’s NIE Mini-interview!

Times of India’s NIE Mini-interview!

Blog posts

This was such a fun interview to do. Nitya Shukla of The Times of India mailed across some incredibly interesting questions for me to respond to.

The edited version came out in NIE on Nov 15, 2017. Here’s the link to the online version.

And pasted below is the complete email interview! 🙂

Thank you, Nitya!

NS: Please share a list of picture books, authors or books that amazing examples of creativity. 

RJ: Don’t make me do this, please! I have so many sackful of favourites that it’ll be impossible for me to whittle it down to a list.

NS: What’s the most picturesque library that you’ve been to?

RJ: May I tweak this question a bit and make it ‘…some of the most…’?!

David Sassoon Library, Bombay

The NYPL’s Rose Reading Room, NYC

Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge

Archiginnasio Library, Bologna

Miranda House, Delhi University

NS: How would your fan moment turn out? If you ever met Lemony Snicket, what would you say to him?

RJ: I will be too tongue-tied to even mumble some fawning-over gibberish. But if I collect my wits in time to ask, it’ll be this: Will we ever have a book by Lemony Snicket on Snicket’s death?

NS: You probably meet a lot of kids, adults at publishing events. For the most part they want authors to sign a book, or express their thoughts. Yet publishing events are a wonderful opportunity to ask the author anything! What are the questions that you wish readers should ask that could help you guide them better?

RJ: a) is there a specific point in your books where you think the reader will get a lump in the throat, even in the funniest, zaniest ones? Do you choke while writing it?

b) which is the part that makes you crack up when reading aloud to a bunch of readers?

c) if this book did not end the way it does now, what would it have been?

d) what are the big tiny sacrifices you have to make in order to get these books out into this world?

e) how many rounds of revision did it take you get this 500-worder to a point where you felt it was done?

NS: Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

RJ: Each title is unique with its own set of challenges that my protagonists face. And I want each of them to have a soul that’s hard to miss.

NS: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

RJ: It didn’t! I wish it had helped me turn into a more disciplined writer.

NS: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

RJ: It’s a multitude of them – from memberships to libraries to going overboard at bookshops, no matter what corner of the world, to shelling out extra baggage charges to cart them home. J

NS: What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?

RJ: Sharon Creech, Philip Pullman, Kenzaburo Oe, Michael Ondaatje.

NS:What did you do with your first advance?

RJ: It was a tiny one, but I withdrew the amount from my account, sealed it in an envelope and put away in my stationery drawer where it still lies untouched (rendered useless post demonetization).

NS: How do you select the names of your characters?

RJ: Always tough for me. I somehow never seem to get it right. But to answer the question, I list down all the possible things that the characters would do, if they were living, breathing beings. I then try and get the other characters in the story respond to them in those imagined situations. My ears can almost hear some names being called out, ringing out loud.

NS: As a writer of picture books I feel it might be great if you could literally write a how to draw their own picture book in five steps or less.

RS: Actually, I can’t! The process for each writer is different, and even with the same writer, every character or story requites a different approach. But if there’s one thing that I would want every book to have, it would be loneliness in any form to envelope the protagonist at some point in the book. Unless the character is allowed to sink into an absolute pit, it won’t desperately flap its wings to fly out of it and emerge a changed, stronger version of its self at the start of the book. To my mind, this is true of even the funniest of books.

 

 

How to Raise a Feminist

How to Raise a Feminist

Blog posts Media Mentions

Neha Kirpal at scroll.in writes on some of the recent children’s books by Indian publishing houses that have feminism at its core, whether overtly or in a subtle way. I am thrilled to see my  The Unboy Boy making this list. Kirpal writes,

“It (The Unboy Boy) made waves for dealing with gender identity in an Indian context. In the story, Gagan’s family cannot get on board with the fact that he is not “boy” enough.”

Read the entire article here.

 

 

 

Boo! When My Sister Died in The Indian Express

Boo! When My Sister Died in The Indian Express

Blog posts Media Mentions Reviews

Paromita Chakrabarti’s recommendations for kids’ summer reads in today’s Indian Express includes Boo! When My Sister Died.

She writes:

“If death is bewildering for grown-ups, how can children face up to it? Learning to deal with loss is never easy, but children’s literature in particular, rarely deals with the inevitability of death or coming to terms with grief. Over the last few years, however, a bunch of thoughtful picture books such as Oliver Jeffers’s The Heart and the Bottle and Rebecca Cobb’s Missing Mommy have explored the void created by the death of a loved one. Indian picture books, however, have rarely ventured into this zone, barring a few stray forays like My Grandfather Aajoba by Taruja Parande.

In the years since Richa Jha launched her independent publishing house Pickle Yolk Books, she has put together a small but well-curated list of books dealing with diversity, differences and now, death. Her new book is the story of Noorie, who has lost her sister Zoya, but finds herself unprepared for the overwhelming void it opens up in her life. She watches over her mother and her pet, Bruno, scared that they would leave her, too, frequents their favourite haunts where Zoya’s presence still lingers in the air. But, most of all, she is overcome by anger at her sister’s disappearance; at the overtures of Zoya’s best friend Dhara to draw her out, and, at her mother’s insistence that Zoya would always be a part of their lives.

Gautam Benegal’s evocative illustrations are the highlight of this beautiful volume. He captures Zoya’s disorientation and the messy nature of grief with great subtlety, aided in no small part by Jha’s economy of words and quiet understanding of the hollowness that loss engenders.”

Read the entire feature here.

Click here to know more about the book and here to buy a copy.

 

Pickle Yolk Books in Publishers Weekly Bologna 2017 Wrap-Up!

Pickle Yolk Books in Publishers Weekly Bologna 2017 Wrap-Up!

Awards and Recognition Blog posts

I am doing my best to sound modest and all, BUT over 1.2k exhibitors, over 26k visitors, etc etc, and who finds a little mention in the Publishers Weekly wrap-up of this year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair? Guess, guess! My tiny baby Pickle Yolk Books is right up there, standing strong (4th para from the bottom)! Hugs to one and all for always cheering me on through this madness of mine!

Click here for the weblink to the article, or read the PDF of the same here.

My new book with Pratham Books’ Storyweaver is here!

My new book with Pratham Books’ Storyweaver is here!

Blog posts

Get ready to go to outer space with madam Astronaut Gul! Gul In Space, the latest in the STEM series by Pratham Books’ StoryWeaver is out now. Level 3. Wickedly fun illustrations by Lavanya Karthik! Initiator, motivator and editor, Payal Dhar (website below);

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art direction by Kaveri Gopalkrishnan. Pure joy working to a tight brief and an even tighter deadline. 😀

Read GUL IN SPACE here!

Hugs to the entire Storyweaver team!