When Bijal Vachharajani is not reading a children’s book, she’s editing or writing one. She’s the author of multiple planet-friendly books including A Cloud Called Bhura, Savi and the Memory Keeper, Kitten Trouble and PS What's up with the climate, a picture book illustrated by Archana Srinivasan. A commissioning editor at Pratham Books, she’s a certified climate worrier.The first book you remember reading
Winnie-the-Pooh by AA Milne, and my mom reading Hariprasad Vyas’s Bakor Patel to me.Read also: Women's Day Special coverage
How to be a Lion by Ed VereYour hands-down favourite writer
Maurice Sendak.A genre you're partial to
Picture books! Green books.A book you outgrew and grew into again
I don’t think I ever outgrew it, which I realised when I revisited it recently– Charlotte’s Web by EB White.A classic you'd like to have written
Terrible puns from the Potter and Percy Jackson world, such as Team Greenfydor for anyone who is eco-friendly (much lesser now from the Potter universe).
Not-subtle mentions of titles I love such as Shabnam Minwalla and Rohan Chakravarty’s books. Rohan’s still sad that Savi in Savi and the Memory Keeper could not buy his latest book.Your most unconventional workspaces
Brainstorming a paper on a beach in Unnawatuna, making a last-minute edit while standing in the middle of Dubai Expo, reading digital ferros next to Nigeen Lake.As you work, you listen to
Team. Apart from that, everything else gets tuned out.Writer or editor: how you switch modes
I use different notebooks – a planner for my day work, and a notebook for my writing. I also keep different hours for writing, which are completely outside my work schedule. The problem is they are still a giant peach cobbler in my head.Exclamation marks are
!!! By that I mean, ! is enough.If you were a punctuation mark
I’d be an ellipsis, always thinking what else could I have said.If Archana wrote and you illustrated a book, it would be called
PS How Cool is this Illustrator, Her Dog and CatsThe book(s) you've gifted most
The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie MorrisYour personal mad tea party guests - and the chai you'd serve
White’s Charlotte’s Web; the crow from all of Priya Kuriyan’s books; Puchku from A Book for Puchku by Deepanjana Pal and Rajiv Eipe, which means Boltu and Dodla will also come, and Ivan the gorilla from The One and Only Ivan by KA Applegate.
I will stop because there’s no more place at the table.I’ll have called Badger from The Wind in the Willows but of course he’d decline.
Roz, The Wild Robot by Peter Brown, made me want to eat up the book.Your favourite tree(s) to hug
So many, but I recently met a ginormous ficus close to my house and hugged them.A book-based movie you liked better than the book
Runs away screaming.A female character you think an author did disservice to
I think I’d rather celebrate the female characters who were given the space to be who they truly are – awesome.
(This is a multi-part interview series with women writers.)