About

Books for little boys and little girls whose mummies and daddies grew up in a different country than theirs.

KidzBelong Books helps grown ups share stories with little ones about growing up! Little ones ask lots of smart questions, our books help answering them. Why does my food look different from what my friends bring? Why is my skin colour different? Why is the God I pray to look different? Our mission is to help little ones understand that these differences are what makes them special.

We want to share with kids the simple message that no matter where they are growing up, and no matter where their parents grew up, they are loved. Sometimes it’s hard for little ones to tell their friends (and themselves) why they and their parents do certain things differently. We want to help them find the answers. Growing up, no matter where you grow up, is an exciting, confusing and crazy journey! We would love to show kids that they are not alone!

About the KidzBelong Books team

Niyati Desai-Kadakia
Founder and Writer

Niyati

During the day, Niyati is a researcher, packer-of-lunchboxes and a boo-boo healer. At night she moonlights as a story-teller, spinning tales to answer the darnedest questions posed by her twin daughters. Her stories are mostly inspired by her own experiences of being an immigrant student and then a first generation Indian-American mother. Her stories focus on questions, concerns and feelings children have as they are being raised by parents who grew up in a different culture than theirs, which encourages them to create their own unique identity that is whole and complete.

She founded KidzBelong to meet a pressing need to have picture books address needs of children of immigrant families who are particularly vulnerable to feeling marginalized and different.

Niyati holds a B.S. in Biochemical Engineering from USC, B.A. in Literature from Scripps College and M.A. in Biotechnology from Columbia University. She lives with her husband and twin daughters in Toronto.

Raymond Gardener
Designer

Raymond

Raymond Gardener is an award-winning designer who has helped numerous businesses to reach and surpass their prospective goals. In the last eight years he has provided an amalgam of insightful perspectives and creative solutions, all the while ensuring that a core idea is brought into fruition. Having worked in various industries from non-profit organizations, consumer products, financial institutions, sports franchises and pharmaceuticals.

Raymond strives to put the idea before the medium. Covering a broad disciplinary range, Raymond has experience in visual identities, art direction, advertising, usability patterns, web development and the tactile skill of paper engineering.

Shaunak Samvatsar
Illustrator

Shaunak

Shaunak Samvatsar is a cartoonist, storyteller, animator, story artist and educationist. He has a fascination for comics and sequential storytelling. He moved from engineering to the creative side during his Masters and went into the field of comics and films.

He was a part of the pre-production team of the award winning animated TV feature “Tripura- The Three Cities of Maya”. He was the team lead and story artist for Animagic on the animated TV series “Pakdam Pakdai”.His comic strip “Phuskuman” is published in the beloved Tinkle Comics in India. His political cartoons can be viewed at Breadcrumbs.

Shaunak has an Master of Design (Animation), B.E. Mechanical. He enjoys making comics, cartoons and telling stories. He currently lives and works in Pune, India.

Deepa Chordia-Shah
Illustrator

Deepa

An artistic and creative professional in the Design industry for more than 8 years.

Deepa holds a Master’s in Design from world-renowned Ivy-League university: IDC (Industrial Design Centre), IIT-Bombay with specialization in Animation; and a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts, from Sir J.J. Institute of Fine Arts, Mumbai. Her professional interests are in 2D Animation, Illustrations, Concept Art, & Graphic Design. She has a passion for learning and implementing new forms of arts and software tools towards continual enhancement.

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