Heroes the Colour of Dust by Amit Majmudar is a book on the Dandi Salt March told from the perspective of sparrows. The story follows Blatherquill, Thunderpuff, and other sparrows, as they stop a couple of Britishers (and a mutt) from derailing the march.
The story revolves around the town of Thapoli and its shenanigans around cricket. The search for an umpire, the match and the climax and the hero setting an example to follow are the focus area of the story.Cricket, which is seen as a man’s game with lots of complicated rules and regulations, is made easy for everybody to understand, using simple language and beautiful narration of the Thapoli town, and how Thapoli Ashes become the carnival of its kind for the town.
This book appears to have been nurtured by the warmth of the desert winds and the colours of sand. The empathy and sensitivity in the relationship between humans and animals in the desert-land depicted in the story touches the reader deeply. Images of the travelling camel caravans visiting my city every summer came alive in my mind while reading the book.
Vinod Kumar Shukla’s new creation—Gamle Mein Jungle—takes us on a sailing boat into the deep seas of imagination.Are we any different from the rest of nature? Can we live in harmony with all other living beings? Be it a river, mountain, tree or elephant—what kind of relationship do we have with them? Are we trying to rule over them? Can we let all be as they are?
Teesra Dost by Vinod Kumar Shukla is a delightful offering by Ektara Publications. Going by the number of words and pages, one might think of it as a short story. But as you get into the story and especially if you have read Vinod Kumar Shukla before and know his writing style, this perception changes.
Bagh Bhi Padhte Hain written by Chandan Yadav and illustrated by Amrita is a short story collection. Most of the characters are animals which might remind you of folktales but on reading you realize that these take on the content with a touch of humour and eventually arrive at practical, kind and humane resolutions.
Andhere ke paar is a story of a young boy, SP, about 10-11 years old, from a middle-class (well-to-do) urban nuclear family, who is facing bullying by his schoolmates. Reading ahead, we realize that along with bullying, there’s also a dynamic of ‘unmet’ parental expectations and consequent disappointments that have led the boy’s struggle with his self-esteem, gradually leading to depression.
The book Zameen Humko Ghumati Hai is an interestingly inquisitive poem of how the author questions the wonders of nature, particularly the earth. Throughout the book and the poem, the author states his astonishment at the many attributes of nature.
Amra Aur Dayan is the story of a boy of about 10-12 years of age. It is the story of a day when Amra gets a feeling that everything is going to go wrong. In this day full of troubles, he has the company of his friend Virma. The day of troubles is so grave that Amra is forced to visit the hut of ‘Jeevti Dayan’.
Written in the wake of the Kedarnath flash floods of 2013, Himmat Sawar gives a fictional twist to the devastating events that unfolded during the flood. A novel for children, the book attempts to initiate a conversation between literature and ecology by bringing together the relationship between humans, animals, and the physical environment
Life is akin to an amusement park and birth itself is an entry ticket. Exposure to as many experiences as possible is normal to a person fascinated by life.’ The author lived by his words and the book is a testimonial to it. The book presents snippets from his boyhood to adult life and in no particular order.
When I was to select a book for reviewing, the title Bana Banaya Dekha Aakash, Bante Kahan Dikha Aakash itself drew me towards this book. As if it was asking me, ‘Have you ever seen something like this?’ And the cover illustration too appears to have assimilated all living and non-living beings into the folds of the sky.
On hearing the word melancholia, I imagine—crooning of a musical instrument, the sound of the rain, evenings spent in solitude, sailing on the boat during sunset, reading a pensive book, having a conversation with a person who lends an open ear and objective mind, watching sky change its colour, gazing stars under the night sky.
Vinod Kumar Shukla’s Ghoda aur Anya Kahaniyan has six stories apart from the one titled ‘Ghoda’. These are : ‘Bahiya’, ‘Cinema Line’, ‘Heera’, ‘Kotwar’, ‘Sacchai ki duniya’ and ‘Gali-mohalle ki Jalvayu’.‘Bahiya’, alias a madman, replies to all questions people ask him in a particular pattern. The mystery of his unique ways and the pattern of his answering questions is revealed later in the story.
This beautiful book grips one at the cover, and the title. Having just returned from a workshop that engaged with ecology—cultural, political, and conventionally ecological—and exploring its location in spaces of interiority, the blurb by Sumana Roy, author of the lyrically meditative How I Became a Tree, resonated: ‘Neha Sinha’s language is one of addiction, of enthusiasm, of trust—for life and in the living. This book reminds us that only a vocabulary of intimacy with the living will save us, and them.’
Our teenage years are truly formative. They shape us in ways we do not realize and the experiences of that time stick with us for the rest of our lives. The Best at It brings one such beautiful teenage tale to light. As it is, growing up is not easy; every single child constantly feels excluded and conscious of her own self. And if a child visibly looks different from classmates and friends, another layer of consciousness gets added.
Manipur means the Land of Gems. Indeed, an appropriate name, when you talk of a State with moderate climate, blue-green hills crisscrossed by streams, joining to form river basins rich in alluvial soil. Rivers draining into the fresh water Loktak Lake. A lake with many floating weed islands, some of which house people, the only floating school in the world, the only floating national park in the world! Teeming with flora and fauna.
Here’s a welcome addition to popular-science writing for children in India. Shweta Taneja, the author, is passionate about familiarizing children with scientific ideas and has been doing so effectively. She has won several awards for her books and this one has been much appreciated too.The title on the cover says: They Found What? Stories of Daring Discoveries by Indian Scientists.
Savi is fortunate to have her story authored by Bijal Vachharajani. While the former is a teenager chronologically, mentally and emotionally the writer is an amazing teenager at heart. She has breathed life into an ever bubbling, often bold, endearingly charming and off and on quirky Savi.The storyline branches into three zones, one of personal grief, another of saving trees that bond astonishingly with one another, the third of school life, friends and foes
Smash It, Butterfingers! by Khyrunnisa A is the latest addition to the Butterfingers series of books meant for the reading pleasure of folks in their early teens. Sports is the main theme of all the books set in the backdrop of the fictitious Green Park School. In the book under review, students of the school have an adventure that involves badminton, and a cat named Ozymandias. The hero of the tale, Amar, is affectionately called Butterfingers, because well, he is one. He has a talent for dropping things, bumping and crashing into objects and people, injuring himself and his friends and family, and generally emerging from such misadventures unscathed and victorious…