Sowmya Rajendran
GREAT BOOKS FOR CHILDREN: A GUIDE by Preeti Singh Red Turtle, Rupa, Delhi, 2014, 231 pp., 195
November 2014, volume 38, No 11

A children’s book on all the books that children can read! Preeti Singh’s Great Books For Children is a compilation of books (including Indian ones) that might be of interest to independent young readers and parents or elder siblings of very small children who may want to introduce books to them. There are eleven sections, divided according to genre, for older children and a disappointingly short one for the very young ones.

Rather than classifying the books according to a rigid age-bracket, Preeti has divided them into three reading levels. This is a good idea because not all children of the same age are at the same reading level. There’s no explanation for what these three levels are though—how is a young reader to determine which level they are at without actually buying or borrowing a book listed under a particular level? Or was this a deliberate exclusion so children will be encouraged to read from all levels and figure it out for themselves? The Introduction suggests so but in that case, why have levels at all? Perhaps it would have been a good idea to include a brief explanation of the reading levels. The section for very small children has no reading levels at all.

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