Monday, August 7, 2017


Culpeo S. Fox’s illustrations turn every children’s picture book into a work of art, and each visual has the ability to take your breath away. We catch up with the phenomenal artist who illustrated The Fox and The Crow, and has also illustrated our next release A Tangle of Brungles, to find out what inspires her to create these unforgettable images. The Fox and The Crow is our book of the month, and is available at 20% off till Aug 31st  at

KARADI TALES: As an artist, what inspires you?
CULPEO S. FOX: The source of my inspiration is life itself - with all its ingredients and influences. Art follows life and this perception is a major key to understand my very own definition of what I call "Method Art".

KT:  What is your creative process?
CSF: My creative process is rather chaotic and random, something that never really is "under control". I look at it less as a creative process but see it more as a constant search for traces and listening to voices, the work of a hunter; having all senses ready and open for any kind of inspiration which very often hits you completely unexpectedly.

KT: The Fox and the Crow was listed in the prestigious White Ravens catalog and in the list of Best Children’s books by the New York Public Library -  how did it feel when you received these accolades?
CSF: It felt beautifully surreal.

KT: What is the most memorable thing that a reader or reviewer has said about your illustrations?
CSF: I always am deeply (and even after all those years still awkwardly) flattered by every kind word that people have used to describe my work. Speaking of The Fox And The Crow, though, Kirkus Reviews pretty much provided the personal icing of the cake when they called it "Aesop Noir".

KT: Tell us a bit more about your upcoming book with Karadi Tales – A Tangle of Brungles
CSF: A Tangle Of Brungles was a joy to work on (and after The Fox And The Crow, another "home match" for me - lots of snakes and lizards and critters to draw, plus Indian witches with their backward feet and wry humour - what's not to like?) and I love all the nuances of (author) Shobha's excellent poetry that goes along with it.

Friday, August 4, 2017

She chases away the night monsters

Our Jarul Book Award-winning title “The Night Monster” written by Sushree Mishra and illustrated by Sanket Pethkar is a beautiful story about the bond between siblings, and how a wise older sister helps her young brother get over his fear of the dark. We catch up with the author Sushree Mishra in this interview.

To buy The Night Monster at a 30% discount this Raksha Bandhan, visit (offer valid till Aug 10)

What inspired the plot of The Night Monster?

To tell you the truth, my own fears of the night inspired the plot. As a child, I used to be scared of nights. To a lesser degree, I still am.

I was alone one night with my three-year-old son when the electricity went out. I had to think of a way of calming my son (and myself) down, and that is when the idea of confronting our fears by engaging with them came about. 

Are the characters based on children you know?

As an educator and a storyteller, I interact with kids regularly. The main character Avi, though named after my own son, is like most children I have interacted with when it comes to fears. 

What was the most memorable thing a reader or fan has said to you about this book?

I have had many children come up and tell me how excited they are to meet the `night monster' that night. But the most memorable response I got was from an elder sibling, who told me that he would make sure his little sister is not afraid of the dark anymore.

What was your reaction to winning the Jarul Book Award?

As an author, one is always thrilled to see one's work appreciated. But what makes the Jarul Book Award particularly special is that it is judged by children. To have gotten a thumbs up from my young readers feels wonderful! Thank you Karadi tales and Jarul book committee for this special award. 

Do you have a Raksha Bandhan message for Karadi Tales fans? 

Make your sibling your best friend, while enjoying the magical moments of childhood together. Love, accept and respect your siblings wholeheartedly. Happy Raksha Bandhan!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

How Sameer came to be - an interview with Nandini Nayar, author of the Curious Sameer series

She created the adorable Sameer and his equally lovable mum. The series of four books, all of which have stories that are told in riddle format, are a huge hit with Karadi Tales readers. We interview author Nandini Nayar about what inspired her to write these books.

Our Curious Sameer series is available at 40% off until July 31, 2017 -

Karadi Tales: What was your inspiration for the Sameer series?  

Nandini Nayar: Children are bored very easily and come to you for suggestions about what they can do. My son did this too, but naturally, he did not like any of my suggestions.  This led to my writing a story about a boy who challenges his mother every time she offers a suggestion. When Karadi took the story, they asked me for another to go with this. And since the first one – What Will You Give Me?- had set the question-answer pattern between the boy and his mother, I thought of other questions that the boy could ask. That’s how What Will I Be?, What Could it Be? and Where Shall We Go? came about.

