Chandra Chari
AGAR HAMARE PAHIYE LAGE HOTE; IF WE HAD WHEELS by Both by Sanjiv Jaiswal ‘Sanjay’. Translated from Hindi into English by Navin Menon. Illustrations by Ankur Mitra. Edited by Kusumlata Singh. Children’s Book Trust, 2023, 16 pp., INR 60.00
November 2023, volume 47, No 11

The original Hindi title won a prize in the Category Concept Booksin the Competition for Children’s Books in Hindi organized by CBT. Jaiswal is the author of another CBT title The King’s Feast.
Children’s imagination is proverbially like a kite blowing in the wind. Sonu wonders why he does not have wheels with which he could run really fast like cycles, scooters and cars which go zip…zip…zoom. Till his sister reminds him of the drawbacks like having to fill air into the tyres, or getting punctures…Sonu then thinks the better of wanting wheels and understands that humans have the brains to invent the wheel!
Both the original and the translation read well and the quirky illustrations would make a child laugh out loud. I found one proof error, avoidable in such a small book.