I launched my Dev and Ollie picture book series in March 2015 with the objective of introducing children to unique festivals around the world in a modern, informative and humorous manner. My mission is to help ALL children not only to be reading well, but also to be well read by helping add variety to their bookshelves and increase their understanding and appreciation of cultures outside of their own.
Born in India, raised in Japan and living in the UK since 2000, I describe myself as a global citizen. My love for diverse cultural traditions began in 1995 when I spent some time in India studying Computer Science. During this time, I began exploring India extensively, gaining first-hand experience of amazing festivals, collecting memories and inspiration for my future work in children’s literature.
I believe festivals evoke the best of any culture. The Dev and Ollie series is all about 'fest-travel' adventures. As one Amazon reviewer said, 'The stories are so light-hearted, children have no idea how much they're learning.'
Since the launch of the series in 2015, some key achievements include:
Nothing is more gratifying to me than engaging with children directly. I am now invited to schools and libraries regularly. My 3rd book Camel Caper was very well received this year in several libraries as part of the Summer Reading Challenge with the theme being Animal Agents.
What school visits entail
Some Recent Testimonials
'All the boys were shown pictures of the real kite festival before being introduced to her characters Dev and Ollie, whose adventures around the world to discover unusual festivals are colourfully illustrated in three picture books. Shweta’s enthusiasm and energy is infectious. It was great that Shweta was so hands on helping the boys make their paper kites. I hope we can explore Colour Carnival with Shweta next time” - Sue Smith, LRC Manager at Merchant Taylors Pre-Prep School, London
'I would thoroughly recommend inviting Shweta Aggarwal, and Dev and Ollie, into your school for a Colour Carnival. Both children and staff enjoyed themselves immensely, learning in a fun and unique way. I don't think any of us have ever experienced an author visit like it!' – Headteacher at Gunter Primary School, Birmingham.
'Ruislip Gardens PS welcomed Shweta Aggarwal for an exciting day of storytelling. We looked forward to exploring a story from India and learning more about the culture and festivals celebrated there - we were not disappointed. From the youngest children in Reception to the oldest in Year 2 there was engagement with the story characters Dev and Ollie and the theme of kite flying. Adults and children enjoyed the storytelling and on returning to their classroom my Year 1 children wanted to write their own kite stories and poems based on what they had heard. All the children loved the kites that they made at the end of the session and who would think that paper and string could bring such excitement!' - Curriculum Leader at Ruislip Primary School, London.
'It was a pleasure to have Shweta Aggarwal visit our school to share her new book ‘Colour Carnival’ with the pupils. ‘Colour Carnival’ acted as a learning opportunity for our students, promoting a message of tolerance and diversity. The students were captivated by the books use of colour, wit and the simplicity of the story, allowing all children access to the cultural lessons Dev and Ollie’s stories provide - in this case the Hindu festival of colour, Holi. We thank Shweta for giving our students the opportunity to have their eyes opened to new perspectives on the world through her engaging storytelling.’ - Year 1 teacher at Royal Masonic School for Girls, Hertfordshire.
'Redbridge Museum were pleased to use Shweta for a ‘Dev and Ollie’ book reading and kite making session which linked very well to the Museum’s ‘Indian Gateway’ exhibition in October 2016. The session was busy with children of many different ages and diverse backgrounds but Shweta was excellent at delivering in a fun, engaging and professional manner. She was also very organised in her preparation and it was a pleasure to work with her.' - Library Manager at Redbridge Library and Museum, London.
The Dev and Ollie series consist of the following titles so far: