Ruth Dinushi Mohotti is a children’s author and the creator of Tippy Toe Readers social media platform and the Toybox Series of children’s books.
Having recently launched the first two books in a series of children’s books at the Sarasavi Bookshop at One Galle Face on the 8th of October 2022, Ruth has much more planned for fans of her work.
Book one – ‘Pricks joins the Toybox’ and Book Two – ‘Ellie and the Invisible Ink’ are the first two books of the series. These two books emphasise the values of kindness, patience, love, courage, and friendship, and their launch marks the past celebrations of International Literacy Day in September under the theme, “Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces”.
The story of the author and her journey towards becoming an author and promoter of child literacy is an interesting one.
Ruth Dinushi Mohotti was born and bred in the Seychelles Islands (4 degrees south of the equator in the Indian Ocean). Ruth is nevertheless a Sri Lankan by descent, with the ancestry of both of her parents tracing back to Sri Lanka. While living in Seychelles, she was an active member of the Sri Lankan Association of Seychelles. She decided to moved to Sri Lanka recently to serve the country.
She went through her primary education at Mont Fleuri Primary and Secondary Schools and completed her A’Levels at the School of Advanced Level Studies – majoring in science.
School played an important part of Ruth’s younger years and it was in school that Ruth first became a published author.
Her first book was part of a school project in Primary 3 at the age of eight, and was based on a Seychellois folk tale titled: ‘Barefoot Soungula and the Jackfruit’.
She went on to self-publish her debut novel a book in 2010 at the age of seventeen: ‘The Jewel of Elya’.
Ruth has a knack for storytelling and communicating and her creative skills have served her well. For instance, she enjoyed being the Master of Ceremony for international Musicians on behalf of the Seychelles National Conservatoire of Performing Arts for a few short years.
Ruth is the holder of a Bachelor of Science in Computing and Information Systems (Hons) from the Goldsmiths College, University of London; Alumni of University of Seychelles. Holder of a Master’s in Business Administration from Staffordshire University; Alumni of APIIT. Her childhood ambition was to become either a Paediatrician or Naval Doctor. However, the idea changed and turned into a completely different career path.
As a child, helping friends and family came naturally and, soon after graduating with the bachelor’s degree, joined the international voluntary organisation Lions Clubs International (LCI) from Seychelles. As a member of the Seychelles Centennial Women Lions Club (SCWLC) in 2017, she served in the position of Club Secretary for two years, then went on to become Club 2nd Vice President, and eventually Club President of SCWLC in 2020-2021, becoming the youngest president of SCWLC and youngest Lion president in the Seychelles that year; she recently completed her tenure as District Officer for Hunger.
Ruth currently serves the Lions Clubs International District 411A Region G, as a Region Champion & Officer for Children’s Literacy Program for the Lionistic Year 2022-2023.
Her year’s portfolio is something close to her heart as she strongly believes in the value of education, together with her passion for writing.
Ruth’s work towards improving child literacy is commendable to say the least and as she will profess, “Education is the key to unlocking human potential. The acquisition of skills and knowledge enables people to over-come poverty, disease, and other social ills. It empowers communities and gives individuals the confidence needed to shape their own future.”
She goes on to quote Dr. Seuss, author of children’s books, “The more you read, the more things you’ll know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Ruth goes on to talk about how we, as a community, can help in encouraging our children to read. “Many of our schools lack the basic reading materials that can help improve their literacy skills,” she says. “By collecting books from our families and friends and distributing those to schools and institutions that cater for children can help them build their knowledge provide them with additional information for their learning.”
The Toybox series is the start of many published works that are designed to not only be attractive and easy to read for children, but also instils core social and family values in children.
The Tippy Toe Readers is a social media platform on Facebook and Instagram that Ruth has created to interact with and encourage children to read. With weekly recommendations from both local and international authors, motivational posts, and so much more, it is certainly something to look out for to share with children.
Parents of young readers are encouraged to follow the Tippy Toe Readers pages on Facebook and Instagram to get access to more content. Copies of both books are currently on sale at The Jam Fruit Tree bookshop, Colombo and at the Sarasavi Bookshops.
by Jeremy Muller
Courtesy: Sunday Observer, 23 Oct 2022