Young Gagan is at ease being what he is: quiet, gentle, sensitive, and an animal and book lover. But his family and friends think of him as being not boy enough, and want to make him more boy-like. Gagan, however, has enough tricks up his sleeve to show the world that there are no boy-boys or unboy-boys. Just boys. And just girls. Gender stereotyping has strong under currents in the social fabric of India and in many cultures around the world. Richa Jha tackles this difficult subject with unburdened simplicity and lightness of tone. Gautam Benegal brings the characters to life with sensitivity and electrifying dynamism. His gentle and endearing water colours match the mood and pace of the story, making it an unforgettable read.
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: Born in 1965 in Calcutta, Gautam Benegal showed a marked aptitude for graphic arts from his early years. At age sixteen at the invitation of Satyajit Ray, renowned director and editor of the children’s magazine “Sandesh”, his illustrations and articles regularly appeared in Sandesh and subsequently other children’s magazines. Gautam Benegal has various children’s books to his credit ranging from children’s nursery rhymes, folk tales, to educational books. He loves to explore the ethnic cultural nuances and traditions of India using various styles in different artistic mediums. He is a renowned author, socio-political commentator and a National Award winner for animation films.
Short Bios: Richa Jha breathes-reads-writes-publishes-dreams picture books and knows she has the funnest hobby cum profession in the world. Gautam Benegal remembers raiding his father’s art studio as a tiny tot. He hasn’t stopped creating since then. There’s never a dull moment in this writer, animation film maker, author, artist and children’s illustrator’s life.
Accolades and Awards: Being made into an animation film by the CBFC
One Line Description: Young Gagan fights gender stereotypes and is happy being who he is.