KT: Is Sameer based on anyone you know?

NN: I think Sameer is a mix of all the children I’ve observed over the years, my own son, the children of friends and cousins. What they all have in common is the creative ease with which they find faults in any suggestion made by a grown-up.   

KT: How did you get into children’s writing?

NN: The best way possible- I wrote a story that was published in a newspaper and that was it – my fate was sealed. I was so inspired by that one publication that I wrote and wrote and wrote and continue to write! 

KT: How do you test if the stories you’ve written work for children?
NN: My early picture book stories were made up for my son. He loved them and that gave me the courage to send them to a publishing house. When a story is successfully transferred from your mind to paper, you are filled with a breathless certainty that you’ve just created something good, something that sparkles and lives and breathes. When I experience that kind of certainty about something, I know that children will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


When do you find it easiest to write?
When I’ve been thinking, dreaming, breathing a story for some time.   

Your favourite children’s book?
Peppermint Pig, Pinhoe Egg, Howl’s Moving Castle and several others.  

One author you admire?
Diana Wynne Jones

Your favourite encounter with a fan?
A boy who was so overcome at meeting me that he couldn’t speak at all, just smiled and smiled and smiled.

If you could be a book character for a day who would it be?
I’d like to be Apoorva, from my own series titled ‘The Diary of an Indian Schoolgirl’. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Behind the scenes of the Curious Sameer series

The Curious Sameer series is one of Karadi Tales’ most popular series and features a little boy with a thirst for adventure, a strong bond with his ever-patient mother and an active imagination. We interview Francesco Manetti, the multi-talented illustrator of the four books in the Sameer series. He tells us about what inspires him, his creative process and his deep connection with Karadi Tales. 

Our Curious Sameer series is available at 40% off until July 31, 2017 -

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Karadi Tales: What made you take on the project with an Indian publisher?
Francesco Manetti: Karadi Tales was the first publisher that placed their trust in me as an illustrator. I sent my portfolio without knowing what would happen, and after a few days, I received my official job proposal for a collaboration with a publisher. It has been so exciting and great, and I will always be grateful to Karadi Tales for this chance.

KT: What was your inspiration for the illustrations in the Sameer series?

FM: The colours of nature, on a surreal/abstract and imaginary dimension. But of course, the stories I was working on gave me all the elements with which I built the scenarios, both at the emotional and at the fantasy level.

KT: Is the design of Sameer based on anyone you know?

FM: No, I created the features based on pictures and photos.

KT: How did you get into illustrating books for children?

FM: It all started during my studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara, Italy. When I started in 2005, I was more focused on digital illustration and graphic design, but step by step, I started learning to draw and paint and I discovered how beautiful it is to create images by hand. Then I discovered how pictures can be put alongside words into a book. I also have a big love for colours, and during my studies, I had classes on illustrated books for children: that's the connection. I understood that my love for illustration, colours and composing/layout could be summed up in these magical and poetical art pieces that illustrated books for children are.

KT: What types of media did you use for the artwork?

FM: I have worked on wooden panels, on which I spread a base of white acrylic plaster, creating a sort of background ripple effect. Then, I translated the storyboard through acrylic painting colours and colour pencils. Finally, I made some interventions with the digital illustration software Photoshop, setting the pictures to the text layout requirements.


When do you find it easiest to work?

When I find the right inspiration, for example, after a visit to an art exposition, or after a walk in nature, or after a talk with a friend.

Your favourite children’s book?

“The man of water and his fountain” by Ivo Rosati and Gabriel Pacheco

One artist you admire?

Bruno Munari, a great Italian artist who was a great contributor to children’s publishing and to the science of education and communication.

Your favourite encounter with a fan?

I have never had an experience like this, but if one day this should happen, I would give the fan my complete attention and all the answers he or she is looking for.

If you could be a book character for a day who would it be?

I would be a horse that rides free in an infinite prairie, or a bear walking slowly in the woods or sleeping quietly in the morning sun.