Today we are talking with Srividhya Lakshmanan about her latest book Do They All Sleep? Her fun, animal-themed book focuses on helping toddlers learn about the importance of sleep. Discover more as we chat with Srividhya.
Tell us about your book?
‘Do they all sleep?’ is a colourful picture book that can help toddlers learn how and where animals sleep through fun, little rhymes. The book features ten animals and birds from diverse habitats. The book comes with fun questions for each animal and an option for the toddler to fill in about their favourite way to sleep.
Why did you want to write this story?
Children can often be fussy when it’s time to hit the bed, and they wish they were owls. However, I believe a night of good sleep can go a long way in keeping our physical and mental health in perfect shape. And we should instil the usefulness of sleep from the beginning. While this book is a light read, it’s an ideal conversation starter for parents to reiterate the need for a good sleep. I hope children enjoy the rhymes and answer the questions before dozing off.
What’s been the best reaction from a reader so far?
The best reaction was from one reader who recommended this book to children of all ages and adults of all sizes. The reader also thought that reading this book gave peace and permission to get some guilt-free rest and sleep in this ever-challenging world and uncertain times.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration from things I see and the conversations I have with people, especially the picture book ideas from talking to children themselves. For example, this book is an outcome of our family bedtime conversation. I spoke to my daughter about the need for a good night’s sleep, and then I shouted, eureka!
What’s the most fun part of being an author?
I can go wild, really wild, that is the most enjoyable part. There is no end to how and what one can imagine as long as readers have fun riding the imagination. It’s also fun because I get to research things. For example, I spent a couple of weeks reading about animal sleeping habits, understanding their habitats, and long-listing the picks for this book. As a result, I learnt quite a lot about sleeping habits.
What’s your tip for parents to encourage reading or a fun book or reading-related activity parents can do with their kids?
I think there are several ways parents can engage with kids and encourage them to become lifelong readers. Depending on the child’s age, parents can do one or all of them.
- Roleplay—After completing the book, ask the kid to pick their favourite character and role play along with the child. Imagine being Baloo from the Jungle Book and relishing all the honey and rolling on the bed pretending to be packed. Don’t forget to record these acts. You will ROFL when you watch it later.
- Shift track—Why should we stick to the story? Let’s change them. What if Mrs Silver finds out about Mr Hoppy’s trick in ‘Esio Trot’. Write them down. It’s fun to read them later.
- Make your illustrations—Let children create their masterpieces. How about recreating ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ with pencils and crayons? I bet you will treasure them forever.
- Word/character finding games—List those unfamiliar words, find them and give a context. This game works well with all ages. Similarly, identify the characters by name after the first read - a great memory game! It would be best if you dived into a Roald Dahl book for this to be successful.
What’s your favourite children’s book of all time and why?
I have to name one book? no fair! You should allow me space to list more! I hope that’s ok. My favourites are Roald Dahl’s BFG, the Indian mythology series by Anant Pai, Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne, Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer, to name a few.
Srividhya is an entrepreneur and writer. She always had a passion for storytelling and started to write when she was eleven. Her early success came when one of her dramas got selected by the ‘All India Radio’. She spent years reading and writing stories, giving her characters a bright sparkle!
She is a chartered accountant and spent 15 years in corporate jobs. Later, she founded and managed a fashion e-commerce company, Pink Hippo. She lives in Bengaluru with her family.
You can buy Do They All Sleep? here
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