Edited by Azra Razzack, Padma M. Sarangapani, Manish Jain

This book is a collection of essays in honour of Professor Krishna Kumar, doyen in the education world in India, by his former students and colleagues. The Department of Education (or the Central Institute of Education (CIE), as it is more popularly known) is the premier Department for Education Studies in India including the professional courses of B.Ed. and M.Ed, in its academic programmes.

Reviewed by: Meenakshi Thapan
By Anurag Behar

Anurag Behar has a rich experience in the field of education in working with Azim Premji Foundation and travelling extensively at the grassroots level. Like others who have worked in the field, he points out quite rightly, good education is in the end, ‘A Matter of the Heart’.

Reviewed by: Toolika Wadhwa
Translated from the original Marathi by Rohini Mokashi-Punekar. Foreword by Bhalchandra Nemade

In the middle of the 19th century, Savitribai and Jotirao Phule began their systematic critique of how they believed caste, gender, and power worked together to suppress women, Shudras, and Dalits. Faced with the prospect of trying to change an ancient system accepted as normal by millions of people, and etched into all aspects of everyday life, the Phules started small: they opened a school for girls in Bhide Wada in Pune in 1848.

Reviewed by: Christian Lee Novetzke
By C. N. Subramanium

This book on the historiography or rather a social-cultural history of education is a rare example of this phenomenon. Subramanium is interested in how education has been imparted over a long duration of history. He begins from the ancient, traverses the medieval and ends with the colonial period.

Reviewed by: Nidhi Gulati
By Ranjith Radhakrishnan

This novel shows us the coming of age of Parashurama in a coherent way in a beautiful narrative. Fans of fantasy books should be the first to grab a copy, because it has all the ingredients of a truly iconic mystical story. The mystery of ancient prophecies, the beauty of powerful weapons earned through dedicated meditation, the strength of pure family bonds, the satisfaction of finding one’s path through effort and self-realization, the aura of mythical kings and priests, and epic battles between good and evil bring out magical realism at its finest.

Reviewed by: Ilika Trivedi
By Amish

This is the fourth book in the Ram Chandra Series written by the well-known writer of mythology, Amish Tripathi. Although the thrilling saga of the great story of Rama has already been covered in other volumes of the series, this book, the final part of the series stands alone as captivating fiction. Once I started reading, it was unputdownable, crisp and riveting.

Reviewed by: Ira Saxena
By Anuja Chandramouli. Cover Design by Chinmayee Samant

Here is a study of Abhimanyu by a young author, Anuja Chandramouli, from Tamil Nadu. She brings a burst of fresh energy to the understanding of the Mahabharata in modern India as initiated around late 19th century. Through around ten best-selling books as well as YouTube presentations, she is fulfilling this very essential task of connecting the youth of today to historical and mythological figures

Reviewed by: Dipavali Sen
By Dipavali Sen. Cover Design by Geetika

Here is a book by Dipavali Sen that takes us on a long and wonderful journey, back to the times of the Mahabharata, as seen through the eyes of Subhadra who plays many pivotal roles—as the daughter of Vasudev and Rohini, sister of Krishna and Balarama, the wife of Arjuna, the mother of Abhimanyu…and right down to her deification as an idol at the Jagannath Temple in Puri.
All this takes place within the framework of a modern setting in Gurgaon.

Reviewed by: Nita Berry
By Dipavali Sen. Cover Design by Priyanca Singh

An unusual theme coming from a talented writer made me hold the book in my hand and turn it around staring in bewilderment at the arresting title and also the cover design that depicts a woman clad half in an ancient garment and half modern. I started reading, turning the pages with avid rapidity.

Reviewed by: Indira Ananthakrishnan
By Nityanand Charan Das. Illustrations by Nirzara Verulkar

Hinduism as we call it today has been known as Sanatana Dharma to the ancients. It has shown people from time immemorial the right way of performing worldly duties that are sustained by value-based restraints and natural laws. To explain the how and wherefores of this, Vedic systems were born.

Reviewed by: Indira Ananthakrishnan
By Anjali Jaipuria and Sudeepti Tucker

Picture books hold a special place for children. They are a tool for learning, a visual journey, the basis for story time with family and a tactile resource for sensory exploration.

Reviewed by: Ilika Trivedi
By Praveena Shivram

How do you review a book like Karuppu? I’ve asked myself this question ever since I finished reading it. Last page read, book shut…and there I am, left with a feeling that I have yet to emerge from a fog-shrouded mystical world, sprinkled with violence, poignancy, tragedy, micro-stories of relationships filled with sharp shards, and a sense of something ending. Alongside are clearly etched images,

Reviewed by: Ranjitha Ashok
By Chandrasekhar Kambar. Translated from the original Kannada by Krishna Manavalli

Chandrasekhar Kambar, though recognized as one of the foremost Navya (modernist) writers in Kannada, along with the likes of UR Ananathamurthy, P Lankesh, Girish Karnad, Ramachandra Sharma, Shantinath Desai and KV Tirumalesh, was always different from them.

