Via Hindustan Times
For Herminder Ohri, a children’s book writer, the inspiration for her characters, such as Kato, Sniffles, Saboo, Spincy and Mini, has come from her grandchildren and the letters she would write to them when they were small. “Every time I would sit down to write a letter to my grandchildren, I would always add a short story with a doodle alongside,“ says Ohri, whose book of stories for children in the age group of four to eight, will be released by the National Book Trust next year. And many more books are in the pipeline for Pratham.
Sketching was always fun for this Masters in Zoology from BITS Pilani and Ohri would draw her own characters along with the story, giving them eyes, ears, ideas and conversational skills.
“The first story that I put together as a book, with text and illustrations, was called Spincy Spider.
I showed it to a friend for feedback. She immediately took me to Pratham, a non-profit organisation working for children’s education. And Spincy, my first character, was published,“ says Ohri. Her excitement is like that of a child when she points towards the squirrel, giraffe, dolphin or lion she has given a name and an identity in her books. She remembers every story and also the reason for writing that story.
“Children like adventure but it is also important to weave a moral or information in a creative form,“ says Ohri. But in trying to make reading fun for children, Ohri never muddles with facts. “Being a zoology student, I know many facets of animals and their anatomy. Hence, I like to give the facts for children to understand and not have any superficial knowledge,“ says Ohri.
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