When I’m not on the yoga mat, meditation cushion or in my flamenco shoes… When I’m not shaking a shamanic rattle and drumming till the devas come home… Or when I’m not Reiki-ing myself, my crystals or other people… I write and draw!
And today, I am delighted, honored, dancing, smiling, giggling and sooo happy to present Dancing Devas!
(well, OK, I also hold classes, am an entrepreneur in organic beauty, and I care for my family -and I occasionally cook dinner for the clan…)
More about my author-illustrator work in Fisso’s World
Dancing Devas, my new Children’s Picture Book
Dancing Devas is my 3rd book, after Wandering Angkor and Fisso’s World in Cambodia cartoons. I sold over 3000 copies of my first 2 books!
Dancing Devas is a Children’s Picture Book that tells the story of Vida, and intrepid girl who discovers a magical forest with her 6-legged side-kick, Zazu.
When Vida chases her cheeky grasshopper friend Zazu out of her yard into the forest, they find themselves transported to a surprising jungle world.
They stumble upon mysterious ruins when suddenly… SWISH! SHOVE! THUD! All around them, stone ruins and carvings start coming to life!
Will Vida and Zazu escape the fierce Giants and dodge the hissing mythical Serpents? How will they gatecrash the Apsara Fairy Queen’s rambunctious dance party? Dancing Devas is a lively and whimsical children’s picture book, where Southeast Asian myths, art and architecture come to life.Dancing Devas – 34 pages – Full color
Behind Dancing Devas
Dancing Devas is a labor of love that bridges so many worlds and times.
A bridge over the Pacific Ocean:
I started creating this Children’s Picture Book in San Francisco, scribbling when the kids were busy and I was not teaching yoga. I had a little table in the corner of a bright room where I’d play with acrylic paints and inks. My computer had dozens of sketches scotched to the wall behind it. Then the book was left aside, and kind of steeped in its own magical tea. Or should I say, fermented into bubbly kombucha!
I picked it up again in Singapore, tweaked the start and the end to make it resonate best with the kids and adults that will read it. I went back to my drawing board and computer with a new vision. And I turned words over and over, upside-down and right-side up in my head, over my tongue and through the countless proof and edit readings. (Many many thanks to my beta readers).
A cultural bridge:
As a child of mixed heritage, with unruly hair and visibly brown skin, I grew up loving stories… but not recognizing myself in them. Why did the princesses (nearly always) have light hair or fair skin? Why were all the books we read in school set in Europe or North America? I mean, even the stories I wrote and drew as a child featured light colored characters with long smooth hair…
Then one day when I was in Elementary school, a neighbor gifted me the Children’s novel she had written. The neighbor was Minfong Ho, and her book was Sing to the Dawn (which I love). What a revelation : a book in English for kids about kids in Thailand! Books about brown kids was possible! I now had books in my shelf that reflected my bi-racial and multicultural background.
Fast forward to where I stand today: creating stories where cultures and skin colors mix.
A bridge between the worlds:
Dancing Devas is firstly an adventure picture book. Vida and Zazu stumble upon a magic forest where, to their surprise, ancient sculptures come to life. They meet supernatural creatures such as the Giants, and Nagas (mythical serpents), and they party with the Apsara fairies (celestial dancers).
Beyond a journey into the myths, art and architecture of South and Southeast Asia, Dancing Devas is also told like a meditative journey. Vida and Zazu travel together from their ordinary everyday reality into the dream-like reality where anything is possible, even ancient stone statues dancing to life!
I loved walking these bridges in my creation process. And now my wish is that Dancing Devas flies out into the world and delights you and all the children you know. As an independent author-illustrator, I need you to help make it fly!
It is available in paperback on Amazon (.com, as well as all others) and can be ordered at your brick-and-mortar bookshop. Dancing Devas is also widely available on ebook platforms all over the world.
Flip through the book here
And more about my author-illustrator work in Fisso’s World
And if you love my articles, I would love your support! You can buy me a tea here on Buy Me a Coffee. Thank you!