Reviewed by: VB Tharakeshwar
By Nitin Kushalappa MP

Since the emergence of Folklore Studies in the nineteenth century, the study of folklore grew exponentially in the twentieth century and continues to thrive through academic as well as popular literature in the twenty-first century. In the context of India, there is a sizeable market for books dealing with oral traditions as in recent years

Reviewed by: Md. Faizan Moquim
by Dhan Gopal Mukherji

Even our brains are not good enough unless our hearts are calm. You must try to sharpen your wits. But, above all, be calm. If you are calm, nothing can frighten you…Our fear kills us before we are killed by an enemy. He who is without fear has no enemy.

Reviewed by: Semeen Ali
By Radhika Ramesh. Illustrations by Shivangi Singh

In her first-person account, Andrea mentions where she finds Carlos. She defines the dark, unreachable place that he holds her in. She calls him his ‘teacher’. While it is clear that more than being her teacher, Carlos is the dictator of her life. Quite early on in the narrative, the readers get to know that Andrea has recently lost her mother. Carlos seems to have taken birth as a response to that traumatic event in Andrea’s life.

Reviewed by: Shivi
By Gemma Sou, Adeeba Nuraina Risha and Gina Ziervogel Illustrated by Cat Sims

It is challenging for anyone to grasp the gravity of the impact of the climate crisis on our planet. It is even more challenging to share these concerns with children and students without it becoming overwhelming or depressing.

Reviewed by: Jane Sahi
By Gemma Sou, Adeeba Nuraina Risha, Gina Ziervogel. Illustrations by Cat Sims. Translated from the original English into Hindi by Laltu

The story of Climate Change and its impact is not very old. It is a by-product of our development in recent years. However, the debate around it and the issues related to it are reduced to sloganeering and jargons in the developed world community.

Reviewed by: Anil Singh
By Bibek Bhattacharya. Illustrations by Joanna Davala

A few weeks ago in Himachal Pradesh, this year’s monsoon flooded towns and swelled rivers, causing buildings and bridges to collapse, entire mountain sides to cave in, and cars and concrete structures to be washed away in an angry, muddy, and swollen Beas. It was a harrowing reminder of what we humans do to the land we live on.

Reviewed by: Ragini Lalit
By Amandine Laprun. Translated from the original Mer in French into English by Ranjitha Seshadri. Translated from the English into Hindi by Madhuri Tiwari.

Board books are one of the first ways in which a baby encounters printed words. It’s through these books that a fundamental journey of decoding, and making meaning begins. Board books with their sensory experience of touch, visual contrast and animation, bring joy and excitement to a child’s learning experience.

By Sunayan Sharma

Reading Wild Treasures & Adventures: A Forester’s Diary feels like stepping into the cosy home of one of your parent’s friends, who has the most captivating profession.

Reviewed by: Sanaah Mehra
By Dhan Gopal Mukherji. Cover illusrations by Jayesh Sivan

The Adventures of Sirdar is an interesting story about the life of a herd of wild elephants. It begins with the dramatic selection of ‘Sirdar’, a thirty year-old male elephant as the youngest leader of the herd and his life from then on. The author, Dhan Gopal Mukherji, describes how Sirdar leads his herd.

Reviewed by: Shailaja Srinivasan
By Vinoy Thomas. Translated by Nandakumar K. Illustrations by Sagar Kolwankar

The forest department wanted to capture Lightning Tusker. But he is no ordinary tusker, and the most experienced experts are summoned to do the job. And at the end of this insufferable 107-page novel, they fail. This novel could not have been more than 20,000 words but I struggled to finish it.

Reviewed by: Bharati Jagannathan
By Ranjit Lal

A freely roaming centipede in the bathroom or a happy family of lice in our hair is the stuff of nightmares and feverish dreams. In horror, we often ask, ‘Why on earth do we need a mosquito?’ As it is with mother nature, there is always an answer. Turns out, there would be no life on earth without these seemingly disgusting and terrifying little beings. Biologist and Naturalist EO Wilson rightfully called them, ‘the little things that run the world’.

Reviewed by: Tuhina Sharma
Written and illustrated by Bulbul Sharma

All of 16 pages, this children’s book is one that must find its rightful place in every library across schools and homes. It is appropriately narrated without any purple prose, and it is about big, old and ancient trees. No poem has a single unnecessary description and the message conveyed is deep to arouse the child’s curious mind.
The tile itself is an invitation to the child, as well as the reading and thinking adult, to move away from the obvious. Trees surround us, many of us have seen saplings grow into trees that today provide shade and comfort during summer months, and yet, few of us have the time to think about trees more deeply.

