‘The Dog Who Taught Me Math’ – Behind the Story

Over the course of a few weeks, Sonali had the first draft of her book ready. We took it to schools. Children loved it.
The Dog Who Taught Me Math, Book Cover, Girl, Dog

Written by Sonali Shenoy, illustrated by Tanvi Bhat, and published by Ms Moochie Books.

Winner of the Best of Indian Children’s Writing (BICW) Award 2018 for the category Beating the Odds, ages 8-10 years.

A Brainstorming Breakfast

One September morning in 2016, I met Sonali Shenoy for breakfast at a cafe in Nungambakkam, Chennai. And as any good meal should go- the food was great, but the conversation was even better! Ideas for books and stories flew across the table! We remember this day fondly for one special reason. Aided by her experience as a journalist, Sonali Shenoy finally crafts the title for one of her ideas- a story about a girl overcomes her fear of math with the help of a four-legged friend- ‘The Dog Who Taught Me Math’.

Instantly, we knew we were on the right path. This was the sort of title that had to have a fully fleshed out book go along with it.

Creating the First Draft

As a first-time children’s book writer, Sonali went through the writing process with diligence. She made a chapter map, and completed a chapter every Sunday morning, on her day off from work. There were times when she struggled with a few points. In those moments, she would distract herself for a while, give it a think, and return to it soon after.

Over the course of a few weeks, Sonali had the first draft of her book ready. We took it to schools. Children loved it.

We then approached Tanvi Bhat to illustrate the story in her unique, warm, and detailed style. She agreed immediately, and put her heart into the characters and the visuals. At one point, Tanvi was even following the Labradors of Mumbai online to draw Kutti the dog better! It was also Tanvi’s idea to add a Rubik’s Cube to Parvathy’s school bag. Here are a few of her sketches:

It’s apparent to anyone who picks up the book today, that there’s a lot of love and goodwill that’s gone into its making. The Dog Who Taught Me Math is and will always remain a book we are all immensely proud of.

Have you read The Dog Who Taught Me Math yet?

What did you think of the book?
Leave a comment below and let us know!

Check out out other reviews of books on the Neev Awards 2019 Shortlist!
Hungry for more children’s writing? Don’t miss the Best of Indian Children’s Writing (BICW) – Contemporary Award List!

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