In life, there are the “what if we did that…” challenges that remain in the realm of fantasy and those that become reality. On April 27, 2020, in the middle of the Indian lockdown, I told a friend, “Let’s write a children’s book about mixed families.”
Now, you may think that writing a text of less than 1000 words isn’t a very big deal. Well, think again! (Especially when a friend suggests you write in rhyme, and especially when you’re going for a bilingual edition, since you are at it.) You may think that finding an illustrator can not be very difficult? Wrong! I haven’t found a person able to picture the right Bandati and wouldn’t cost me more than I would ever earn with this book. So guess what? Yes, I did the illustrations myself, even though I have never really held a pencil in my life... I’m not asking you if you think it’s easy to find a publisher. I tried a lot, hoping I could rely on the advice and reassurance of an expert! But I ended up going for self-publishing.
But enough of me, me, me… Bandati is a book for children (3-7 years old) relating the adventures of Bandati whose parents come from different countries. It is largely inspired by my son and his French-Indian roots but I really wanted the book to work for as many mixed kids as possible so I have used animal characters. I hope it will help parents like me, help them explaining to their kids why there are so many languages around them, so many religions to observe, physical differences, and time difference to take into account to call the grandparents.