Reviewed by: Aakangshika Dutta
By Sayantan Datta. Illustrations byBhavya Kumar
This book is based on the true story of Dr. H Jaishree Subrahmaniam, who has done some amazing research based on mustard plants. She studied in India, New York and then France. Jaishree shifted from studying engineering to studying plants because she felt closer to them and was intrigued by their behaviour and their world. A true plant lover, she believes and has shown that plants help each other in times of stress and pressures. She also goes on to say that there is so much humans can learn from this behaviour of plants! The book gives us a window into Jaishree’s world—both professional and a bit of personal. As a child, she was sensitive, loved climbing up trees and being close to plants and nature in her grandmother’s garden. Even after growing up, she fondly remembers a tree that was her ‘friend’. In fact, her interest in plants emanates from those childhood associations which left an impact on her. Very simply written, minimally expressed and matter of fact, the story even appears to be somewhat sketchy, but then we can understand the entire story needs to be told, so details cannot be the strong point. In fact, the questions in her mind and where and how she pursues them, seem to form the mainstay of the book. Sayantan Datta has a keen interest in science and dabbles in the sphere of science communication. His experience of writing for children is new. Sometimes, in trying to keep the story short, simple and in trying to cater to a certain kind of reader, the author has to compromise on storytelling. This is a Level 3 Pratham book and hence not meant for proficient readers. There could have been more about Jaishree’s early life and growing up years, to draw the interest of the young readers and it could have been made into a level 4 book, while telling the story better. The illustration on the cover warms the heart as Jaishree sits beside her mustard plants as one would sit among friends. Other illustrations by Bhavya Kumar, especially those of birds and animals on the trees, add life to the book. All said and done, it is an unusual subject for a book and a much neglected one as well. Women scientists are ignored, and their stories are hidden from the world. To top that, we have an ‘Indian’ woman scientist. The author has done a great job of bringing this story to light, that too for our young readers. This ensures children get to know about them and also be inspired by them to pursue science, even though it might not be the first choice for most girls in certain sections of India, even today. The book for that reason deserves its place in the Parag Honour List 2023.

The book gives us a window into Jaishree’s world—both professional and a bit of personal. As a child, she was sensitive, loved climbing up trees and being close to plants and nature in her grandmother’s garden. Even after growing up, she fondly remembers a tree that was her ‘friend’.

Reviewed by: Shivani Bajaj
By Katie Bagli. Illustrations by Ajanta Guhathakurta

How much do we know about the trees in our surroundings? Strange Trees may make you ask this question and look around. Set during a school summer vacation in the fictional Suryanagar village, this book explores the interdependent lives of trees, birds, animals, and humans.

Reviewed by: Saakshi Joshi
By Ritu Desai. Illustrated by Ekta Bharti

The dominant colour for the book cover, green, sets the tone for the book. The illustrations and the text do a fabulous tango together, bringing alive the world of plants for young readers.

Reviewed by: Andal Jagannathan
By Priyadarshini Gogoi. Illustrations by Pankaj Saikia

Every year the State of Assam loses large tracts of land to yearly floods and land erosion. Lakhs are displaced and loss of property is on a large scale. Many have witnessed the vanishing of their home and hearth in the middle of the mighty Brahmaputra. Many are forced to live in relief camps while others are compelled to search for newer habitats. This mobile impermanent life is a lived reality for thousands of families in Assam.

Reviewed by: Parvin Sultana
By Vidya Math

The central plot of the story revolves around eliminating the hunters from the Zohor Kingdom and having good triumph over evil. Math has woven the story in such a seamless way that the reader, until the very end, is left wondering, ‘How does Harry know things about Othelia?’ ‘How are their worlds interconnected?’ and so on. The reader is expected to pick up on hints throughout the story, which makes the book engaging and fun.

Reviewed by: Sanaah Mehra
By Harsh Mander. Illustrations by Priya Kurian

Our Constitution, Our People by Harsh Mander is a timely and insightful introduction to the Indian Constitution, designed specifically for the young. The book successfully distils the essence of the Indian Constitution, making it easily accessible without being pedantic.

Reviewed by: Adnan Farooqui
by Swati Sengupta

Birsa soon returned to Chalkhad and began to speak to the villagers. He emerged as a spiritual leader who spoke about social reforms. People began to listen to him and to believe in him. They flocked to hear him and soon he came to be called ‘dharti aba’, father of the earth. Birsa’s popularity alarmed the British.

Reviewed by: Nilima Sinha
By Raviraj Shetty. Illustrations by Deepa Balsavar

Our Library is a visual treat, with each page unfolding a different facet of the space and people’s relationships with and within it. This library is not a quiet, didactic space of surly adults who hush the young readers; instead it’s a space of whooshing, tumbling, chattering and laughing. It’s a library that belongs to its young readers, i.e., in a true sense–‘our’ library, since the young readers form the main cast of this book with adults who help them, sometimes make reading tables, sometimes make quiet reading dens, and other times translate books to make them more accessible.

Reviewed by: Ragini Lalit
By Sayantan Datta. Illustrations by Priya Dali

For those not familiar with Grace Banu, she is a Tamil Nadu-based transgender and anti-caste rights activist, who fought and won the case for getting the transgender community the right to study medicine like any other student. Her life is a true illustration of grit, determination and courage to challenge the gender and caste biases that still exist in our society. This storybook has been made very creatively, with the illustrations and text being in complete sync.

Reviewed by: Bharat Kidambi
By Rajyasree Sen

The book under review is a sweet interaction between the past and the present. The book takes the reader through the cultural and historical on sweets popular in various parts of India. The diversity of sweets in their varied shapes and textures together prepare each chapter with a historical base topped with its present understanding and existence and then generously sprinkled with the recipe towards the conclusion of the chapter.

