“This picture book uses gorgeous artwork and simple text to introduce young readers to Indian culture.” —Brightly

Suma Subramaniam is the author of She Sang For India: How M.S. Subbulakshmi Used Her Voice For Change (Macmillan FSG, 2022), Namaste Is A Greeting (Candlewick Press, 2022), A Bindi Is A Dot (Kids Can Press, 2024), V. Malar series (Candlewick Press, 2024 and 2025), My Name is Long As a River (Penguin Workshop, Fall 2024), as well as Fairies (Capstone, 2021), and Centaurs (Capstone, 2021), with more books forthcoming. She’s also the contributing author of The Hero Next Door (Penguin Random House, 2019).

Her poems have been published in the Young People’s Poetry edition of Poetry Magazine from Poetry Foundation. She is a volunteer at We Need Diverse Books, Diverse Verse, and SCBWI Western Washington. Suma has an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Suma's Featured Titles

She Sang For India: How M.S. Subbulakshmi Used Her Voice for Change

Farrar, Straus and Giroux |
Picture Book

A picture book biography about M.S. Subbulakshmi, a powerful Indian singer who advocated for justice and peace through song.

Before M.S. Subbulakshmi was a famous Carnatic singer and the first Indian woman to perform at the United Nations, she was a young girl with a prodigious voice.

But Subbulakshmi was not free to sing everywhere. In early 1900s India, girls were not allowed to perform for the public. So Subbulakshmi busted barriers to sing at small festivals. Eventually, she broke tradition to record her first album. She did not stop here. At Gandhi’s request, Subbulakshmi sang for India’s freedom. Her fascinating odyssey stretched across borders, and soon she was no longer just a young prodigy. She was a woman who changed the world.

Namaste Is A Greeting

Candlewick |
Picture Book

Discover namaste’s many meanings in a simple, lyrical text, paired with a charmingly detailed visual narrative about a little girl’s kindness.

Namaste calms your heart when things aren’t going right.
Namaste is saying “You matter.”

What is namaste? It’s found in a smile, a friendship, a celebration. It exists in silence; it can be said when you’re happy or when you’re feeling low. For one small girl in a bustling city, namaste (“I bow to you”) is all around her as she and her mother navigate a busy marketplace—and when she returns with a little plant and chooses to give it to an elderly neighbor, it can be seen in the caring bond between them. In a sweet, universal text, debut author Suma Subramaniam shines a light on a word with significance far beyond yoga class, while artist Sandhya Prabhat makes the concept of mindfulness come alive in delightful illustrations likely to draw children in again and again.


Picture Window Books |
Picture Book

Look into the forest and listen carefully You see the chest and head of a man, but you hear the rhythmic gallop of hooves. It’s a centaur, a strong and brave creature. Have you wondered where centaurs dwell and what they eat? How tall do they grow and how heavy? Wonder no more Striking illustrations and matter-of-fact text take you on a thrilling journey to learn all about centaurs.


Picture Window Books |
Picture Book

Gaze at that sparkling light, dancing in the sky It’s a fairy, one of nature’s greatest treasures. Have you ever wondered where fairies live? What she eats and how she uses her magic? Wonder no more Striking illustrations and matter-of-fact text take you on a magical journey to learn all about fairies.


The Writing Journey

(45-60 minutes for grades 3-6. Simplified version available for grades K-2)

To write, you need ideas, patience, persistence, and grit. I will combine the themes of my books and elaborate on my writing process and research techniques. Students will be inspired by the idea that they don’t have to be perfect, and it’s okay to fail as they put one word after the other on the page.


Book Reading and Q&A

I’ll be happy to read from one of my books and then answer your student questions.


Video Conferencing Sessions:

I offer 15-minute free Q&A video conferencing sessions to any class of kids who read my books. I also do longer sessions for a fee. Please see below for rates and reach out via my contact page.


She Sang For India:

Using She Sang For India as the focal point, this presentation will expand on the story of M.S. Subbulakshmi and spark conversations about how anyone, no matter their background, can make a difference in the world by using their voice. Students will learn about the author’s personal inspirations for writing the story as well as the long-winded research and revising process.


Namaste Is A Greeting:

With a focus on Namaste is a Greeting, we will expand on the meaning of namaste and spark conversations about how to become aware of our own and other’s feelings to create a place of mindfulness. Students will be encouraged to write on a worksheet of questions and share their experiences.


Writing Workshops For Students:

Workshops are ideal for grades 3-5. They require students to carry a paper and pen/pencil.

We’ll dive deep into the chosen topics from below:

  1. Plot
  2. Revision
  3. Crafting Scenes
  4. Writing Realistic Animal Characters
  5. Custom Workshop

Virtual Author Visits:

If teachers or students use one of my books for a project or classroom activity, I offer a free 15-minute virtual Q&A author visit session via your preferred online platform. Full online author visit presentations are also available and the details are below.

One virtual presentation of 30-45 minutes for grades K -8

Full day virtual presentations (Up to 3 virtual presentations)

Suma Subramaniam discusses NAMASTE IS A GREETING

Suma’s Newsletter

Suma’s News

Honors, Awards & Recognition

We Need Diverse Books Shorty Story Contest

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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