Presenting AuthorView (interviews/conversations with Authors on Kids Book Café) with Anita Badhwar – the author of the book series, Little Princess Rani and the Palace Adventures.
Anita Badhwar grew up in Toronto, Canada but now lives in the United States. Anita decided to pursue her lifelong dream of writing a South Asian children’s book series in 2012. In particular, she wanted to celebrate her heritage with the world by writing a book series that presented information about India, Indian culture and Hindu festivals. Since 2012, her books have been featured Canadian Living Magazine and several South Asian on-line magazines in Canada, the UK, and the United States. Anita worked as an International Educator with Santa Fe College (Florida) in which she advised students on how to enrich their education through international programs and opportunities. She lives in Florida with her husband, and two children, and her lovable dog Buddy.
Recently, Anita and I exchanged some notes and we ended up doing an e-interview!
Anita, what inspired you to start writing for children?
When my children were younger, I found myself searching for Indian-themed books for them. Most of the books I found were educational and I was unable to find books that had enough of an entertainment value to hold their attention. So I thought about developing and creating a series that was both educational (taught kids about India, Indian culture, and festivals) in a fun and informative way.
What kind of books did you read as a child?
As a young child l really loved reading books by Ludwig Bemelmans (Madeline series) and H.A. Rey (Curious George). Later on I enjoyed reading books by Judy Blume, and Beverly Cleary.
How was the idea of Little Princess Rani born?
My idea about writing an Indian theme based series started in 2010. At that time, however, I was unsure about how to go about it. It was only after a trip to India with my children and parents in 2012 that the idea of a series started to come together.
Specifically, on this trip we visited the palaces of Rajasthan, which inspired me to create and develop the series Little Princess Rani and the Palace Adventures. It was a wonderful experience, especially to see India through my children’s eyes.
What comes after Little Princess Rani celebrates all the festivals?
I’m actually working on a seventh book – one that focuses on Little Princess Rani’s pet elephant, Bindi. As of right now, I am planning to develop and write books featuring Bindi as the main character.
Do you think you’ll do a series of books for another age group?
I have thought about exploring the possibility of writing adult fiction but have not made a final decision yet.
What’s the toughest part of writing for children?
The toughest part about writing for children is creating content that is interesting enough for them to keep on reading the book!
Please list your 5 must read and must own books for kids under 12.
My 5 must read list includes the
Guess How Much I Love You,
and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.
Out of the contemporary Indian authored books published from India – which ones have wowed you?
All the books by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary by Anita Anand.
Which authors have inspired you the most?
Definitely Ludwig Bemelmans – author of the Madeline series. I love the rhyming sequences and the humorous playful spin that is incorporated in each book in the series.
Please share a few tips on how to get kids hooked to reading.
When children are young read to them out loud every day and expose them to as many genres as possible to create a lifelong love of books!
Thank you Anita for sharing the story behind the stories!!!
Anita Badhwar’s book series – Little Rani and the Palace Adventures is available on Kindle and Amazon here.
Rani’s Ganesh Chaturthi Celebration
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