We may think that children just want to play and eat candy all day, but they’re not immune to the adult world, especially when most have smart phones.
So, how do we keep our kids streetwise while also keeping them safe?
Rashmi Sirdeshpande is here to hold their hand every step of the way, with her brilliant books to broaden their minds and, crucially, show why the world is not as bad as they think.
The lawyer-turned-storyteller has a passion for learning about new things and strives to help little ones find their calling too, whatever their hobbies might be.
Her Good News life bible, out now, promises to guide future generations towards success in a world that feels scarier than ever with pandemics, war, and natural disasters.
Shining a light on all the good things that are happening, Rashmi delves into the stories of solutions, positive change and the power of people to unite in challenging times.
She does this by drawing on amazing anecdotes from around the globe – covering everything from robots to improving healthcare to trees healing the planet – to help kids navigate fake and bad news and realise the positive things happening that don’t get airtime.
In addition to this, How To Change the World also hit shelves this year, encouraging young people to recognise that with ambition and hard work, they can influence their planet.
By opening eyes to the astonishing things humans can achieve, Rashmi travels back in time to explore the campaign for women’s votes, the efforts to heal the ozone layer, and even back to Ancient Greece to learn about the start of democracy.
These books follow her How To Be Extraordinary title from 2019, which inspires young readers with the real-life stories of extraordinary people and their talents, including David Attenborough, Mo Farah, Stephen Hawking, Nelson Mandela, and Michelle Obama.
Speaking about her joy to educate, not only others but herself, Rashmi said she loves discovering new things whether it’s languages, people, events, or ideas.
Rashmi said: “I love learning about stuff that surprises me, stuff that takes my breath away, stuff I never knew I never knew.
“When I come across something that excites me, I have to tell someone. Writing non-fiction picture books is basically my way of saying, ‘Oh my goodness, you have got to listen to this.’”
But it’s not all about the facts! Sometimes, Rashmi writes fiction also to encourage children to embrace their imaginations.
Rashmi continued: “I’ve been telling stories since I was tiny. My mum says that when I was four, I told my teacher that I was an Indian princess. Apparently, my teacher even asked her about it at parents’ evening just in case it was true. It wasn’t.
“The first bit is true though – I’m Indian. British Indian. Growing up, I didn’t see many children like me in books. I didn’t see many authors like me on the bookshelves.
“I had always loved writing, but it took me a while to realise that I could be a writer.”
When Rashmi became a mother, and her children devoured “books for breakfast”, she quickly understood what piqued their interest and decided to have a go herself.
Her dedication paid off and Rashmi was later selected as one of 11 writers on the 2018 Penguin Random House WriteNow mentoring programme.
She concluded: “Turns out they liked my writing. Turns out people like me can be writers. I signed with Puffin Books and the rest, as they say, is history.”
For more info, click here: Rashmi Sirdeshpande.