Little Owl’s Night is Divya Srinivasan’s first children’s book. Divya is an extremely talented illustrator and animator as is evidenced by her website.
Divya is in New York right now and has 2 book readings planned (see below for info). I spoke with Divya about here the book….
Where did the inspiration for Little Owl’s night come from?
I first thought about what I wanted to see myself, what I would have liked as a child, what I would have fun illustrating. I liked the idea of a night forest full of animals—some asleep, some awake. When looking at my list of nocturnal animals, the owl was my first choice. They are strikingly beautiful, they’re associated with wisdom, and we could follow the owl on its flight. Before I wrote the story, I drew Little Owl as he appears on the cover of the book. Then when I wrote the story, I could picture him going about his night.
Little Owl confidently flying through his familiar forest reminded me of how cool I felt as a 7 year old, biking through my neighborhood—not too far from home, but still on my own. Stopping by to visit friends who would grab their bikes. There were places I knew were out of my range, but my neighborhood… I knew it so well. I wanted Little Owl’s night forest be a cozy place that also holds mystery and wonder.
As a multifaceted artist, how was doing a kids book? Challenging? Exciting? Do you have more planned?
It was really fun to think about what I wanted to see, and to write a story that allowed me to create that world in words and pictures. Because I’ve been a freelance illustrator and animator, dealing in visuals for so long, I was more confident with illustrating than with writing for others. But I did enjoy that challenge of doing something new, and having a project of my own. And I get to study wonderful picture books, old and new, to see what makes them great. I love that.
I do have another book planned. I’m really excited to do more.
When you read the book to kids, whats the best reaction you’ve seen so far?
It went great. They were so attentive as I read, and they had a lot of questions prepared for the Q & A. I worried what the questions would be like, because I’ve been stumped by kids’ questions before. But… the first question was how I pronounced my name. Which I totally nailed. Then, the follow-up, was if that was my pen name. Another one of my favorites was, “Do you have a brother and sister? If so, does he or she support you in your book writing?”
Reading to that class was so rewarding, I am really looking forward to doing more class readings. The point of making the book was to create something that children would enjoy, and I got to experience that enthusiasm first-hand. I could see that some of the kids were thinking, “I can make a book too.” Which is great! Actually, my friend’s 6 year old, after reading the book with her dad, went off and made her own book about a possum that day. I think she has a sequel in the works.
See Divya LIVE:
Saturday, Oct. 29 at 11am:
686 Fulton Street, Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Sunday, Oct. 30 at 1-3pm
Books of Wonder Group Signing of Fall Picture Books
18 West 18th Street, Manhattan
Posted by: Jessica Glorieux
Illustration by: Divya