Today we’re thrilled to reveal the cover for Ganesha Goes Green by Lakshmi Thamizhmani, illustrated by Debasmita Dasgupta! The book was designed by Lindsey Leigh and edited and art directed by Lisa Rosinsky with editorial assistance by Aayushi Agarwal. It will be released on September 5, 2023 by Barefoot Books. Preorder it here. Keep scrolling for exclusive author and illustrator’s notes!
During her town’s Ganesha Chaturthi festival, young Prema comes up with an innovative plan to save the river from pollution. Persevering through multiple obstacles, she convinces her friends to help her create natural clay Ganesha statues to replace the plaster ones that harm the river when they dissolve. Created by an author and artist from different parts of India and set in modern-day India, this inclusive tale of activism, ingenuity and sustainability is sure to inspire young readers. Endnotes include information about Ganesha Chaturthi, a recipe for homemade sculpting dough and instructions for making an earth-friendly statue.
A word from the author:
As much as I love Ganesha Chaturthi, my heart ached when I learned that the beautiful statues caused water pollution. I decided to find eco-friendly ways to celebrate, and found that clay statues are a safe alternative. But they are not as popular as plaster statues! This concept evolved into Prema’s story in Ganesha Goes Green. What could you do differently to inspire change like Prema? — Lakshmi Thamizhmani
A word from the illustrator:
Growing up in India, festivals always meant something larger than your immediate family. It meant diverse communities coming together and celebrating with the same spirit. When I was illustrating Prema’s story, I relived those childhood memories—the patterns, textures and emotions in people and the places where they happily coexist. I used local fabric motifs and kolam art design from Tamil Nadu, where Prema lives, to create the mixed-media illustrations for this book. — Debasmita Dasgupta
CBA Grad, and SCBWI and 12×12 member, Lakshmi Thamizhmani divides her time between her corporate tech job, daydreaming and writing. After moving from India to the United States, she began writing for newspapers, but then discovered a passion for creative writing instead. Lakshmi now writes beautiful, lesser-known stories to bridge cultures and transport children to new worlds to learn and celebrate diversity.
Debasmita Dasgupta is an internationally published, Kirkus Best Prize-nominated illustrator, graphic novelist and screenwriter. She was born in Kolkata and lived in Singapore for more than a decade. Debasmita enjoys drawing both fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults. She has illustrated many picture books, comics and poems working with publishers in various parts of the world including China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, the UK and the USA. As an art-for-change advocate, she tells stories of changemakers from around the world partnering with global non-profits. Debasmita also mentors aspiring and emerging visual storytellers in Asia. Today she lives in the United Kingdom.