Apart from being the former Women and Child Minister and an avid animal welfare activist and environmentalist, Maneka Gandhi is also a writer of children's books. And the BJP Lok Sabha MP just revealed that her book "There's a Monster Under My Bed! And Other Terrible Terrors" has been shortlisted for the Jarul Picture Book Awards (JPBA).
The Mumbai-based award is one of a kind in India as it commemorates picture books for children and in fact, allows children themselves to vote for their favourite book. Gandhi's "There's a Monster Under My Bed" is part of 10 books that have been nominated for the award this year.
My children’s book, ‘There’s a Monster under my Bed!’, has been shortlisted in the top 10 nominations for the Jarul Picture Book Awards. pic.twitter.com/JF8dmILi4l— Maneka Sanjay Gandhi (@Manekagandhibjp) July 9, 2019
Gandhi has been writing for children as well on environment and animal care for quite some now. Some of her works include, Sanjay Gandhi, The Rainbow and Other Stories; Brahma`s Hair and Heads and Tails. She has also written informative books and quiz compilations including titles like 1001 Animal Quiz, Wise and Wonderful Animal Alphabet Quiz, Fish Quiz, Bird Quiz and Insect Quiz to her credit.
A curious addition to the long list of books she has published are the Penguin Book of Hindu Names; Complete Book of Parsi and Muslim Names. Gandhi has also written extensively on pet care especially dogs, as well as on animal laws in the country. With "There's a Monster.."." Gandhi appeared to have tried her hand at writing fictional horror stories for children, using the most popular horror trope of all time: the horrors beneath one's bed.
In a November interview to The Print, a month before the book's launch, Gandhi had revealed that the book had been inspired by her four-year-old granddaughter. Describing the book, Gandhi had at the time referred to as mostly a "pictorial depiction of fears, and the way the fears should be responded to". She also clarified that the purpose of the stories contained in the 56-page book was not to scare children but rather help them confront their fears in the best possible way.
The book has been illustrated by Snigdha Rao.
The first Jarul Picture Book award was given in 2017. Last year, Nalini Sorensen and Allen Shaw's 'Dada's Useless Gifts' won the award.