The Grand Story of Ikli Chokli BUY NOW
A little chokli, a stray puppy, wanders into a muddy rain puddle one day… From then on, he can’t stop himself from enjoying the icky, sticky, scratchy feeling! What he enjoys even more is telling tall tales about himself! With happy, whimsical illustrations, this small book about a big-talking dog celebrates smart and spunky choklis everywhere.
Trouble In The Forbidden Forest BUY NOW
A gang of robbers is cutting and stealing sandalwood trees from the forest near Arun’s house. Worse, the guardian of the forest, fierce King Yaksha, seems to have lost his powers and can’t stop them. Something must be done… and quickly. A thrilling sequel to The Forbidden Forest that sees young Arun come to the rescue with a smart plan!
The Forbidden Forest BUY NOW
There are strange stories about the big forest at the edge of Arun’s house, and he has been told never to go there. But of course he MUST! So he slips away one day. It is like another world there, strange and beautiful. All is well until he breaks a “rule”… and has to face the fierce King Yaksha, spirit guardian of the forest, who gives him a very unusual punishment.
This Is Me, Mayil BUY NOW
Her diary (or is it her autobiography, she isn’t sure) becomes a rabbit hole and a roadmap to writing her way through life as she sees it. Older and bolder, the unstoppable ‘Mayilwriter’ rants in rhyme, ponders in verse, and doodles in between.
For every moment of clarity, there are others filled with anger, confusion and self-doubt. But Mayil keeps her chin up and decides that she will never put her pen down.
Mostly Madly Mayil BUY NOW
At 13 going on assertive 14, Mayil is now on her second diary after Mayil Will Not Be Quiet. “Teen queen,” says Ma. “Terrible teens,” says Pa. And yes, Mayil is perceptibly older, and wiser to a lot more things that make up teens. We see her as one of the Fake-inas Friend-ing a “cute” senior on Facebook, as a superpowered Liyam Lonewolf, a Cinderella tripping over her ghagra at Pumpkin VS’s party… and of course, as a further evolved Mayilwriter who wouldn’t mind rapping too, like the cool Kumari Misstake. But some things don’t change. As spirited now as when we saw her last, Mayil continues to pour her many thoughts out in this sequel as honestly, hilariously, thinkingly and touchingly as ever — on everything from sexual harassment, to caste distinctions (even in the Harry Potters!), to Saroja Paati in sleeveless and lipstick. This is another exceptional book from two talented young writers.
“Yes, Mayil writes about serious issues in her diary but she’s also irreverent and fun… Another great thing about the book is that it perfectly reflects the times and the geography it exists in. Mayil, and by extension the book, lives in and exudes Chennai and India. It doesn’t pretend to be anything else – the jokes, the references, the problems manage to be globally relatable while at the same time being inherently local… Pick up this book to add a tremendous dose of fun and irreverence into your reading list with a smattering of insight thrown in.” – Bookworm Etcetera
Scientists A to Z BUY NOW
Once this book is closed
A challenge here is posed
To push beyond the boundaries
Observe and test surroundings
To care for bigger pictures
The letters and the figures
And if you always chase what’s true
The next great scientist may be you!
A is for Archimedes, B is for Bose, C is for Curie, and off we go… on an alphabetical journey from the past to the present, coming face-to-face with the wonders of scientific discovery and invention. In John Reilly’s lively verse, set to the rhythm of familiar rhymes, we meet 26 scientists who have changed our world. With jaunty illustrations by Anna-Maria Jung and intriguing biographical tidbits, the book sweeps across topics as diverse as genes, space travel, electricity and more.
Mayil Will Not Be Quiet! BUY NOW
Meet Mayil Ganeshan, 12 going on spirited 13, who finally has her chance to say all she wants. But the diary for her is also an important step towards becoming ‘Mayilwriter’, to make up for all the stories she hasn’t completed and the novel that didn’t know where it was going. So she begins. What she gives is a spontaneous, sensitive, honest, intimate and often hilarious peek into the life and mind of an insightful young girl. The Mayil that emerges is as lovable and recognisable as the delightful sketches she presents of her Amma, Appa, brother, grandfather and friends. Mayil has all the confusion and confidence of adolescence as she faces the everyday dilemmas of young people, as well as questions of gender stereotyping all around – from Ramayana stories to Rajnikanth movies. With enough to keep head, heart and funny bone tickled and happy, this is a must-read coming of age book by two highly talented young writers that will strike a chord with all who read it – pre-teen, teen and older.