Reviewed by: Shubhra Seth
By K Vaishali

Homeless, a memoir, is a book about a young woman struggling with coming to terms with the complexity of her life. Although how much of it is autobiographical has not been clearly mentioned in the book,

Reviewed by: Toolika Wadhwa
All 4 by Pervin Saket. Illustrations by Proiti Roy, Ria Mohta, Rajyashree Sarkar and Aparajitha Vaasudev respectively

India has just finished its campaign at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, with a total of 107 medals, its biggest-ever haul at a single edition. Out of the 28 gold medals won, 9 were bagged by women/women’s teams and 1 mixed team. Similarly, out of the 38 silver medals won by Indian players, 17 were won by women (teams) and 2 mixed teams and among the players winning the 41 bronze medals 19 were women or women’s teams and 2 mixed teams.

Reviewed by: Tultul Biswas
By Vaishali Shroff. Illustrated by Shivam Choudhary. Designer: Bhavana

Meera Mukherjee was a sculptor from India who was known for her innovative bronze casting technique which she learnt from the Bastar sculpting tradition of Chhattisgarh. The book traces her journey from her childhood days and presents a glimpse of the artist’s life and pursuit for sculpting.

Reviewed by: Nidhi Qazi
Written by Anushka Ravishankar. Illustrations by Rathna Ramanathan

This book gives wings to a child’s wishes. They imagine themselves to be a number of things apart from what they already are. We see quite a range in these imaginations, for instance, a cup of tea, atwelve-armed octopus, a sneeze, a tadpole’s tongue, a question mark, a smelly sock…and many many more.

Reviewed by: Seema
By Neha Singh. Illustrated by Shubhshree Mathur

This is a good introduction to the celebrated vocalist Kesarbai Kerkar and a story about how her recording of Raga Bhairavi ‘Jaat Kahan Ho’ was included in a disc that was sent into space.

Reviewed by: Partho Datta
Written and designed by Pratyush Gupta

What could be more exciting than a book filled with vivid illustrations? A book where the pictures pop to life right from the pages! What if I tell you that there’s a pop-up book wherein you can incorporate both light and sound into your storytelling? The book published by Pratyush Gupta, an interactive pop-up book for children (and grown-ups alike), not only takes readers on a captivating adventure but also serves as a bridge to the enchanting world of Indian classical music.

Reviewed by: Vivek BG
By Lavanya Karthik

Biography is an evergreen genre. The urge to know about famous people’s lives seems fairly insatiable as can be seen from any major publisher’s list. And yet, these slim books by Lavanya Karthik manage to stand out, for they deal not with the great glories of the famous persons they are about but with small occasions from their childhood that sowed the seeds for the direction their lives would take in the future. Each story is crafted from the perspective of the child that was.

By Swati Sengupta. Illustrations by Devashish Verma

When the list of books for review for TBR 2023 was shared, the title of this book attracted me, as this is a biography and I love reading them! Secondly, there are many books written on the life of Milkha Singh and I was curious to see how one written for children would present the life of this iconic athlete.

Reviewed by: Deepali Shukla
By Pervin Saket. Illustrations by Devika Oza

Humour with Mario Miranda is a picture book thick in board page format. The text focuses on Mario’s growing up years and the themes in his art. Mario was fascinated by the everyday characters he encountered, life and its traits, families and cityscapes. Like other texts from the Learning to Be series, this book is a biography in fragments.

Reviewed by: Nidhi Gulati and Shivi
By Perumal Murugan. Translated from the Tamil and illustrations by Ashok Rajagopalan

Out In the Moonlight is the adaptation of a chapter from noted Tamil author Perumal Murugan’s book Thondra Thunai, published in the English language as Amma.

Reviewed by: Sucharita Sengupta
By Lavanya Karthik. Illustrations by Rajiv Eipe

What can a single woman do on her own? The question can also be posed as ‘can a single human do anything significant by themselves after all.’ The story of Jamuna Tudu is one such tale. Lavanya Karthik has presented Jamuna’s story in a very interesting manner.

Reviewed by: Mudit Shrivastava*
By Ranjit Lal. Illustrations by Ambika Karandikar

Set in the ubiquitous apartment complex peppering our cities, The Great Poop War story revolves around a mystery pooper in Skyline Apartments.

Reviewed by: Vinatha Viswanathan
Edited with an introduction by Bulbul Sharma. Foreword by Ruskin Bond

The title caught my eye! So did the theme of the book when I read the blurb. Excitedly, I started the book. Written for fluent readers and young adolescents this has imagined stories and real-life events, brought to us by 15 authors, all carrying their own charm of storytelling.

Reviewed by: Ruchi Shevade
By Nayantara Nayar and Amulya B

This book is the outcome of a residency programme for playwrights in 2021 through a collaboration of ThinkArts, Parag and Eklavya. The unintended backdrop of this residency was the Covid 19 pandemic, so it is not surprising that the subject of these two plays has a sense of urgency to reimagine how our relationship to nature could be reordered.

Reviewed by: Jane Sahi
By Hemendra Kumar Roy. Translated from the original Bengali by Jashodhara Chakraborti

These scenes take place in the opening chapters of The Treasure of the Khasi Hills, a story written by the renowned Bengali author, Hemendra Kumar Roy. It was first published in 1930 as Jawkher Dhawn meaning ‘The Yaksha’s Treasure’.

