Ruby Rides an Elephant
Ruby Rides an Elephant
Written by Ruby Lovell
Illustrated by Zara Merrick
Published by Lychee Books
8th March 2018
Ages 3+. Hardback. £6.99.
A vibrant new picture book celebrating diversity and encouraging curiosity in other cultures, inspired by the author’s own experience of teaching her mixed-race children about their Sri Lankan heritage.
When Ruby Lovell struggled to find a picture book representing her Anglo-Asian children, she decided to write her own story celebrating diversity, adventure and interest in other cultures. Ruby Rides an Elephant is a vibrant and colourful exploration of Sri Lanka, inspired by the bedtime stories Ruby grew up listening to in Colombo, as well as the visits back to her homeland taken with her own children, helping them discover and explore their cultural heritage and experience some of the amazing adventures Ruby had as a child.
From feeding and riding rescue elephants, climbing landmarks like Sigiriya Rock, eating tropical fruit for the first time in bustling markets and learning to play traditional Tamil drums, this authentic exploration will introduce children to a wealth of new cultural experiences and spark their imagination, educate them and instil a sense of adventure.
Artist Zara Merrick brings to life the vivid colours, tastes and sounds of Sri Lanka with bright and whimsical illustrations that capture the atmosphere of this extraordinary island. The collaboration between Ruby and Zara began after they met by chance at their children’s school gates.
Ruby comes from a special family: her mother is English and her father is from Sri Lanka. She doesn’t know much about her mixed-race heritage, so she’s about to go on a special adventure to learn. On her first trip to her father’s homeland, Ruby discovers a country bursting with colour, sound and flavour. She’ll learn about tuk tuks, coconuts and saris, and meet her first ever elephant. Take a ride with Ruby and her new friend Rani the elephant through this beautiful country that will transport children on a wonderful adventure, teach them so much, and introduce them to other cultures.
Ruby Lovell is a children’s book author, writer, performer and TV/film producer. Ruby moved from Sri Lanka to London when she was 7 years old after her father, The High Commissioner of the Sri Lankan Embassy, was reposted in 1985. Growing up in South London, where she and her family still live today, Ruby experienced difficulties assimilating because many of the children she encountered knew little about non-English cultures. As the mother of Anglo-Asian children in the UK, Ruby feels strongly that books exploring other cultures are essential to developing children’s empathy and understanding of others. Ruby is also a hip-hop artist whose music is strongly inspired by her Tamil heritage. She performs all over the world and recently toured in Sri Lanka in 2017. Her debut single Late Nights and album My Time will be released in April 2018, and she is currently negotiating a record deal with Philadelphia Records in the US.