“Mayil Will Not Be Quiet” is comfortingly real as it delicately brings out the problems and hopes of a pre-teen… At 12, going on 13, she fills her diary with doodles, hopes, rants and problems of a pre-teen, with doses of humour that leave you nostalgic. After all, we’ve all written them in our diaries too… – The Hindu
The acceptance speech by co-author Sowmya Rajendran on receipt of the 2015 Bal Sahitya Puraskar!
The Shining Stones BUY NOW
Most of the time Selvi’s little village of peanut farmers lies forgotten. But once a year it springs to life – when the archaeologists come to excavate tools of prehistoric ancestors from the same river-bed that Selvi now walks over every day. These ancestors were hominins of the Lower Paleolithic Acheulian culture who lived more than half a million years ago, and their stone tools are what the villagers call chakka kal, meaning ‘shining stones’. Superimposing facts and photographs from an excavation site in Tamilnadu with perky illustrations and imagined stories, the archaeologist-author brings to life a very, very distant past and initiates young children into the fascinating world of archaeology. The main narrative is complemented with snippets of information in child friendly doses, with pages designed to be visually attractive. A timeline of major hominin species from around four million years ago to the present takes children on a quick march through evolution. A perfect supplement to classroom history lessons.
“This book has lot of photographs from the actual excavation site and Ashok Rajagopalan has provided a few simple but striking illustrations to supplement the story. The last page with the drawings of the various tools of an archaeologist, is very pleasing to the eye. This kind of book would be perfect for a child to get interested in archaeology and feel inspired to know more on the subject.” – SaffronTree
Mathematwist: Number Tales From Around The World BUY NOW
What could Caesar’s general have in common with multiplication and weights? Or a Russian waiter with factorials? Or a temple in Hanoi with transposition? A Chinese emperor with Benjamin Franklin and Albrecht Duerer? This book is a collection of stories from different countries. Each story sets the brain ticking, encouraging problem-solving skills, with a high quotient of fun! And each is followed by a simple explanation of the maths behind the ‘magic’, that dispels the esoteric haze from the subject and makes it accessible. A fascinating collection about mathematics and the world, from a country that has been prominent on the number map from ancient times.
“T. V. Padma’s love for mathematics and history comes out through the book. Although the book is about stories related to mathematics, after every story, there are a few pages of information on the concept dealt in the story and history related to that concept. The history and mathematics makes it a very interesting combination and in my opinion is what makes this book stand out. I am glad that T. V. Padma includes some interesting nuggets of information after every story. This almost makes the book a handy guide for mathematics teachers to introduce a concept and explain the history and significance of the concept. Proiti Roy’s illustrations are lovely. I especially loved the black and white stick figures that play around numbers and the mathematical symbols.” Saffron Tree
The Forbidden Temple BUY NOW
How was everyday life for children long ago? Did they have pets? Did foreign students feel homesick? What was it like to go shopping in a big city? What sort of games did they play? In this book, imagination takes off from carefully researched fact to create ten fascinating stories of children from times past, spanning India’s history from around 3500 bce onward. Alongside are bits of interesting information — easy to absorb, just enough for added atmosphere. Finely etched pictures come together in collages to illustrate each story. A perky ant leads the trail through a very visual activity section that makes tracking history so much fun!
