First Person: Visuals are a very important part of any narrative for me. After all, a book plays like a movie in your head as you read it.– Lavanya Karthik

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Author and illustrator Lavanya Karthik lives in Mumbai, and loves chocolate, talking to stray dogs and daydreaming, not necessarily in that order.

She was especially intrigued when children at an interaction felt unanimously that old people can’t be superheroes. She felt that this perception of old people being restricted in their choices, was because of their being relegated to a box labelled “oldness”, brimming with age appropriate parapharnelia like walking sticks, false teeth and prayer books.

She realised that old people in children’s books always conformed to a stereotype, they “blended into a soothing sepia tinted background, against which younger protagonists played out the stories of their lives in brilliant technicolour.” But in the real world, things were different.

So Lavanya decided that her books would be different. She wanted older characters, “who aren’t just snowy-haired pensioners, but clowns and villains, dancers and film stars, sportspersons and writers and bank robbers.” Her final verdict on this is that she certainly wants to “find my future self in a book someday - white hair, wisdom, superhero cape and all”

Thus, was born the Ninja Nani series.

She has participated in Bookaroo in Jaipur and Delhi. Her feeling on her return are delightfully written in verse. In the poem she converses with Chairman Miaow, and describes what a great fun filled and learning experience it was “drawing comics, making art /at that wondrous jamboree!”

Information courtesy: Scroll.in and Bookaroo Children’s Literature Festival

 

Lavanya Karthik

 

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Awards and Honours:

  • Winner: Duckbill’s Children First Contest Shortlisted: Hindu Young World Goodbooks
  • Award for Best Picture Book for Children for The Lion’s Feast

Lavanya Karthik at Bookaroo