Reviewed by: Jane Sahi
By Shweta Taneja

Aaah! Lizard’, was my expression when I saw one in the kitchen. But as I kept looking at it, I observed it looking at the fruit flies and that brought about a realization for me: It was there because of those fruit flies hanging around my food peels bin near the kitchen sink. After I ate my food, the flies had found their food and the lizard found its in turn.

Reviewed by: Manika Kukreja
By Deepa Agarwal

Deepa Agarwal’s Traveller’s Ghost is the story of three teenagers—Kriti, Mohit and the journalist Neel Pargat. The story starts in the hilly town of Banari where the families have gone for a holiday.

Reviewed by: Parvin Sultana
By Bama. Illustrated by Karen Haydock. Translated from the original Tamil by N Ravi Shankar

Festival: the very word conjures up images of good food and new clothes. And yet, whose is the celebration? What does a festival mean to the dispossessed, the marginalized? Bama’s Pongal takes this head on, with the very first sentence, ‘Pongal after Pongal, Madasami would pay his respects to his landlord and do whatever he had to, as tradition demanded.

Reviewed by: Bharati Jagannathan
By Shabnam Minwalla

Twelve-year-old Nimmi Daruwala is not an outdoorsy person. However, Mr Bakshi, the ‘kind and enthusiastic’ Principal of Vidya World School, decides that a Team Building Camp would be the best way to launch the school year for troublesome Grade 7.

Reviewed by: Deepa Agarwal
Illustrations by Ankur Mitra

Many of the stories in this collection are designed to attract young readers, including the reluctant reader! The humorous story that gives the book its title, ‘The Ghost who Played Tennis’ by Santhini Govindan, opens with the tantalizing statement, ‘Shankar did not believe in ghosts until he met one.’

Reviewed by: Jane Sahi
By Prema Revathi. Illustrations by Anthony Guruz

Boom Boom is the story of Sura, a young boy living with his mother in Velankanni in Nagapattinam. He spends his days selling stickers at the Velankanni Church, playing with his friends, and climbing coconut trees.

Reviewed by: Simran Sadh
Both by Nandita da Cunha. Illustrations by Priya Kuriyan

Who clicked that pic? If there is a question in the title of the book, then there is bound to be curiosity. Today, when mobile cameras are common in most hands, older readers will be nostalgic seeing the cover, and younger readers full of regret that they did not get to see this two-lens heavy weight camera.

Reviewed by: Manoj Nigam*
By Shashi Sablok. Illustrations by Tavishaa Singh

Children are always restless and ready to go out and play, be it day or night. Tariq also wants to go out and play at night but does not have permission to do so. Then he comes up with a plan! But his plan creates a problem for the old, wise Owl.

Reviewed by: Vivek Singh Thakur*
By Girish Muguthihalli. Illustrations by Pooja Mugeraya

Kannada has seen a long tradition of writing for children starting with the 1845 publication of a translation of Aesop’s Fables followed by the first book for children written originally in Kannada, a book of moral stories by MS Puttanna, the Nitichintamani that was published in 1884.

Reviewed by: Tejaswi Shivanand
By Nandita Da Cunha

While Nandita’s short stories have been published in collections like Talking Cub’s Dance, Nani, Dance, this is a first book which is entirely a collection of her short stories.

Reviewed by: Parul Bajaj
By Canato Jimo

These words from the book offer a beautiful summary of the story that is Afo and I. At its heart is Vinoka and Afo’s sibling relationship. Jimo superimposes Vinoka’s feelings about his sister Afo moving away with changes happening in their landscape.

Reviewed by: Saakshi Joshi
By Janhavi Samant. Illustrations by Nirzara Verulkar

It is indeed a special feature of stories that they travel, continuously; passed on from one generation to the next. With time and with the tellers, each story gets a new addition to it, appearing more and more relatable to the listeners.

Reviewed by: Deepali Shukla
Edied by Kusumlata Singh. Illustrations by Ashok Kumar Sen

13 Kahaniyan is an enriching compilation of 13 stories in Hindi, each carrying valuable lessons, meticulously curated and edited by Kusumlata Singh and published by the Children’s Book Trust. Within this literary treasure-trove, the stories paint a vivid picture of diverse societal issues and human experiences.

Reviewed by: Andal Jagannathan

The three books strung together can be read in continuation with one another. Laltu Se Gupshup has curious questions and observations of children yet to touch their teens, their little world cocooned around parents and their interactions to the sun, moon and the stars. Tuntuni and The Uprising deal with simple yet important issues of our everyday lives.

Reviewed by: Shubhra Seth
Edited by Geeta Menon. Illustrations by Saurabh Pandey

Children’s literature reminds one of life’s simpler joys and how everything is driven by curiosity alone. The book Wingless Flight and Others is published by Children’s Book Trust, a publication house founded by cartoonist K. Shankar Pillai in 1957.

Reviewed by: Sabah Hussain
By Neha Bahuguna. Illustrations by Susrata Paul

Here is an interesting title capturing all the necessary elements that evoke interest to pick a book to
Read: mystery, wonder and mention of a strange unique place, the Uparwale Gaon. The author has not only succeeded in arousing interest through the title, but she also manages to sustain it throughout.

Reviewed by: Ira Saxena
Written and illustrated by Rajiv Eipe

This joyful little book by Rajiv Eipe is the perfect way for a young reader to enter the magical universe of books and reading, by being transported into a world seen from the wonder-filled eyes of a little boy.

