What is a Patron of Reading?
A ‘Patron of Reading’ is an author who works closely with a school to celebrate and promote a lifelong love of reading. Rashmi Sirdeshpande has kindly agreed to join Grove Road as our Patron of Reading from January 2022. She will digitally visit every class in school, from Nursery to Year 6, before the end of the year and she will visit us in person in July 2022. There will be a post box in the main school entrance if you would like to share any of your writing or questions with Rashmi. She will also give us half-termly book recommendations on our school radio station.
Introducing Rashmi in her own words:
“I write fiction and non-fiction picture books and when I’m not 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.
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. I had always loved writing but 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!”
We have a large selection of Rashmi’s books to share with every class in school and we will continue to have a Sirdeshpande class in school.
Rashmi’s book awards:
- 2022 Blue Peter Book Awards, Best Book with Facts SHORTLIST - Good News, illustrated by Adam Hayes
- 2022 Lollies (Laugh-Out-Loud Book Award) SHORTLIST - Never Show a T-Rex a Book
- 2022 UKLA Book Awards LONGLIST - Dosh/Cash, illustrated by Adam Hayes
- 2021 Society of Authors Queen’s Knickers Award WINNER - Never Show a T-Rex a Book, illustrated by Diane Ewen
- 2021 North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award WINNER - How To Change The World, illustrated by Annabel Tempest
- 2021 Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Award SHORTLIST - Never Teach a Stegosaurus To Do Sums, illustrated by Diane Ewe
To find out more about Rashmi Sirdeshpande, please visit her website:
For more information about the Patron of Reading initiative, please visit their website:
Spring 2022 reading recommendations