Born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India; immigrated to Canada; married; children: one son. Education: Attended University of Hyderabad; Ph.D. (English). Hobbies and other interests: Bharatanatyam dancing, tobogganing.
Home and office—Ontario, Canada.
Author, illustrator, and educator. Codirector of documentary film Silambakoodam, 2002; Katha Publishers, New Delhi, India, former editor; University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, instructor in English at King's University College.
No Onions nor Garlic, Penguin Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Zai Whitaker, Kali and the Rat Snake, Goodbooks Marketing (Chennai, India), 2000, Kane Miller Book Publishers (La Jolla, CA), 2006.
Sandhya Rao, Sweet and Salty: A Folktale from Andra Pradesh, Goodbooks Marketing (Chennai, India), 2003.
Sandhya Rao, Wrestling Mania: A Folktale from Punjab, Goodbooks Marketing (Chennai, India), 2003.
Veena Shatrugna and Gita Ramaswamy, Taking Charge of Our Bodies: A Health Handbook for Women, Penguin Books (New Delhi, India), 2004.
Srividya Natarajan has cultivated many talents throughout her career, including writing, dancing, and illustrating. Born in Chennai, India, she earned a Ph.D. in English and has worked as an instructor in English on the university level since immigrating to eastern Canada. Prior to becoming an academician, Natrajan studied bharatanatyam, a classical Indian style of dance she performed as a principal dancer throughout India and in various parts of the world. Her interest in illustrating children's books was also sparked early in her working life, while she was employed in India as an editor for an English-language publishing company located in New Delhi.
Featuring a text by naturalist Zai Whitaker, Kali and the Rat Snake is brought to life through Natarajan's pencil drawings and paintings. In the story, young Kali, an Indian boy, is snubbed by his classmates because of his enthic background. Kali is an Irula, part of a small group of southern Indians who earn their living as snake catchers. Although Kali's schoolmates tease the boy for his heritage, things change when a large rat snake enters the classroom, causing Kali's teacher and his classmates to panic. Kali saves the day when he effortlessly captures and handles the snake, ultimately winning the admiration of his peers. Reviewing Kali and the Rat Snake in Children's Bookwatch, a critic commented that Natarajan's "energetic color illustrations … pepper this delightful children's story," while Mary Hazelton wrote in School Library Journal that the artist's unique ethnic influences result in images that "resemble a beautiful batik fabric."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2006, review of Kali and the Rat Snake, p. 914.
School Library Journal, October, 2006, Mary Hazelton, review of Kali and the Rat Snake, p. 130.
Children's Bookwatch Web site,http://www.midwestbookreview.com/ (September-August, 2006), review of Kali and the Rat Snake.
Kane Miller Web site,http://www.kanemiller.com/ (February 9, 2008), "Srividya Natarajan."
South-Asian Women's Network Web site,http://www.sawnet.org/ (February 9, 2008), "Srividya Natarajan."