When it comes to children’s books we tend to think of books for children written by adults.
And understandably so. Writing a book is a craft that need to be learned, and often that can take years – even decades – of practice. Some never master it.
If course there are exceptions, and since 2005 the record for the youngest published author of a book was held by a then five year old Brazilian, Adauto Kovalski Da Silva.
This month that record was not just beaten, but beaten resoundingly, when four year old Thanuwana Serasinghe, son of a Sri Lankan couple living in Seychelles, had his book published by a Sri Lankan publishing souse, Sooriya Publishers.
Anyone thinking this is just some NaNoWriMo first draft needn’t worry. Thanuwana didn’t take a month to write the story. He knocked it out in three days.
I can emphasise. At his age I was a dab hand at writing half-page stories illustrated in vibrant wax crayon colours, and had clear ambitions of becoming an author. But for some reason my parents didn’t scoop up my masterpieces and rush them off to a publisher.
Thanuwana’s father did, and here’s the result.
Titled Junk Food (clearly the kid likes the minimalist approach to book titles), the story is about a chocolate-loving kid (again, I can emphasise) who ate so much he couldn’t keep up with his friends who laughed at him (yep, been there, done that).
But here’s where the story departs from mine – the fictional boy sits beneath a magic apple tree and gets lectured about healthy eating.
Thanuwana’s father Thusitha Serasinghe, explained,
His interest to learn enabled him to write alphabets of seven different languages even before he started kindergarten.
I’m sure we’ll be reading plenty more from Thanuwana Serasinghe in years to come.