Author of the Month: Parimalasri ‘Sri’ Docktor writes and illustrates adorable children’s books about her tortoises
Sri draws inspiration from her Russian tortoise, Tank, and her Indian Star tortoise, Radha
This November we celebrate our latest Author of the Month: Parimalasri Docktor, also known as Sri. She is the author of the children’s book Where Is He? Tank the Tortoise, and has recently released Tortoise Goes to the Vet: Radha – Indian Star Tortoise, a book she both wrote and illustrated. The story quickly ascended to #1 on Amazon USA, securing its place as the Top New Release in Children’s Reptile & Amphibian Books.
Sri took the time to sit down with us and discuss her love of animals and storytelling, and more about her process as an author.
Tortoises are central to your storytelling and art. When did you begin keeping tortoises as pets, and what do you love about them?
We have had our pet tortoises since 2019. I love the way they show affection. I love how they communicate silently. I just love everything about them.
Your books are from the viewpoint of your favourite pets, the tortoises. Can you elaborate on how your pets inspire your storytelling, and why you choose them to tell your stories?
Our tortoises inspire me to write about them, since it is first-hand knowledge about them. They are intelligent and show unconditional love. I choose to tell stories through them since I learned how similar their emotions and feelings are to humans.
Tortoise Goes to the Vet highlights the importance of family acceptance. How do you believe children can benefit from the themes of inclusivity and support portrayed in the book?
Our tortoises are like children. They can be taught to do activities as a routine, just like children. They are very playful; they are stubborn and have emotions like children. Children can relate to my stories since some of them go through similar situations.
When did you decide to become an illustrator? What was it like illustrating an entire book for the first time?
I have always been good at art since I was a small child. I could draw naturally. I decided to do my own illustrations for my second book since I had the confidence. Illustrating successfully for the first time is a humbling experience. It was a blessing and a learning curve. It sure was fun!
What children’s book authors/illustrators inspired you to create books?
I wanted my books to be unique, fun, and educational. I wanted my books from my own thought process and creativity. My tortoises inspired me to start my writing journey.
Outside of your writing, you mention enjoying meditation, creating artwork, and observing nature. How do these activities contribute to your creativity as an author, particularly when crafting stories for children?
Nature is a beautiful thing. Silence is bliss! The stillness and the expansion of silence in Nature helps me tap the essence of beauty. It invokes my creative thought process and helps craft stories for children.