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Cooking Up Stories

An interview with children's book author, Sangeetha Narayan!


This week, The Confidence Loop's author interview series returns with a heartfelt conversation featuring the talented children's book author, Sangeetha Narayan!

Step into the heart of the Indian kitchen with "Meera Makes Aloo Paratha." This tale not only explores the magical bond between grandparents and grandchildren but also emphasizes that cooking and storytelling can be powerful tools in navigating life's highs and lows. Sangeetha shares her inspiration for the story, the essential messages she hopes young readers will take away, and the significance of Aloo Paratha in her own life. Aspiring children's book authors will find valuable insights and advice, while parents, teachers, and caregivers will discover how to use this heartwarming tale as a tool for meaningful conversations with the little ones. Join us as we explore the importance of family, the universality of cooking, and the timeless joy of sharing stories.

Written by Sangeetha Narayan

Illustrated by Noor Alshalabi

Interview with Sangeetha Narayan

Q - Can you please share your inspiration for wanting to create this story?

A - When I started writing this story, all I wanted to show was the wonderful bond that grandparents share with their children. The idea came from observing the relationship that my children shared with their grandparents. I saw them taking my kids out for walks, sharing stories from their childhood as well as reading them books that my kids enjoyed. And just like any grandkids, they were pampered a lot by them. My dad would never let me give timeout to my kids. Watching them inspired me to write the story of Meera and her Dadaji!


Q - What is the main message you want to convey to young readers with this story?

A - To just be yourself. To observe and learn from your surroundings. There is no set age for learning. It is a lifelong process. And every problem on this earth can be solved by talking with someone. Find that person .. parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt, neighbor or a teacher. Talk with them. And learn from their experiences.


Q - What advice would you give to parents, teachers, and caregivers on how to use your book as a tool?

A - I would tell parents, teachers, and caregivers the exact same thing that I would tell kids. Talk with your kids. We don't need to set aside any special time for talking with each other. I talk with my kids when we are driving to places. We talk at the end of a long night, sometimes for hours together. We talk as we do household chores together. As parents and teachers read my book to their child/children, I hope it paves the way to have more of these important conversations. Find out how their day is going. Find out what new problems and issues the kids are facing. The issues may seem childlike to grown-ups, but they are extremely important for kids. 


Q - Tell us about your experience making Aloo Paratha. What significance does this dish have for you?

A - Awwww ...that's quite a story. It was a struggle for me to consistently make this dish. I have made different textures and flavors of this dish :). And I learned that to get something good, you have to put in time and effort, and giving up is not a choice. As I have said before, learning is a lifelong process and this dish reminded me of that :).


Q - In the spirit of "authors supporting authors", what advice would you give to aspiring children's book authors who are just starting out? Any key insights or tips that you'd like to share with them?

A - My most important advice to authors is that if they want to produce their best work, they should invest in a good editor. Editors take our work from a good story to the best book. I have personally experienced it with my book and investing in the right person can take you to the next level. 


Q - What is one of your favorite children's books and why?

A - Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White! This book made me cry and smile through my tears. It made me feel all the feels. My hope and dream is that someday, some kid will talk about a book I wrote, the way I feel about Charlotte's Web. 


Thank you to Sangeetha Narayan for sharing her journey and insights with The Confidence Loop! To learn more about this author, you can follow her on social media @narayan.sangeetha, and her book, "Meera Makes Aloo Paratha" can be found on Amazon!


Are you a children's book author with a story to share? The Confidence Loop is always looking for new and exciting ways to promote confidence, acceptance, and overall kindness through children's books, so please get in touch via the Contact Us page!

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