What's all the Hubbub, Bub?

So, this weekend was pretty great. It was the Hubbub Fest in Boston!

For the past couple of publishing seasons, I've been illustrating books for Bharat Babies. BB is a cool and much-needed new voice in publishing. While shopping for books for her first baby's library, Bharat Babies' founder Sailaja Joshi saw a pretty big gap in the marketplace for books (for very young readers) that celebrate the Indian culture. Sai wanted to change this. She wanted her daughter to "see herself" on the pages at story time. So, with a lot of determination, a desire to do good, tons of hard work and a team of pals and pros to make it happen, Bharat Babies was born. Get it? Born? Anyway, BB has a very clear mission . . . to design and produce developmentally appropriate books that tell children's stories about India's heritage, appropriate for infants and elementary school-aged children. I was delighted to jump on board with this grassroots group...family, really. They asked me to illustrate their first book, Hanuman and the Orange Sun.

Hanuman was such a fun book to draw. And the BB team was a blast! I was psyched to get a call to illustrate a couple more titles! I had the opportunity to show readers how cool the Diwali holiday is and just how powerful Padmini can be!

A spread from Let's Celebrate Diwali!

A spread from Let's Celebrate Diwali!

Harini, Amrit, Urvi, and Dhimen in their traditional dress to share how their families celebrate Diwali

Harini, Amrit, Urvi, and Dhimen in their traditional dress to share how their families celebrate Diwali

Cover of Padmini is Powerful

Cover of Padmini is Powerful

Padmini can do ANYTHING!

Padmini can do ANYTHING!

It's been so much fun, not only creating this storyworld with the team, but watching their success as they launch!

This weekend, BB invited me to join them at their booth at the Hubbub Fest in Copley Square to sign some books along with one of their main authors Amy Maranville! Tons of fun spending the afternoon with the team in my favorite part of the city, right in front of the steps of the GORGEOUS Boston Public Library. This was my first time signing books. I really got a kick out of scribbling my name, doodling pictures and writing messages to young readers. But, I have to say, there are few things about children's publishing more gratifying than that moment when you watch a kid excitedly open a book that you had a part in making. Such a sweet and inspiring afternoon!

Signing my life away! Ha!

Signing my life away! Ha!

Author, Amy Maranville, and me mugging for the camera.

Author, Amy Maranville, and me mugging for the camera.

Hurry up! You're falling behind!

Hurry up! You're falling behind!

So cute! BB made Color-Your-Own-Bookmarks with my Padmini art. Swoon!

So cute! BB made Color-Your-Own-Bookmarks with my Padmini art. Swoon!

As if this afternoon wasn't enough, I couldn't be more excited about a super-special gift from the BB Designer Extraordinaire, Megan Boshuyzen. She had an original Hanuman Dada 3D printed for us. So great!

As if this afternoon wasn't enough, I couldn't be more excited about a super-special gift from the BB Designer Extraordinaire, Megan Boshuyzen. She had an original Hanuman Dada 3D printed for us. So great!

Meanwhile, while we were having our fun, there was a Bharat Babies team on the West Coast at the Bay Area Book Fest. We kinda got a kick out of this tweet by comedian and host of CNN's "United Shades of America" W. Kamau Bell doing a little shopping at the BB booth. He scooped up a couple of my first Bharat Babies books!

This weekend's Bharat Babies West Coast Team!

This weekend's Bharat Babies West Coast Team!

You guys, check out Bharat Babies.  They are doing wonderful things to bring diversity to kids books. I'm excited to have a few more projects in the works with them.
Go team Bharat!