“Padma T Venkatraman makes history fascinating in this wonderful compilation of tales set in historical settings. Her stories mesmerize and gives a brief glimpse of a historical period. A glimpse brief enough to entice one to find out more about that particular era. She also provides some interesting tidbits along with the story which provides enough information for an eager one to explore further or a teacher to use it as a study reference.” – Saffron Tree
Stone Eggs: A Story About Indian Dinosaurs BUY NOW
Stone Eggs is a one of a kind book about Indian dinosaurs! Combining fact and fiction, it shows that dinosaurs didn’t roam only in other, faraway places. They were very much part of the Indian landscape – millions of years ago. Join Sankar and Sandhya on their adventure as they find out about Indosuchus matleyi, Indosuchus raptorius, Rajasaurus narmadiensis and much much more. There is also a map of dino finds in India and a timeline of Indian dinos.
“The book not only lists the species found in India, including some indigenous ones such as, the Rajasaurus Narmadensis, but also has a map showing the various locations of the digs. Clear lucid illustrations of perky dinos strutting the ramp with their name tags, juggling, fighting, pooping add to the charm of this book. Bonus features are a map indicating the dino finds in India and a timeline of Indian dinos. Entertaining as well as educative, this book will also be a great asset to a school library.” – Young India Books
Little Indians: Stories From Across The Country BUY NOW
Are there really diamonds hidden in Bhedaghat? Does little Sibsa’s magic carpet fly her out of Tawang? What happens when crocodiles chase Kanmani and gang during a boat ride in the Andamans? And what on earth is Raja the donkey doing in Ramoji Film City? Did you know the world’s highest international cricket stadium is in Himachal? That only Goa has motorcycle taxis? Or that dinosaurs roamed Gujarat 65 million years ago? Stories and fascinating facts take you on a double-decker ride across 15 states of India. They emerge distinct and different, like pieces of a jigsaw, which slide in together to create a magnificent whole. India!
“‘Little Indians’ explores the many little Indias within this country, in a way that is sure to appeal to little Indians. Simple stories with an old-world charm, that give the flavor of a place. I found it refreshing to read stories in which the child protagonists are not the urban characters we usually encounter. In each of the stories, a bunch of kids with no resources to speak of bar their wits, solve a problem. The setting comes alive, whether it is Kille Raigad in Maharashtra, or the home of a weaver in a village in Tawang valley, Arunachal Pradesh. I liked how the stories weave in details that reveal a bit about the place and its people; like the one about bakeries and baguettes in Puducherry.” – Saffron Tree
Can’t Stop Cody! BUY NOW
“Every time Vismay came home, he expected to find some kind of disaster. He had seen on YouTube how other people recorded their dogs doing nothing but sleep for hours. That wasn’t Cody.”
It all begins when Vismay falls in love with a twice abandoned puppy in a San Francisco animal shelter. He brings him home, except he has no clue about how to raise this adorable, crazy pit bull-pointer he calls Cody. As his life is taken over by a hyperactive ball of energy, there is also lurking danger when Cody’s curiosity leads him to buried treasure!
Get ready for an action packed ride of adventures and misadventures, as Vismay and Cody make a home and the headlines in this story inspired by true events.
Jagadish And The Talking Plant: Pioneering Scientist J.C. Bose BUY NOW
In the early 20th century, after making pathbreaking innovations in wireless communication, pioneering scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose (J.C. Bose) turned to the world of plants. Merging the boundaries of biology and physics, he became a forerunner of biophysics, inventing ingenious instruments to study plant intelligence. His research remains radical even today, more than 150 years after his birth. In this first-of-its-kind comic book, the maverick scientist’s journey is imagined through the eyes of Mimosa Pudica — the ‘touch-me-not’ plant he used extensively in his research. Extracts from a well-known speech and an entry from Bose’s own journal offer a direct glimpse into a fascinating mind. A crisp timeline gives an overview of his life, while humorous asides and quick facts pack in a punch.
