Hi Chitra and Poonam! We have loved your earlier collaborations – ‘You’re Safe With Me’ and ‘You’re Snug With Me’ – so we were really excited to discover your new title ‘You’re Strong With Me’. They are such heart-warming stories and the illustrations are unlike anything I’ve seen in a children’s book before.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves, in case we have any readers who are unfamiliar with your stories?
CHITRA SOUNDAR: I was born in India, and moved to the UK about a decade and half ago. I’ve written over 30 books for children, published across Asia, Europe and North America. I’ve been a teacher, programmer and a manager before I became a full-time writer.
We were lucky enough to meet the lovely Chitra Soundar at an event at Moon Lane Ink last year so I was very happy when Lantana Publishing invited us to be part of the book tour for her newest title – You’re Strong With Me.
This is the third book in a trilogy, all of which feature beautiful illustrations from Poonam Mistry. The previous books in the series are You’re Safe With Me and You’re Snug With Me and each one focuses on the wonderful bond between parent and child.
In this story we follow a mother giraffe and her calf through a day in the wild. The little giraffe encounters many things which make her scared or uncomfortable, like a hissing fire and a bird which pecks at her fur, but her mother is always there to reassure and comfort her.
When night falls in the Indian forest it is time for the baby animals to go to sleep. However on this particular evening a storm is brewing and the noises make the little ones afraid. Suddenly the forest is full of unfamiliar noises and their imaginations run wild. The trees are swooshing, the wind is howling, lightening is flashing and thunder rolls in the sky.
Fortunately Mama Elephant is there to calm their fears. Each time they are woken by a noise she gives a lovely description of what is happening and why. For example the wind huffs and puffs because it is tired from all the hard work it has been doing gathering seeds from faraway lands and bringing them to the forest. She finishes each little story with a soft whisper of “You’re safe with me”.