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HOW TO BE EXTRAORDINARY

15 true stories of incredible humans

Puffin Books, 1 August 2019

Illustrator: Annabel Tempest

Editor: Emily Lunn

Designer: Steph Jones

Could you be EXTRAORDINARY? This book will inspire you with the real-life stories of extraordinary people, showcasing a total variety of personalities and talents. Meet an artist, scientist, medic, environmentalist, musician, activist, writer, politician, and even a spy . . . above all, discover that there are MANY ways to be extraordinary and to make a real difference in the world. 

Featuring the real-life stories of: Aeham Ahmad, David Attenborough, Mo Farah, Keiko Fukuda, Stephen Hawking, Frida Kahlo, Abdul Kalam, Judith Kerr, Wangari Maathai, Nelson Mandela, David Nott, Michelle Obama, Krystyna Skarbek, Alan Turing, Sau Lan Wu


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RASHMI SIRDESHPANDE

I’m Rashmi, a children’s author with the curiosity of a 3-year-old. My world is filled with WHYs and HOWs and great big moments of WONDER.

I write fiction and non-fiction picture books and when I’m not asking zillions of questions or playing with words, you’ll find me on my yoga mat, twisting myself into all sorts of shapes.

I LOVE learning about new things. Anything, really: languages, interesting (and extraordinary!) people, things, events, and ideas. Stuff that surprises me, stuff that takes my breath away, stuff I never knew I never knew…

When I come across something that excites me, I have to tell someone. Writing non-fiction picture books is basically my way of saying, ‘OH MY GOODNESS, you have GOT to listen to this…it’s AMAZING’.

But it’s not all about the facts. Sometimes, I make things up. You see, I’ve been telling stories since I was tiny. My mum says that when I was 4, I told my teacher that I was an Indian princess. Apparently, my teacher even asked her about it at parents’ evening JUST IN CASE it was true.

It wasn’t.

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The first bit IS true though - I’m Indian. British Indian. Growing up, I didn’t see many children like me in books. I didn’t see many authors like me on the bookshelves. It took me a while to realise that I could be a writer. I started out as a lawyer but gave up my job - which I loved - to spend more time with my two little monkeys. The monkeys eat books for breakfast so I got to know some of the BEST ones out there. I spent more and more time stretching and squeezing words into stories. Then, at the end of 2017, I was selected as one of 11 writers on the 2018 Penguin Random House WriteNow mentoring programme. Turns out they liked my writing. Turns out people like me can be writers. I signed with Puffin Books and the rest, as they say, is history!

UPCOMING BOOKS

My debut illustrated nonfiction book HOW TO BE EXTRAORDINARY, illustrated by the extraordinary Annabel Tempest, will be published by Puffin Books in August 2019. My first fiction picture book IF YOU SHOW A T-REX A BOOK, illustrated by the amazing Diane Ewen, will be published by Puffin Books in Spring 2020.

Lots more in the pipeline too! Watch this space…

Literary Agent: Lydia Silver at the Darley Anderson Children’s Book Agency

Publicity Manager: Ellen Grady at Puffin Books


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