Savithri Pandiyan's All-Time Stories for Children has simple storylines and vibrant illustrations

All–Time Stories for Children published by National Book Trust, India, is Savithri Pandiyan's first collection of stories on everything ranging from nature, children and their small fears, to monsters and cricket.

“When my daughter Aishwarya was a kid, I would tell her stories. She would give me the skeleton of a story and I had to fill it up. It also had to have a happy ending. She also wanted the stories to be new and not borrowed off a book,” chuckles the cheerful author.

And though the daughter has grown up and is now in her second year of medicine at Amritha Institute of Medical Science, the mother never forgot the stories she had created for her. So she compiled them in a book.

From a child's perspective

Writing a children's book requires the author to step into the children's shoes and look at the world from their perspective.

“My parents loved to travel. My mother, Premalla, is knowledgeable about our culture and history, so whenever we visited a place, she would give us background information about why a temple was built or who built it and so on.

“My grandparents lived near Madurai in a place called Sivaganga, surrounded by temples and folklore. I would spend my summer vacations in the sultry heat of Sivaganga. The afternoons there were spent hearing the stories my aunts narrated. My interest in storytelling probably developed from those instances,” says the author whose favourite authors are Paulo Coelho and Khaled Hosseini.

“Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns is my all-time favourite. Mysticism and spirituality fascinate me,” adds Savithri who is married to Mara Pandiyan, Secretary, Taxes.

The six stories in All–Time Stories for Children will attract children with its sheer simplicity in storylines and illustrations that are vibrant in colour.

These stories include themes like adventure, getting lost and finding your way home, being brave in spite of fear, telling the truth, thinking of others before yourself, telling parents if some one hurts you or makes you feel bad. There is only one story with a sad ending. “I let it be so,” says Savithri.

However, as the storylines are long, those in the age group between three and five might not enjoy them. Savithri, whose first passion is painting, says: “I plan to put up an exhibition of my paintings, complete my poetry collection and publish my second children's book next.

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