“Since a great deal of Sir Bose’s life dealt with the physiology of plants, the author, Swati Shome and illustrator Anushree Bhat, have taken the interesting route of making Jagadish have a running conversation with a “Mimosa Pudica” – a touch-me-not plant. They also have a couple of birds show up from time to time during the narration in order to provide comic relief. These characters stay with Jagadish as he proceeds through childhood and adolescence into a promising career in the West in the Physical Sciences. When, after completing his education, the young Jagadish comes back to India and accepts a position at Presidency College in Kolkata, the author attempts to explain scientific concepts to the reader as simply as possible. This lightness in the narrative is one of the strong points of this book.” – Goodbooks.in
Riddle of the Ridley BUY NOW
The ‘arribada’ or arrival of thousands of olive ridley sea turtles for mass nesting on some beaches of Orissa is one of nature’s amazing spectacles. Yet thousands of these gentle reptiles die every year due to callous fishing practices and human apathy. Through unique photographs, ridley facts, and a narrative born out of firsthand experience, award-winning wildlife film-maker Shekar Dattatri makes an impassioned plea to keep the beaches safe and free for the olive ridley.
Picture Gandhi BUY NOW
Who was this man who so mesmerised the world, born almost a century ago but whose words and wisdom are still so current, so compelling? Films, plays, books, media images and news stories bring him regularly into our homes. The UN has declared his birthday, 2nd October, the International Day for Non-Violence. But how do we make his life relevant to a child of today? How do we tell his inspiring story so that he isn’t just part of a history lesson? PICTURE GANDHI does this by heading off the beaten track and following Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi himself, in spirit as much as chronology. The author views him with affection, but sparely, guided by what he himself valued most – truth and love – and what was important to him. Visually, too, the book enhances this perspective. Thought bubbles paraphrase Gandhi’s words and peep into his mind. Colourful hand-done elements add interesting extensions to old black and white photographs. PICTURE GANDHI attempts to shake off the aura and offer a close and intimate glimpse of a man of our times, a man for all times.
Stitching Stories: The Art Of Embroidery in Gujarat BUY NOW
“Before I used to stitch just to make patterns. But now I think about what I want to say through my stitches,” says Raniben. Like her friend Meghiben and many others, she has moved beyond just beautiful needlework to narrative art, embroidering her own thoughts and stories. Stitching Stories is one such story – about how she and her family left their village in Pakistan, crossing the harsh desert to live in a refugee camp in Gujarat, how they rebuilt their lives, lost everything again in an earthquake, and began once more. The book is based on the award-winning animated documentary film Tanko Bole Chhe (The Stitches Speak), an exquisite visual narrative through applique and embroidery that looks at how an inherited craft has become personalised art.
“A book that is powerful and yet an effective story of women who have learnt to adapt to earth-shaking events in their lives – having been displaced, time and again, from their homes. A book that is about sharing, cooperation, and learning to live in harmony with each other. A book that is an engaging introduction to art and the artist through story, memoir and biography. A book that makes its statement clearly and simply, both in words and pictures, having text that is beautifully balanced in narrative style embroidery.” – Young India Books
My Gandhi Scrapbook BUY NOW
My Gandhi Scrapbook is just that – a scrapbook. It has pictures cut and pasted. comments thrown in, something copied from somewhere, random thoughts, quibbles and scribbles…Like a very visual, personal diary. Or a kaleidoscope, where bits and pieces come together to form patterns – especially fascinating when the subject is Gandhiji. The exciting format offers unusual perspectives on a most amazing man, while the headings tell their own zany story. Did you know that Gandhi loved comics? That he would make ‘pudding’ with powdered chapatis? Now these are some quirky bits that aren’t in the book. Add them in, or anything else you like – for in the spirit of scrapbooks, this too is incomplete, with empty pages and spaces waiting for you!
“An admirable compilation of currency, stamps, cartoons, magazine covers, hoardings, letters by Gandhi and interesting trivia are pasted in the scrapbook. There are pictures of streets named after and statues of Gandhi spread all over the world. Few empty pages attached to the book for children to add to the collection as well as an invitation to every reader from Sandhya Rao to share their discoveries on Gandhi with her.” – Young India Books
India’s Olympic Story BUY NOW
Published to coincide with the London Olympic Games, 2012, it is the first comprehensive book for young readers that draw attention to the place and achievements of Indian athletes in what is the most spectacular sporting event in the world. The first half of the book provides a brief history of the Games and the movement from ancient times down to the modern era. An important feature is the inclusion of the Paralympic Games as well as traditional Indian Games. This section is bolstered with interesting anecdotes and items of information, it also features some unforgettably funny cartoons, well-organised timelines, and relevant news reports. In the second section, the Olympic and Paralympic values of excellence, friendship, respect, courage, determination, equality and inspiration are illustrated through stories from the lives of individual sports personalities.
