In any civilized society, when fathers and trusted guardians turn sexual predators,when horrific incidents of rape and sexual abuse of minors hit newspaper headlines with alarming frequency, when hospitals, schools and even school buses are not the safe havens we imagine, have we then touched rock bottom—the nadir of this kalyug? In such grim times it becomes imperative for children of every age to be aware of their personal safety, to be able to protect themselves even within the close family unit. Smitten, Ranjit Lal’s latest novel for young teenagers, dares to tackle this concern which is traditionally one of the great taboos in our society.

Pageant of India’s Past

Cultural History of India is a series of articles by some well-known historians, archaeologists and linguists. In this volume they have made a critical appre­ciation of India’s cultural life from the earliest times to the present day and packed it with information on a variety of subjects ranging from religion and philosophy to political and economic conditions in ancient and modern India.

‘The residents of Bargad chawl are in danger of losing their homes—their nooks and crannies, shelters and perches. Ali, the monkey, has to find a way out. He swings, jumps and leaps into action, and comes up with a monkey trick that gives a new twist to the phrase, ‘playing god’ in this hilarious and heartwarming story!’ reads the jacket of this picture book recommended for children upwards of 5 years in age.

Writer Anushka Ravishankar strikes again, with a novel little book—and this time, it’s about a little girl who goes to the market, with a little money from her mother, but so captivating are the strange sights that she spends her time, lost in the wonderful world. Flowers, bangles, toys and fish … the list is endless as she skips along the narrow lanes, peers at the colourful stalls, gapes at sellers and buyers, and loses all track of time.