Reviewed by: Anjana Neira Dev
Written and illustrated by Aithihya

Aithihya’s abstract art amply illustrates the theme and intent of this little ‘wordless’ book as the young reader is shown rather than told, about the monstrous impact of all the plastic we so thoughtlessly litter our world with. The Cyclops-like creature is the eponymous Plasto who devours our waste with voracious delight and assumes awesome proportions as its gluttony finds enough to satisfy it. Very soon the monster becomes bigger than the human beings on the page and turns into a real threat as it dominates the landscape and takes over. Since this is a book for young readers, the dystopian images are effectively balanced with a solution, the eco-warriors who valiantly cut the monster down to size as they reuse, reduce and recycle, and segregate the waste into manageable proportions. The devil is in the detail and this book demands that each page be ‘read’ carefully for the images are the text. The speed with which the monster grows is a timely warning and the carefully drawn panels on the closing pages, a clear reminder of how laborious the process of reversing this damage can be. Aithihya has chosen well to use only the power of images to tell her story and hopefully convert all the readers of the book into eco-advocates who will save the planet from the evil monster thoughtless human beings have created.

Reviewed by: Anjana Neira Dev
By Meera Ganapathi. Illustrations by Rohit Kelkar

Meera Ganapathi’s text and Rohit Kelkar’s illustrations that complement it make this book a sensitive intervention about the importance of love and understanding in everyone’s life, especially someone who is visibly ‘different’ and suffers for it.

Reviewed by: Anjana Neira Dev
Written and illustrated by Rajiv Eipe

As I opened the first page of this moving story by Rajiv Eipe, I found so much to absorb my attention that I spent a happy time weaving stories around the urban landscape and the minutiae that filled it with life.

Reviewed by: Anjana Neira Dev
By Ananya Dasgupta. Illustrations by Mandar Mhaskar

As soon as you read the title, you know there is adventure and a mystery to look forward to and that is a made to order recipe for a delightful reading experience.

Reviewed by: Anjana Neira Dev
By Ashutosh Pathak. Illustrations by Kanak Shashi

How do you tell a story about a person whose identity has been the subject of prejudice and stereotyping for generations of ignorance and narrow-minded bigotry?

Reviewed by: Anjana Neira Dev
By Mukta Patil. Illustrated by David Yamben

This is a story of real heroes and heroines, those ‘incredible people’ working across the length and breadth of India to help us decode the monsoon in all its shape shifting avatars.

Reviewed by: Anjana Neira Dev
By Niveda Ganesh. Translated by Nidhi Saxena. Cover design by Tanvi Parulkar. Edited by Seema & Bharat Tripathi

Lives of children in rural parts of Tamil Nadu are beautifully captured in five short story books originally published in English by Karadi Tales Company. The stories under review are the translations published by Eklavya Foundation.

Reviewed by: Shazia Salam
By Vishakha George. Translated by Sushil Joshi. Edited by Seema & Bharat Tripathi. Cover design by Tanvi Parulkar

Asaadharan Ghar is a sensitive tale of resilience, hope and optimism, portraying the journey of young individuals living with HIV as they strive for a normal life.

Reviewed by: Shazia Salam
By Preeti David. Translated by Lokesh Malti Prakash. Edited by Seema and Bharat Tripathi

Phir se Ghar ki Aur tells a story about the power of ideas. This is a tale of imaginative children who come together to turn their dream of building a new school into reality. In the process, they also create job opportunities for the youth of their Adivasi community and help the community imagine a better future.

Reviewed by: Shazia Salam
By Aparna Kartikeyan. Translated by Arpita Vyas. Cover design by Tanvi Parulkar. Edited by Seema & Bharat Tripathi

Sayani Nandini is a heartwarming story of courage and hope. We are introduced to Nandini, who resides with her parents, siblings, and her supportive grandmother.

Reviewed by: Shazia Salam
By Subuhi Jiwani. Translated by Bharat Tripathi. Cover design by Tanvi Parulkar. Edited by Seema & Bharat Tripathi

Desperate for work and needing to save every penny for his family, he often contemplates taking the risk of traveling ticketless, knowing that getting caught by a ticket checker could lead to fines.

Reviewed by: Shazia Salam
By Sero. Translated from the English by Jitendra ‘Jeet’. Illustrations by Rajiv Eipe. Layout by Tanya Majumdar. Hindi layout by Kanak Shashi. Edited by Seema

Chitti: Ek Kutta aur Uska Jungle Farm is a story of a stray dog who finds her forever home on the author’s farm, nestled deep within the Western Ghats.

Reviewed by: Shazia Salam
Kanak Shashi, Soumya Shukla, Atanu Roy, Ishaan Dasgupta, Shubhashree Mathur, Shailaja Srinivasan and Vinatha Vishwanathan

A series of books published by Eklavya is perfect for your kids! Be it So Ja Ullu which is an amusing tale of an owl in search of sleep or Jumbo Haathi, a pet elephant of a little girl who loves to spend time with it, be it Chiknik Choo about a buffalo who is irritated with the questions of lice on its head, or Cows which is certainly an interesting counting book, or be it Listen to Appa about a little girl who would not let go of her father’s grip, or be it about Amma’s Journeyand her vague instructions that leave her grandkids to pack all the wrong things for her train journey.

