Deepak Dalal

The cover of Lakshadweep Adventure is certainly very colourful and appealing—it shows a youngster snorkeling amidst bright coral and fish, in deep blue waters. And within its pages, it aims to introduce a beautiful coral island chain: Lakshadweep.

Reviewed by: Pavithra Srinivasan
Deepak Dalal

Vikram, Aditya and Chitra are the key protagonists of Deepak Dalal’s adventure series. Inspired by adventure series like Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, these three teenagers get involved in incidents where there is a mystery awaiting to be solved.

Reviewed by: Bharat Kidambi
Deepak Dalal

Deepak Dalal’s Vikram Aditya series, of which The Snow Leopard forms a part, are a truly delightful addition to literature for children written in India. C.S Lewis once remarked that a ‘a children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.’

Reviewed by: Ranjana Kaul
Pratibha Nath

How did story come to be born? The stories in this collection show how, overarmed by the forces of nature and strange and mysterious natural phenomena, early man invented stories to explain everything—lightning and thunder, the sun, the moon and the Milky Way birds and beasts and forests.

Reviewed by: Chandra Chari
Anushka Ravishankar

Vibrant colors and a quirky illustration of a pink monster with autorickshaw horns, draws you in. Flip through the book to assess it, and the Indian names gladden your heart. Ah! A children’s book set in an Indian scenario. Awesome. Anushka Ravishankar does a great job of narrating the interesting incidents in Moin’s life as he deals with the ownership of a monster.

Reviewed by: Andal Jagannathan
Shweta Taneja

Remember all those Enid Blyton stories that you used to love? You’d grab a Famous Five or Five Find-Outers mystery, and retire to a corner, engrossed in the adventures of Julian and George, or Fatty and Bets, laughing or gasping alternatively as they went rootling into crumbling houses, discovered secret passages or were caught by the local policeman.

Reviewed by: Pavithra Srinivasan
Nalini Das

Do not be misled by the title. Being tone deaf, I approached the book with trepidation and was relieved that the ‘Lu Quartet’ is no music band. It comprises four school girls—Kakoli Chakrabarty (Kalu), Malabika Majumdar (Malu), Bulbuli Sen (Bulu) and the raconteur, Tultuli Basu (Tulu)—collectively known as Gadalu or with the more grand sobriquet—The Lu Quartet.

Reviewed by: Uma Iyengar
Ranjit Lal

Ranjit Lal has a charming, humorous and wacky style of writing which immediately catches the reader’s attention. His articles, especially on birds and pets have endeared him to many, including this author, who enjoys all that is written by him. I was therefore keen to read this latest book for children and I must say I was not disappointed. It is an impossible story, of course, set as it is in a grand castle in today’s India, with all the trappings of a royal habitat. One of the protagonists is a real princess, Zafira, who makes friends with ordinary girls, including a boy, from ordinary, professional families.

Reviewed by: Nilima Sinha
K.E. Priyamvada

Animal Antics by Priyamvada is a collection of 26 poems about different animals and birds from various parts of the world. Priyamvada has dealt with the animal kingdom of Australia, Africa, South American, India, China, Sumatra and Borneo, South Asia as well as the open seas.

Reviewed by: Indu Liberhan
Revathi Suresh

Two years ago, when there was a dearth of coming-of-age novels for Indian children, along came Tulika’s Mayil Will Not Be Quiet—like summer rain on parched earth.

Reviewed by: Nitya Nanda
Suzanne Sangi

Suzanne Sangi’s Facebook Phantom has taken the popular teenage concept of ‘Facebook-stalking’ to a completely new level.

Reviewed by: RamG Vallath
Ranjit Lal

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.

Reviewed by: Ranjit Lal
RamG Vallath

The popular game Angry Birds has the user side with the enraged avian, choreographing its kamikaze attempt to raze down a structure put up by pigs, who have presumably pilfered the protagonist’s eggs.

Reviewed by: R. Natraj
Mainak Dhar

Reading Zombiestan is like watching a slick Hollywood action thriller that has all the right elements going for it—the ever popular war against terror, a bit of romance, some coming of age, lots of guns, and heroic sacrifice.

Reviewed by: Sowmya Rajendran
Mainak Dhar

Alice would not have been surprised to find herself in this apocalyptic war zone teeming with ruined cities and mutants.

Reviewed by: Manisha Chaudhry
Devashish Makhija

‘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.

Reviewed by: Rachna Puri Dhir
Cheryl Rao

Vacation!! Kids eagerly wait and plan well before for the vacation. That is what Sunny also does in A Passage to Adventure. How does Sunny’s vacation turn out? To find out read the book.

Reviewed by: Geeta Parameswaran
Anushka Ravishankar

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.

Reviewed by: Pavithra Srinivasan
Anushka Ravishankar

If ever there was a book that captured every nuance that might appeal to a child, then this is probably it. Not for nothing is Anushka Ravishankar dubbed India’s Dr Seuss; her words are bright, appealing, and flavoured with such spirit and energy that even a word like Papayaaaaaaaa! is transformed into a long-drawn out horrified scream—uttered by Falguni Fruitseller, who stumbles upon a crocodile in a ditch—and reduces you to excited giggles.

Reviewed by: Pavithra Srinivasan
Suniti Namjoshi

According to Elizabeth Cook, ‘myths are about gods, legends are about heroes, and fairy tales are about woodcutters and princesses.’

Reviewed by: N. Kamala
Deepa Agarwal

The Magadha King Dhana Nanda had become unpopular because of his vile tongue, bad temper and greedy ways.

Reviewed by: Nilima Sinha
Anu Kumar

Hiranyakashipu and his nemesis, Narasimha, an Avatar of Vishnu, are the central characters of eight short stories that are included in this book.

Reviewed by: Rachna Puri Dhir
Amruta Patil

People often ask me whether there is something special about our times in terms of an apparent resurgence in the tellings of our ancient tales, myths and the epics.

Reviewed by: Arshia Sattar
Daniel Greenberg

Is this a fantasy novel? Or a dream come true from one’s childhood? You know, the one in which we wished school would have no exams and annoying things like report cards would simply disappear?

Reviewed by: Sowmya Rajendran