No Title
Avinandan Mukherji
UNDER THE NEEM TREE by P. Anuradha Tulika Publishers, 2012, 24 pp., 135
November 2012, volume 36, No 11

If you are looking for a book to gift a 7-year old that doesn’t depict 10-year olds acting like grownups to solve a murder mystery, but something that tells a story about child-like children who live close to the earth, are faced with the not so pleasant reality in the process of growing up—children who enjoy listening to stories and can’t wait to know what happens at the end, children who arrange weddings for their dolls, and depend on indulging grownups to make sure it is conducted in the best way possible—then P. Anuradha’s Under the Neem Tree is the book you should pick. The same applies to the other books in the Different Tales series, which are indeed tales different from the stuff we often encounter in the form of children’s literature.

The dominating colour in the illustrations by A.V. Ilango is yellow—the colour of the Indian sun, and life beneath it which depict sun burnt dark-skinned humans the way they are—another departure from the traditional illustrated children’s book where characters are coloured as though they belong to the same league as Snow White and Cinderella.

Continue reading this review