Reviewed by: Annie Pruthi
By Gulzar. Illustrations by Allen Shaw

From the very first spread that shows a top angle view of Anta Ghafeel, the hakim, with his horse, Allen Shaw evokes the solitariness of the character through the use of space.

Reviewed by: Samina Mishra
Retold and illustrations by Mehlli Gobhai

Mehlli Gobhai, known as one of India’s foremost abstract artists, writes a magical tale and paints in a most un-abstract style in The Legend of the Orange Princess.

Reviewed by: Samina Mishra
By Indu Nayar. Illustrated by Vasundhra Arora

The book tries to explain the concept of shadow through a linear narrative. If a reader is someone who isn’t familiar with the concept, the book doesn’t give enough for the reader to really understand the same.

Reviewed by: Nidhi Qazi
By Madhurima Vidyarthi. Illustrations by Tanvi Bhat

The book is based on a real-life character who is family to the author and loved dearly by her.
It covers a variety of topics and issues that might be of concern to any 10-year-old in today’s world and times.

Reviewed by: Shivani Bajaj
By Kavitha Punniyamurthi. Illustrations by Shashi Shetye

The book won Second Prize in the category Read-aloud books/Picture Books in the Competition for Writers of Children’s Books organized by CBT.

Reviewed by: TCA Sharad Raghavan
By Joeanna Rebello Fernandes. Pictures by Nina Sabnani and Piyush Verma

It’s a very cute story that also features a vibrant use of colour that’s not just appealing to the eye, especially of those of children

Reviewed by: TCA Sharad Raghavan
By Benita Sen. Edited by Navin Menon. Illustrated by Ajanta Guhathakurta

The book won a prize in the category Concept Books in the Competition for Writers of Children’s Books organized by CBT.

Reviewed by: TCA Sharad Raghavan
By Nandini Nayar. Illustrations by Subir Roy

The title of the book is somewhat misleading at first, since it’s not about a maternal relationship but in fact are fictional letters written by the Mangalyaan or Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM).

Reviewed by: TCA Sharad Raghavan
By Kavitha Punniyamurthi. Illustrations by Niveditha Subramaniam

When she goes to her uncle and aunt in Madras for the holidays, she comes back as always with a great idea, and carrying an even greater box! What could be in it, her friends try to guess… No, it’s not Mysore Pak, it’s not an autographed cricket bat,

Reviewed by: Nita Berry
By Aparna Kapur. Illustrated by Krishna Bala Shenoi

The book’s cover and the first few pages are predominantly black, setting the background just right for the narrative’s introductory theme—the dark night.

Reviewed by: Andal Jagannathan
By Aparna Kapur. Illustrated by Krishna Bala Shenoi

The book’s cover and the first few pages are predominantly black, setting the background just right for the narrative’s introductory theme—the dark night

Reviewed by: Andal Jagannathan
By Neera Jain. Illustrations by Subir Roy

A touching tale about a little girl and her yaks, Tenzin’s Yaks is a story set in mountainous Ladakh

Reviewed by: Andal Jagannathan
Written and illustrated by Viky Arya

The author Viky Arya has written and illustrated a sweet little book! It is about an adventurous ant named Chintu who leaves his ant family to follow a sweet smell that gets stronger as he gets closer.

Reviewed by: Andal Jagannathan
By Meenu Thomas. Illustrations by Kruttika Susarla

The story begins with a fight between Paati and Appa. The children, Selvan and Savi, are not pleased with the conflict. The issue of their struggle is that they are concerned about failed rice crop due to the use of lab-created seed. Appa believes that the lab-created seed is the high-yielding variety, and the production would be high. Paati, on the other hand, is not convinced.

Reviewed by: Shiv Narayan Gour
By Sushil Shukla. Illustrations by Prashant Soni Eklavya

Jalebis epitomize the ordinariness in this poem and the pleasure of that ordinariness. Eulogizing the ordinary, which Sushil Shukla often does in his poems (Bhains ki Shaan Mein) and at times, making visible the unseen and the unnoticed (Kabhi Batooni Lagti Hain, unpublished), the poem presents a slice of the mundane as an event.

Reviewed by: Sonika Kaushik
Both by Sanjeev Jaiswal ‘Sanjay’. Illustrated by Saurabh Pandey

This bilingual book is a delightful reading for 3-6 years old children. It caters to their imagination. It unfolds the story of a feast hosted by King Lion, where the expectations of the attending animals take an unexpected turn.
What I like about the book is the King Lion’s friendly behaviour with all the animals.

Reviewed by: Kavita Tiwari
Both by Sonima Trisal. Illustrated Viky Arya

This is a charming bilingual book designed to introduce the concept of seasons to early readers. Written in the form of verses, a format often appreciated and connected with by children, the book engages young readers.

Reviewed by: Kavita Tiwari
Written and illustrated by Eric Battut. Translated from the French into English by Ira Saraswat

Originally published in French, written and illustrated by Eric Battut, the story is about the homesickness and nostalgia felt by the residents of a cityside Zoo. When the animals confide in the Doctor who is visiting them for their annual health check-up, he realizes the uselessness of his medicines and prescriptions in the face of the deep despair all his patients feel.

