Trumpet Calls: Epic Tales of Extraordinary Elephants by Nalini Ramachandran is divided into nine chapters beginning with ‘What is an Elephant’ and ending with ‘The Keepers of Memory’. Each chapter has a short introduction to the theme in focus, a short ‘ele-fact’ i.e., facts about the elephants and additional information which is connected to the main story. The black and white illustrations are attractive primarily due to sketches and drawings by Annushka Hardikar.
Young readers and budding artists will be entranced by the beautiful illustrations that hit you as soon as you open The Girl who was a Forest: Janaki Ammal by Lavanya Karthik. The words have been chosen with care and are as intense and deep as they are few. It is a book for all age groups with the illustrations being an endearing, additional pull factor.
These are words from Saumya’s last letter to Duaa in the book Postbox Kashmir. This is a non-fiction book holding sixteen brief yet substantial letters between the two girls. The letters are strung together by Divya Arya giving elaborate historical details of events in and around Kashmir and references related to discussions that happen between the pen pals.
It is not unusual to hear children of all age groups chanting the Hanuman Chalisa. They learn to chant it with ease from their elders because of a magical lilt in the lyrics and a charm about the language known as Awadhi, a dialect of Hindi.In My First Hanuman Chalisa, the authors and the illustrator have remarked in the opening pages that they were taught the 40 verses of the Chalisa by grandparents or parents.
With the onset of adolescence, girls and boys are pressured to conform to socially sanctioned gender roles. They are expected to follow the gender norms and practices that a particular society has set. The problem arises when children develop a gender identity that is set against a society’s expectation. There are cultures that are more fluid but there are many which discriminate against non-binary individuals because of stereotypes and misinformation.
The Tunnel is a short chapter book about a young boy named Ranji who is fascinated by the midday train. He travels on his bicycle from the village to a low hill and patiently waits by the tunnel to catch a glimpse of the engine roaring out of it. After the train passes through the tunnel, the sound of the engine fades and the stillness of jungle returns.
Duckbill has brought out a series of hOle Books, which invite you to ‘Jump into reading through a Duckbill hOle’ for children 7 and up. I jumped in with two books, and was glad I did.Chumki and the Pangolin is set in Bagmundi village in Purulia, at the edge of the Chhota Nagpur plateau. As the title says, it is about a girl called Chumki who discovers a pangolin and the adventure that then follows (not to worry, no spoiler alert here!). The main story is about the Indian pangolin being endangered, and how poachers are greedily destroying the few animals still left.
Dale Carnegie was an American author and lecturer. He developed several courses on improvement of interpersonal skills. He is well known for his books How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936) and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (1948). The book in review, Dale Carnegie for Children is an abridged version of his bestselling books, adapted by Ashwitha Jayakumar and divided into four parts.The readers are first introduced to the life and background of Dale Carnegie. This sets the tone for the rest of the book.
Arhyming story meant as a ‘diverse children’s book’, Tuck-a-Tuck Dragon is supposed to be about ‘overcoming childhood fears’, through the tale of a ‘boring tan dragon who wins the respect of his colourful peers when he faces his fears and realizes his special gift’…
Still a child at 66, I was thrilled to get my hands on this beautiful book and sorely tempted to get the crayons on to it. Its large size made it easy to hold and the paper, including the flexible but tough cover material, most suitable for fingers, little or gnarled…
Being homebound during lockdown, I looked forward to reading about travel and adventure. It would help get me out of the four walls of home and out into the beautiful, exciting world beyond. Therefore, I opened the book, Let’s Go Adventuring excitedly and am happy to say that it did not disappoint me…
Each an eight page fold out hard-board book, this set of four books, Peek-a-Book by Kaori Takahashi has been very well conceptualized and designed. One of the books deals with a friend’s birthday and is called Birthday Surprise. As you unfold the sturdy hard-board colourfully illustrated pages.
Given that the picture on the book cover of Why is My Hair Curly? is of a curly-haired girl in reverie holding a pen with a journal in her hand, coupled with the title, one might anticipate the book to be about a young girl’s travails of managing curly hair. One would be wrong.
Filled with word plays, a bit of silliness and a lot of fun, The Crocodile Who Ate Butter Chicken for Breakfast and Other Stories is a collection of short stories which centres around animals, and the people around them.
The Art Gallery on Princess Street is a historical biography of the world famous art Gallery of Modern art–Bombay’s Gallery Chemould. Earlier art was confined to traditional depiction of people, buildings and animals. The most famous genre of art was Mughal paintings or miniature painting.
Ten years ago, the famous children’s author Rick Riordan, of Percy Jackson fame, published The Lost Hero, the first book in his The Heroes of Olympus series. It was an instant hit. It caused a whole lot of young readers like me to fall in love with Greek and Roman mythology.
Anu-Chowdhury-Sorabjee. Illustrations by Kalyan Joshi. Translated from the original English by Madhu B. Joshi
The original story titled A Camel for Kelam (Guest Editor Shabnam Minwala) and its Hindi translation, as the Hindi title makes it clear, Kelam ko Chahiye Oont, is about an animal-lover, Pabuji who lives in Rajasthan, and his niece Kelam who also loved animals. But her heart is set on a camel.
Can you taste with your toes? Or see with your ears? Or, at least, smell with your hair? No? Well, there are creatures around you that can!
Take a peek into an intriguing world to discover the different ways in which animals do things that are ‘normal’. And look out for the funny bits in the pictures!.
The Girl Who Stole an Elephant is an extremely imaginative and captivating read. It has healthy doses of adventure, bravery, friendship, wilderness all thrown in. What attracted me to the book first was that the protagonist was a girl about my age.
A Saree for Ammi is a short, heartwarming story set in Kota, Rajasthan. It is a story of the humble existence of a weaver’s family and narrates how his two young daughters put their mother’s happiness over their own. It teaches the reader a little about making of a saree–from dyeing the threads to weaving.