Deepa Agarwal has written about fifty books for children ranging from mystery and adventure novels, ghost stories, stories of everyday life, picture books and biographies, retold folk tales and myths, and compiled textbooks. Leading publishers like Scholastic India, Puffin Books India, Children’s Book Trust, National Book Trust, Ratnasagar, Rupa & Co., Frank Educational Aids and Vikas have published her work.
Her series of picture books with titles like Lippo Goes to the Park and Squiggly Goes to School, published by Frank Educational Aids is one of the most widely circulated series for children published in India. A regular contributor to children’s magazines both in India and abroad, websites and children’s pages of newspapers, she has contributed to and edited a number of anthologies as well. Her work has been translated into Korean, Japanese and Chinese as well most of the Indian languages.
Her recent titles include Caravan to Tibet published by Puffin/Penguin Books, a historical adventure story based on her family history, a translation of Chandrakanta the famous Hindi classic and a biography Rani Lakshmibai published by Puffin Books. The Mango Birds and A Real Giraffe, picture books published by National Book Trust and How to Get Your Child to Read, and Write Right a guide to creative writing published by Scholastic India, are her latest titles.
Deepa has won several awards in the Children’s Book Trust Competitions for Writers and five of her books have been listed in the White Raven Catalogue of recommended books brought out by the International Youth Library, Munich. She received the N.C.E.R.T National Award for Children’s Literature for her picture book Ashok’s New Friends in 1992-93. Caravan to Tibet was selected for the IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) Honour List 2008 as the best book from India and listed in the White Raven Catalogue. It has also been translated into Korean. She also received the first prize in The Asian Age short story competition for her story “Cradle Song”, while her story “Visitor’s Hour” published in Cicada magazine U.S.A. was a runner up in the Magazine Merit awards of the Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators, U.S.A.
Deepa writes poetry and fiction for adults as well and translates from Hindi into English. Both her short story collection If the Earth Should Move…and her poetry collection Do Not Weep Lonely Mirror have received critical acclaim. The latter has recently been translated into Hindi.
Deepa is also a resource person for Scholastic India, National Book Trust and Ratnasagar Publishers and has conducted a large number of workshops on creative writing and storytelling sessions in schools. She is the founder-organizer of the Habitat Children’s Book Forum, which was launched with the aim of bringing children and books together.