Reviewed by: Simran Sadh
By Kavitha Punniyamurthi. Kavita Singh Kale. Translated into Hindi by Kusumlata Singh

A young boy comes home from school one day to face the loss of his Dadu. Aayan has many memories of his dear grandfather that he cherishes. He thinks of his Dadu with fondness and sadness. However, that is not all that troubles him.

Reviewed by: Vinatha Viswanathan
By Katie Bagli. Illustrations by Neeta Gangopadhya. Translated into Hindi by Kusumlata Singh

The story by Katie Bagli is about the breeding behaviour of whistling ducks woven in the form of a fictional tale. A style quite suitable for the intended readers. This is a book about animals that talks about them in an environment most of us are familiar with and in which we see most of our wildlife—our homes, neighbourhoods and their edges adjoining natural habitats.

Reviewed by: Vinatha Viswanathan
By Cheryl Rao. Illustrations by Saurabh Pandey. Edited by Navin Menon and Kusumlata Singh

I looked again at the transparent spokes of the wheel and this time I saw the sand slipping along the spoke, one grain at a time, and suddenly I realized that these four spokes were actually two hourglasses, with a narrowed section in the middle.

Reviewed by: Chandra Chari
Both by Sanjiv Jaiswal ‘Sanjay’. Translated from Hindi into English by Navin Menon. Illustrations by Ankur Mitra. Edited by Kusumlata Singh.

The original Hindi title won a prize in the Category Concept Booksin the Competition for Children’s Books in Hindi organized by CBT.

Reviewed by: Chandra Chari
By Mohammad Arsha Khan. Translated from Hindi into English by Navin Menon. Illustrations by Shashi Shetye. Edited by Kusumlata Singh

Chalo Nahaane Chalein won the Second Prize in the Read-Aloud Category in the Competition for Children’s Books in Hindi organized by CBT.

Reviewed by: Chandra Chari
By Amitabj Shankar Roy Choudhury. Translated from Hindi into English by Navin Menon. Illustrations by Shivani. Edited by Kusumlata Singh

Man ki Gaadi published under the new title Dhruv ki Gaadi won the Second Prize in the Category Social Emotional Learning in the Competition for Children’s Books in Hindi organized by CBT.

Reviewed by: Chandra Chari
By Renuka Vishwanathan. Illustrations by Ankur Mitra. Translated from English into Hindi by Kusumlata Singh. Edited by Navin Menon

The Donkey, The Ghouls and the Magic Shawl won the Second Prize in the Category Get Ready for a Magical Time in the Competition for Children’s Books organized by CBT.

Reviewed by: Chandra Chari
By Cheryl Rao. Illustrated by R. Ashish Bagchi. Translated from English into Hindi and edited by Navin Menon

The Shark that couldn’t Bite by Cheryl Rao won a prize in the category Read-Aloud Books/Picture Books in the Competition for Children’s Books organized by CBT.

Reviewed by: Chandra Chari
By Mamta Naini. Illustrations by Sanket Pethkar. Hindi Layout by Puja K. Menon.Translated from the original English by Sushil Joshi. Edited by Seema

Aayi Aur Mein is the story of a girl whose mother has been hospitalized for a while and what her thoughts and emotions are on the day of her home coming. The girl and her dog Nimki are eagerly looking out of the window waiting for that moment.

Reviewed by: Jaya Krishnamachari
By Nandita da Cunha. Translated from English by Yashodhara Kaneriya. Illustrations by Priya Kuriyan

A group of young boys also comes there daily as darkness creeps in. They practice their Rap songs ignoring Zara’s presence; so she is able to sit there by herself. But this doesn’t last since, one evening she finds her old school crafts teacher opening the gate and coming in to sit on the bench. Zara is not pleased at this because she is a talkative lady who keeps up a steady chatter.

Reviewed by: Jaya Krishnamachari
By Benita Sen. Illustrated by Subir Roy

A simple but interesting story that children are sure to enjoy.

Reviewed by: Jaya Krishnamachari
By Amrita Dinesh ,Illustrated by Ajanta Guhathakurta

Will Meenu Cry? is a bilingual book written both in English and Hindi (Kya Meenu Royegi) as a read aloud book. The author has very imaginatively created the story of a child who cries daily while her working mother takes her to school.

Reviewed by: .Jaya Krishnamachari
Ankur Writer’s Group, Ankur Society for Alternatives in Education,Illustrations by Pooja Menon

In different parts of the country, various outdoor and indoor games are played. And all of them have something common in them. And that is a tune and a beat—of fun and frolic, of laughter, of rhythm, of the inherent pace and of music. This erupts from within children.

Reviewed by: Anil Singh
By Jacinta Kerketta,Illustrations by Priya Kuriyan

Jacinta’s Diary brings together a collection of tales of travel through tribal areas of Jharkhand, the Niyamgiri Hills and adjacent areas of Odisha.

Reviewed by: Aruna Vajpeyi
By Harish Kumar ‘Amit’,Illustrations by Ankur Mitra

Sadhu aur Jadugar received the first prize in the category of ‘Jadu Bhari Kahania’ in the Hindi Children’s Literature Competition organized by the Children’s Book trust.

Reviewed by: Aruna Vajpeyi