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Award-winning author Rashmi Sirdeshpande has today (Monday 19th February) been announced as the new Writer in Residence at BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity and will be taking up the role from 1st March 2024. She follows in the footsteps of some of the best loved children's authors and illustrators in the country, including Michael Rosen, Cressida Cowell and Nick Sharratt.

Sirdeshpande will use her residency to champion the benefits of an underrated form of storytelling: children’s non-fiction books or factual books. The theme of her time as BookTrust’s Writer in Residence will be “Using factual books to fascinate young readers” and will encourage children and grown-ups to discover mind-enriching facts together.

During her residency, Sirdeshpande will talk about the magic of curiosity and wonder, and how this can be cultivated in children through sharing non-fiction books. She will explore how factual books can open children’s eyes, make them laugh, make them think, spark interesting conversations with others, and help turn empathy into action. Her message for families is that choosing to read non-fiction together is a powerful way to bond, to explore interests and to have fun.

Rashmi Sirdeshpande is the author of uplifting and hopeful children’s books including Never Show a T-Rex a Book (illustrated by Diane Ewen), Dadaji’s Paintbrush (illustrated by Ruchi Mhasane), and Good News: Why The World is Not as Bad as You Think (illustrated by Adam Hayes). A former World Book Day author, Rashmi has won a number of awards, including the Diverse Book Awards and the Society of Authors Queen’s Knickers Award, which celebrates “outstanding” picture books. Her factual book Good News was shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards, Best Book with Facts. As a British South Asian writer who has been diagnosed with autism and ADHD as an adult, Sirdeshpande is an advocate for diverse representation of all kinds in children’s literature.

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