Little Shilu loves to dance around naked. She wants to be like the animals; like Pirate, her cat. When her grandmother Nannu says she can’t because she is now a big girl, Shilu gets down to understanding why she can’t. Peppered with Nannu’s loving chiding, intimate grandma-granddaughter bonding over conversations, and a heart-to-heart between the mother and this little inquisitive daughter, this book is a reflection of the wild and free nature of childhood. Rhuchi Mhasane’s soft evocative illustrations rendered in pencil with watercolour, and put together digitally, create a dreamlike charm. Richa Jha’s gentle, affectionate and lyrical text takes the reader into the mind of the little girl who can’t wait to get the answers to her ‘Why can’t I?’
Author Note: Richa Jha is a writer and an author of picture books for children, and the founder publisher of Pickle Yolk Books. Her books have won several prestigious awards in India and internationally, including the Crossword Book Award, Publishing Next Industry Awards, Neev Book Award, Parag Honour list, Comic Con Book Awards, The White Ravens and the South Asia Book Awards among others.
Illustrator Note: Ruchi Mhasane studied Children’s Book Illustration in Cambridge, UK, and wants to make beautiful picturebooks for children everywhere, especially in India where she lives. When she isn’t drawing, she reads books, listens to music, plays games with her friends and goes into forests to talk to the wildlife.
Short Bios: Richa Jha breathes-reads-writes-publishes-dreams picture books and knows she has the funnest hobby cum profession in the world. Ruchi Mhasane is a freelance illustrator who studied children’s illustration in Cambridge, UK, and now lives and works in Mumbai.
Accolades and Awards: Runner Up at Publishing Next Industry Awards 2018 * Shortlisted for FICCI Book Awards 2017 * Won the Blue Elephant at the Kyoorius Design Awards 2018 in the Illustrations for Design (Book) category.
One Line Description: An inquisitive little girl’s attempt to understand why she cannot be free, without clothes, like her pet.