Of course, we know that these days children’s fiction doesn’t shy away from dark topics. From picture books on death and middle-grade novels on gender identity to YA on just about anything you could think of, kid lit today is reflecting the world like never before. The one thing we tend to forget, though, is that children’s content has been embracing the dark and disturbing for centuries, namely, through nursery rhymes. In fact, “plagues, prostitution, burning at the stake” and more have inspired these well-known ditties.

Neha Singh’s new book also talks about a subject that we don’t usually encourage children to talk about. I Need to Pee, however, holds no punches. R. Krithika talks to the author about this delightful illustrated book.

Author, artist, playwright, Manjula Padmanabhan wears many hats. “I write about ideas and characters rather than ideologies and symbols of this-or-that,” she says. A fascinating insight into the mind of one of this country’s favourite authors.

Another favourite of Indian kid lit readers is Roopa Pai, whose wildly successful Gita for Children has also found her pulled into some controversy. All said and done, though, she feels this is a great time to be a children’s writer in India.

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