“The humorous cartoons and the mind boggling facts presented in boxes, give a perfect balance in terms of the information presented to the reader. Slowly from the global angle, the book moves into the involvement of various Indians at the Olympics. The book also has extensive details on Paralympics and the Indians who have represented in these games. Needless to say, every achievement speaks of the human will to conquer the impossible.” – Saffron Tree
Barefoot Husain BUY NOW
In Barefoot Husain, the artist has lost his shoes. Jai offers to help him find them and the two take off on a crazy journey, zooming in and out of paintings, through milestones in M. F. Husain’s life. What happens when the always barefoot Husain finally finds and wears his pair of shoes? The fun story takes off from some of the painter’s famous works, including his distinctive horses, and ends with an interesting comment on his celebrated free spirit!
“Part of a Looking at Art series, this out of the ordinary book is an art lesson in itself and will be a valuable resource to both parents and teachers to to engage the child in the works and lives of India’s leading contemporary artists. The bibliography at the end of the book gives the reader a glimpse into the life and works of Maqbool Fida Husain. The story facilitates and enables children to learn about and appreciate – art in its essence. However, at times one wishes that the paintings printed in the book were somewhat larger in size. Fun to read, and informative, too. It is definitely a collector’s item!” – Young India Books
Gender Talk: Big Hero Size Zero BUY NOW
BIG HERO — SIZE ZERO. The perfect male-female bodies — says who? Aren’t sex and gender the same thing? Either male or female, right? Of course men and women are equal — but who calls the shots at home? Who makes the ‘rules’ we are all supposed to follow? Does what you wear ‘invite trouble’? Do women need to be ‘controlled for their own good’? Why is being different from the majority such a problem?
As gender issues hit the news hotspots more and more, there are questions and confusions, and the answers are covered by a smog of stereotype and convention. So how do teens make sense of all this?
Two young writers, Anusha Hariharan and Sowmya Rajendran, ‘talk’ directly to you about this complex subject with empathy and in a language you would understand. Uncovering truths, untruths, semi-truths and myths, using everyday examples as well as references to popular media, the book explores what it means socially and culturally to belong to a certain gender. Running alongside is Niveditha Subramaniam’s visual commentary that prods and provokes, even as it makes you laugh out loud!
This book helps you find some answers, and raise more questions with better information. Being aware is a first step towards gender equality.
“Some of the themes tackled by this volume are complex, but the authors do a sterling job of keeping the tone light without talking down… What could have been a horrific mishmash of information has been adroitly broken down into digestible chunks by the authors Anusha Hariharan and Sowmya Rajendran. The everyday examples and references to popular culture and news makes it a book that youngsters ought to be able to relate to easily.” – Goodbooks.in
The Veena Player BUY NOW
A damaged painting is like a body without a soul, Aunty Prima tells Valsa, when they set about restoring an old painting by Ravi Varma. As they remove the layers of dust, Valsa hears a delicate cough. Does it come from the painting? The Veena Player is about a charming friendship between young Valsa and the veena player, which weaves in nuances of Ravi Varma’s art style, and pays tribute to his skill in painting lifelike portraits
A Trail Of Paint BUY NOW
In A Trail of Paint, Biswajit is dragged unwillingly on a culture trip, to an exhibition of Jamini Roy’s paintings. Once there, however, an encounter with an old man leads him to an intriguing discovery of fakes and forgers, down Kolkata’s bylanes, with more excitement than he could have hoped for! This story with art, adventure and a twist in the tail, looks at the evolution of Jamini Roy’s unique style and raises issues about integrity in art – the importance of creating, not copying.
