A collection of eight stories narrated by a daughter as woven by her mother(amma) during their relaxed casual conversations. The stories are from amma’s own childhood. The imagery built by the stories in the Indian set up seems closer to home. This genre of stories may work well with grade school children who love to listen to real stories from the lives of adults…
As parents we want the best for our children and as the role entails, we guide them along the initial stages of their journey in life. But kids being headstrong do not always give their parents a patient hearing. This concept has been portrayed beautifully by Vinayan Bhaskaran.
Most folktales, perhaps originating from the heart, hold the capacity to appeal to the depths of the heart that provides them with the essential distinction of crossing into global vistas. This one told in simple verse performs the needful to please gratify the sentiments. It is a typical old-world style folktale presenting the ups and downs of conflicts and acts of goodness at the same time concluding in peace and contentment.
The very first thing that catches one’s attention is the black torn part and a child peeking through it on an otherwise bright red cover picture. The story uses the colour palette beautifully as the book starts with a boy running alone on a muddy road with a beautiful yellow background followed by him finding a bright RED kite.
This never ending beautiful folktale is an all time favourite of children. The greedy and cunning Jackal and the colourful peacock were friends. Both decided to prepare a special meal of Dal Bati (a special dish of Rajasthan). Once it is ready, the peacock goes for a bath and the greedy jackal eats up the entire dish prepared by both. When the peacock shows his anger the jackal eats the peacock.
What attracted me first was the title of the book. It made me curious to know what it was that was not understood. There are probably very few books for children that have titles with a negative word in them.
The Polka Dot Umbrella & Others is a collection of 12 short stories, each dealing with aspects of life. The stories touch upon various challenges life throws at us and how to overcome them as in , ‘Dance of Victory’, ‘A Mentor Called Dadu ‘ and ‘Singular Problem’.
Teaching Pa is the story of Diya and her father, unfolding how she managed and succeeded in teaching her father, in spite of his efforts to skip the maths sessions. It is sweet of Diya to decide to teach her father and make all the efforts to make it happen. Another interesting thing is how she makes use of pea pods, and other examples from kitchen that her father is familiar with.
Homegrown middle grade fiction in India is on the rise and thankfully so! Neha and the Nose written by Ruchika Chanana brings two young detectives, one with the brains and one with the, um, nose, into the scene, where they uncover the truth about various mysteries like who stole the Sadanand Sharma Trophy for Extramural Excellence or who was stalking Harini, the head girl.
Hot Jalebis is a story which depicts the crazy rush and dangers of an Indian street. A young boy is told to bring jalebis from the nearby jalebi stall. He is repeatedly reminded by his grandmother about the crows and eagles that swoop down suddenly. He also has to overcome a temptation to eat the jalebis.
Niveditha Subramaniam’s Ammama’s Sari is a beautiful wordless book appropriate for children between 0 to 100. Please acquire it whether or not you have children in your life. It captures the essence of the Indian design philosophy of affordance of everyday materials and objects—the very antithesis of the modern affliction of ‘use-and-throw’. Subramaniam mounts exquisitely textured fabric collages that evoke the texture and feel of a Sari.
The five books that are reviewed below and the many others that I have read before, makes me wonder at the spectrum of quality that one finds in Pratham Books, as they range from excellent to mediocre to simply substandard..
Uff! There’s a mouse in the house. I can see it scampering on my kitchen platform, behind the gas stove, then jump down lightly and scurry under the door, under the wooden crockery shelf-almirah, under the wooden stool on which my mother prefers the fridge is kept so she doesn’t have to bend down too much.
Mouse Attack is surely a window for children to enter into the world of fascinating images woven grippingly by Magnolia. It holds you tight with its enthralling narrative and lets you walk into the world of Arvee, Ellie, Mo and Pasha. Peeking through the eye of a mouse brings an interesting perspective of the human world as well as the small animal world.
Unlike your other classmates, you have an incomplete family because your Dad is just not there. You only know him as a face in the photographs in your mother’s wedding album. For some unexplained reason, he doesn’t like you and your mother and left soon after you were born.
Children of Destruction is a fantasy novel by Kuber Kaushik. It starts off rather mysteriously and the pace continues to build up, going from the streets of Hong Kong to the Hindu Kush and then Nepal, giving the reader a snapshot of each of the characters in a moment of power
Vaneeta Vaid’s story about a Class X student named Kalyani who develops an eating disorder due to her obesity is addressed to schools, parents and our entire community that encourages body shaming while laying emphasis on stereotyped physical appearances for girls.
Neelu and her Miru Mashi go out to explore the city and come across sick horses pulling carriages, which gives Miru Mashi a reason to explain how prosthetics and artificial limbs work. Neelu and the Phenomenal Printer explains the complicated technology of three dimensional printing in a very simple and easy to understand manner.
Level 3 books are an inquisitive mind’s delight with engaging tales of discovery which teaches one and all to appreciate the little wonders of life. These thought-provoking books make a simple blend of events for the tender feet to look at things in a different light.
Ranjan is very weak in maths and fails to clear the examinations for two consecutive years. He gets rebukes from his father and punishment from teachers, because of which he develops a hatred for school.