An Interview with Meera Sriram
For my twenty-ninth Dream Gardens kid lit podcast, I interviewed author Meera Sriram about two of her favorite middle grade novels, The No. 1 Car Spotter and The No. 1 Car Spotter and the Firebird , written by Antinuke and illustrated by Warwick Johnson Cadwell.
Published in 2010 and 2011 respectively, The No. 1 Car Spotter and The No. 1 Car Spotter and the Firebird tell a variety of stories about Oluwalase Babatunde Benson, a young boy in a rural African village (based on the author’s own childhood in Nigeria) who has a special talent for spotting cars before anyone else can, so much so that everyone calls him No. 1. But car spotting isn’t No.1’s only talent. He has a knack for finding just the right solution for whatever problem visits his village. Whether it’s finding a way to get a group of rich tourists across a flooded road so Mama Coca-Cola can feed them her fried akara, or figuring out how to get his family’s goods to the market when their cart breaks down by inventing the Cow-rolla, No. 1 always finds a way to save the day. These two books (and there are four more in the series) are funny and entertaining and shine a small light on a part of the world not often seen in children’s books.
Meera Sriram is co-author of such books as Bijoy and the Big River and Endangered Animals of India. In addition, she blogs about multicultural children’s books and offers presentations with a focus on Early Literacy. You can find Meera’s website at www.meerasriram.com
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