Smriti Halls

Smriti Halls was Writer in Residence from September 2020 until March 2021. During this time, she focused on helping children navigate tricky times and new experiences - whether learning at home, solving friendship difficulties, getting to know a new sibling, or thinking about some of the challenges facing our world.

Smriti Halls

Smriti Halls is an award-winning, critically acclaimed children’s author, published in more than 30 languages worldwide. Her books include #1 bestseller I Love You Night and Day, I’m Sticking with You, Elephant in My Kitchen and The Little Island. With a cast of characters as varied as mischievous monsters and disgruntled geese, she explores relationship and identity; the personal and the political; how it feels to be in your own skin — and in someone else’s. Her books, often fast-paced and funny or lyrical and tender, are always full of heart and hope and speak to the child in all of us. Her picture book Rain Before Rainbows (illustrated by David Litchfield) was made available ahead of publication in partnership with Save the Children as a free e-book to support their work with families most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Smriti works widely with children and adults in schools, libraries, festivals, bookshops and prisons to bring a love of reading and stories to the widest possible audience. She lives in London and is also published as Smriti Prasadam-Halls. 

Speaking about being appointed as BookTrust's Writer in Residence, Smriti said:

'I am honoured and excited to be joining Booktrust as Writer in Residence from Sept 2020- March 2021. I have long admired the essential work that Booktrust does to get books into the hands of the very youngest readers, to engage parents, teachers and carers to build young readers and to effect positive change in the book world. It is a tremendous privilege to be part of the charity in this way.

I begin my residency during a period of uncertainty and transition for us all – a time when we have never needed books more. As a reader and a writer, I believe utterly in the power of books and stories to transform lives, to build bridges, to rebuild hearts, to give us the emotional language to negotiate the trickiest of situations and to bring hope and change in the world. In my role as writer in residence I’ll be encouraging us all, both children and adults, to find new, meaningful and resonant ways of engaging with books and bringing them to life… helping the words leap off the page and right into our lives… and helping us to inspire a new generation of children to find their books for life.'

Hear more from our current Writer in Residence

Hello from Smriti

Relive Smriti's storytime fun

During her time as Writer in Residence, Smriti decided to brighten up a lockdown half-term with a fun live storytime!

She was joined by Sarah McIntyre and Axel Scheffler for the event, which saw all three of them sharing their books.

Smriti read Elephant in My Kitchen, while Sarah treated us to Don't Call Me Grumpycorn and Axel gave a fabulous rendition of The Smeds and The Smoos.

You can relive all the fun by watching the video!

Features by Smriti Halls

Loading...

Related books by Smriti Halls

Not That Pet!

Author: Smriti Halls Illustrator: Rosalind Beardshaw

An enjoyable rhyming book with wholesome illustrations, Not That Pet! is perfect for young families considering bring an animal into their lives, and a lovely story about an everyday family and their dynamics. 

Read more about Not That Pet!

Rain Before Rainbows

Author: Smriti Halls Illustrator: David Litchfield

A little girl travels through perilous landscapes, helped by the gentle animals that guide her towards the sunlight. A luminous book to help children at difficult times.

Read more about Rain Before Rainbows

Elephant in My Kitchen!

Author: Smriti Halls Illustrator: Ella Okstad

A young boy is rather perturbed when he discovers an elephant in his kitchen, munching her way through the chocolate biscuits. What's she doing there and how can he get rid of her?  The important environmental message of this book is delivered in an accessible manner, and children are sure to delight in the cheeky animal antics.

Read more about Elephant in My Kitchen!

I'm Sticking With You

Author: Smriti Halls Illustrator: Steve Small

Bear and Squirrel are best friends - but Squirrel feels like she needs a bit of space of her own. This adorable rhyming book about the ups and downs of friendship is pitched perfectly for 3-5 year olds who may be negotiating new friendships.

Read more about I'm Sticking With You

The Little Island

Author: Smriti Prasadam-Halls Illustrator: Robert Starling

The message here is that compassion for others and strength in togetherness is what makes us thrive. The Little Island may raise as many questions as it answers, but that’s precisely why global ideas should be introduced to children at such a young age.  

Read more about The Little Island

Don’t Make Me Cross

Author: Smriti Prasadam-Halls Illustrator: Angie Rozelaar

Little Monster claims to be sweet, but is proving to be anything but! Children will love the naughty monster snatching presents and hogging sweets, and parents will delight in reminding them not to be like Little Monster if they don’t want to end up feeling silly! 

Read more about Don’t Make Me Cross

How Big is our Baby

Author: Smriti Prasadam-Halls Illustrator: Britta Teckentrup

This marvellous non-fiction book, aimed at soon-to-be siblings, charts the month-by-month development of an unborn baby in the womb. Warm, cheerful illustrations depict different genders, ethnicities and family set-ups, giving it broad appeal. 

Read more about How Big is our Baby

Pairs! In the Garden

Author: Smriti Prasadam-Halls Illustrator: Laura Scobie

This busy, colourful book flows with fun, rhyming text that is great for reading aloud. The detailed illustrations can be used to help identify many types of bugs, colours and flowers, making it a great learning tool for early readers.

Read more about Pairs! In the Garden

The Ways of the Wolf

Author: Smriti Prasadam-Halls Illustrator: Jonathan Woodward

A big, stunning hardback that pays tribute to a misunderstood animal: the wolf. There's a nice middle-ground, conservational message here that the wolf is just looking to survive, like everything else – including us.

Read more about The Ways of the Wolf

Two Can

Author: Smriti Prasadam-Halls Illustrator: Ben Javens

Maybe playing together is better because two can have twice as much fun as one! This is an adorable book about letting others join in your games - and each page has hidden details that young readers will love to discover.

Read more about Two Can

I Wish I Were a Pirate

Author: Smriti Prasadam-Halls Illustrator: Sarah Ward

A wonderfully chunky, rhyming board book about pirates, with exciting things to spot on every page, thanks to the colourful and jolly illustrations. An ideal book for even the youngest toddler to enjoy.

Read more about I Wish I Were a Pirate

What's happening?

Stay up to date

Make sure you don't miss a thing with our news and features about everything to do with the children's book world.

Latest Writer in Residence updates

  • What to Read After… Look Up! 20/09/2021

    Look Up! is an award-winning picture book that has won hearts everywhere. Illustrator D...

  • Onjali Q. Raúf

    Find out what Onjali Q. Raúf got up to during her time as Writer in Residence, from Mar...

Waterstones Children's Laureate

Find out about Cressida Cowell

Find out everything that's going on with the 11th Waterstones Children's Laureate, Cressida Cowell, as she takes on the job from 2019-22.