Authors and Illustrators

Meet the Yali family.

Our authors

Aditi Oza is a self-taught multimedia artist whose love for folk art inspires her work. Through her paintings and stories, Aditi hopes to communicate her love for her native Gujarati heritage and culture. A software engineer by profession, she lives in San Jose, California, with her family.

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Ameya Narvankar is a multidisciplinary designer, visual artist, and bookmaker from India. An alumnus of IIT-Bombay, Ameya believes in the power of design to bring about change, which he hopes to achieve through his foray into children’s literature. He loves, in no particular order, cats, bearded men, and Beyoncé (who doesn’t?).

Arathi Menon is an author and a columnist, currently based in London. Her middle grade detective novel, A Thud in The Middle Of The Night was published by Mango, DC Books in April, 2019.  In 2015, her first book was published, a memoir, Leaving Home With Half A Fridge. She has received a highly commendable mention at the FAB Awards (2018) and was a part of a group exhibit at the Tate Modern, London (January 2019 & January 2020). She holds an MA in Creative Writing Prose Fiction from the University of East Anglia (UK, October 2018). She loves a good story, all animals and pink tuck.


D Kalyanaraman loves magic, monsters, dark predictions, mysteries, mythology, folklore, puzzles, birds that talk, animals with attitude, and his family — though not necessarily in that order. Kalyan believes that he is one of the best qualified to write for young adults, as he has been one longer than anyone he knows. He lives and writes in Bangalore, India, with his wife. He can be reached on Twitter at @kalyanaramand.


Devi Menon is a software professional by day and a bedtime story weaver by night, forced to concoct a tale from random five words that her niece and nephew come up with – tales of moons, cats, clocks, blues and much of muchness. She writes at Tell A Tale Time. Devi has been featured in The Inking Woman: 250 Years of Women Cartoon and Comic Artists in Britain (Myriad Editions 2018), a groundbreaking picture-led celebration of the work of over 100 named British artists.

Kala Sambasivan is a prolific and inventive children’s writer. She has published numerous stories in India’s leading newspapers and has two long-running columns in The Hindu and Deccan Herald. Her delightfully whimsical tales engage children in complex issues with humor and creativity. Read more of her stories on her blog.

Leila Siddiqui is a Chicago-born Texan who calls New York home. She currently works in publishing in the marketing department. Leila spent a childhood fascinated by history and horror, and how intricately both can be entwined, and now wants to write the kind of fantastical and strange fiction she loved to read growing up, by shedding light on pieces of history the rest of the world tends to forget or write off. She is a horror film devotee and when not writing, spends her time fawning over her very floofy cat. She lives with her partner in Queens.

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Mamta Nainy spent some years in advertising before a rotten apple fell on her head while she was sitting under a mango tree. Now all she does is write for children, eat cupcakes, play with a yo-yo and write some more.

Maxine Rose Schur is an award-winning author of books for children. A former professional actress, Maxine Rose Schur is a popular, dynamic speaker on a variety of topics that deal with writing. She gives guest lectures and teaches travel writing as well as fiction writing for children at universities and national conferences. She holds a B.A. in Theater Arts from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters Degree in Liberal Arts from Stanford. More information about Maxine and her books can be found at


Rukhsanna Guidroz was born in England. With a Persian-Indian father and a Chinese mother, she was always drawn to traveling to faraway places. After studying in London and Paris, she moved to Hong Kong, where she worked as a journalist. Hawaii became her home in 1996. She now teaches at an elementary school and specializes in early literacy and writing. Visit her website at

Srividhya Venkat’s first story was illustrated and published by her brother when she was eight years old. Then she grew up to be just another adult. But after reading several books to her children, she became a child once more and began to weave stories again. Today she is a children’s author and oral storyteller who loves to create and share stories about our big beautiful world where everyone is different, yet same-same. She can be found blogging at Srividhya’s World.

Our illustrators


Chandra Prabha Radhakrishnan is an architect/interior designer by profession, with a passion for illustration and an obsession for travel. In a failed attempt to document her travel experiences in the form of a written diary, she chanced upon the idea of sketching out her story as ‘the words failed her.’ Besides, as Alice so aptly put it: “What is the use of a book without pictures or conversation?”


Debasmita Dasgupta is a freelance illustrator, specializing in drawing for children of all ages. After her first picture book The Friday Fair (KATHA India) was published in 2010, she has illustrated 11 more books. She enjoys drawing children with big eyes and shining smiles in a world of bright colors. Her work has been exhibited in Rome (Italy), Singapore, and Chiang Mai (Thailand). She is also the founder of My Father Illustrations, an online movement to amplify the voices of fathers who fearlessly defend the rights of their daughters.

Kavita Ramchandran received her MFA in Design from the School of Visual Arts in New York and has spent more than twelve years as a graphic designerin the children’s educational and entertainment industry including art directing the award-winning kids’ magazine Kahani, designing for Scholastic, McGraw Hill, and Harcourt, and working with networks like Disney Jr., Nick Jr., and Sesame Street Productions.  A self-taught illustrator, and a dreamer & doer of her own Make Believe Design Studio, she lives in New York with her husband, two children, and a few imaginary characters.  See more of her work at We Make Believe.


Golsa Yaghoobi is a painter and printmaker based in the Detroit metro area. Yaghoobi’s work has been exhibited in venues throughout the United States.  In addition to maintaining her private studio practice, Ms. Yaghoobi is privileged to teach Foundation at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan, and various classes at the Atelier Art Studio in Royal Oak, Michigan.  

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Patricia and Robin Dewitt are identical twin artists and art teachers specializing in Fine Art, Illustration, and Graphic Design. They both graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art with degrees in Illustration, Robin graduating with a master’s in Digital Design. Both artists have an extensive array of work experience, illustrating for publishers such as Stemmer House, Charles Bridge, Scholastic, Time Life, and many more. More information on them can be found at


Raghava KK, named by CNN as one of the ten most remarkable people of 2010, is a multidisciplinary artist whose work is shown in galleries and museums around the world. After he quit formal education at the age of 17 to start his career as a newspaper cartoonist, he is today considered one of India’s most successful young artists. Raghava applies his artistic practice outside the gallery space. He is actively involved in a radical education initiative, NuVu Studios, to an offshoot of Harvard and MIT, to redefine creativity in education. He has lectured at several universities and art institutions, including NYU, Carnegie Mellon, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, etc. He serves on the NuVu advisory and has also advised the INK Conference, Singularity University, Innoz, Startup Village, Nytric, and Banto. He lives and works in New York and India. Find out more about Raghava at


Siddhartha Tripathi, an alumnus of  La Martiniere College, Lucknow, completed his graduation in Animation Film Design from India’s premier design institute, the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. Over the years, he has worked as a storyteller, illustrator and animator with a wide range of clients including Virgin Comics, Katha publications, Amar Chitra Katha, agencies such as Co-Design, Grey Worldwide and others such as Fox Traveller India, Smirnoff, Time-out, NID Publications, to name a few. An avid traveler, Siddhartha spends time working on his projects from Lucknow, Dharamshala, and Ahmedabad. Currently working on a couple of animation short-films, illustrated books, exhibitions, he loves to teach and takes out time to work on his paintings and illustrations. His work can be found at

Ambika Sambasivan is an illustrator-by-accident. She loves working with craft paper and creates distinctive, colorful collages. Her portfolio is also peppered with some pen-and-ink artwork and a dash of Copic coloring, but what’s art without some spice? Her work can be seen on her blog, Studio Wotmot.