“Children will thoroughly enjoy unravelling the mystery and will be thrilled as they grasp the many clues along the trail. This book is a visual delight and fun to read along with kids. A treat for lovers of contemporary Indian art. The bibliography at the end of the book gives a glimpse into the times and work of Jamini Roy and is sure to encourage the reader to want to learn more about this great artist. A must in the school library and for your personal collection too!” – Young India Books
India Through Archaeology: Excavating History BUY NOW
Superhero action carved on rocks… A headless statue… Royal inscriptions on pillars and copper plates… Glass fragments from a lost city… These may sound like clips from a fantasy thriller, but are in fact objects unearthed at archaeological sites across the country — and the stories they throw up are just as exciting!
This visually vibrant book has an interdisciplinary approach that goes beyond conventional subject boundaries. Showing the interconnectedness of ideas, events and issues, and cross-cultural influences — all based on archaeological findings — it encourages a more critical and holistic understanding of India’s multihued history.
“It’s not often that a children’s book gets taken seriously, but this one deserves all the attention it has been getting. Excavating History is a history of India, but a scientific and comprehensive volume, using archaeological finds to do a quick rundown of what’s been going on in the subcontinent from the Stone Age downwards. I don’t mind admitting that I learned a lot of things, and added several new sites to my future travel list. With fun illustrations to appeal to kids and dense enough for the amateur historian adult, I’m recommending it to everyone with even a slight interest in what happened before the stories began.” – Business Line’s BLink
My Name Is Amrita… Born To Be An Artist BUY NOW
My Name is Amrita… is the story of an intensely sensitive and talented girl who grows up to be one of India’s foremost painters. It reads like a diary, and in fact includes actual lines from Amrita Sher-Gil’s childhood diaries that are displayed here as if in a child’s handwriting. The seemingly random musings come together like deft strokes to sketch an intimate picture of her early years. Also featured are paintings she did when she was young and photographs taken by her father. Highlighting her fertile, intelligent mind and bold philosophical views, the book traces her life till she sets sail for France on the journey for which she was born… to be an artist.
“The diary entries and photographs lend that intimate touch to a narrative where memory and art cohabit and speak to the reader.” – The Book Review
Cave Art: The First Paintings BUY NOW
How did art begin? Where did colour come from, before paints in tubes and bottles? Taking a long step back in history, this book explores how the world’s first artists may have tried their hand on the very first canvases — the walls of rocks and caves. Arising more from artistic imagination than archaeology, this story of art unfolds with photographs of the ancient paintings at the Bhimbetka Caves in Madhya Pradesh alongside creative reproductions of rock art.
“Cave Art, the latest book in this series, does a fabulous job of not just sharing historical facts, but also touching upon several related topics such as the origins of art, sociology, communication, religion and belief and the ever amazing human imagination. The book follows an unusual story telling style that can be compared to the reader undertaking a journey of interesting discoveries, along with the author, artist and photographer, rolled into one. The best part is that the question and answer format has a very encouraging, collaborative tone throughout the book. Never does the author pretend to be an expert and that makes the script so much more credible. The coloured visuals, some effectively spanning two pages, beautifully complement the text – which is free of jargon and not burdened by information.” – Saffron Tree
The House That Sonabai Built BUY NOW
From oppressive loneliness, Sonabai Rajawar ‘makes’ her way into a world of beauty and joy! An introduction to the life and unique creative vision of a quietly strong, self-taught artist, through rich photos and a sensitive telling.
“This deeply moving book is about Sonabai’s life as much as it is about dreaming big. It invites urban Indian children to look at rural life with curiosity and to respect its depth. Read with attention to detail, it is about the magic latent in everyday life. It calls out equally to children who are hooked to screen devices as much as to those who are led to craft bazaars and art galleries. Its potential audience includes schoolchildren, parents, art teachers and librarians. Sonabai’s journey is evoked simply yet vividly by both Vishakha’s text and Huyler’s brilliant photographs. Huyler’s images are like rich, dazzling lodes of Indian folk life.” – Goodbooks.in
A for Ajrakh: The A to Z of Block Printing BUY NOW
What do ancient fragments of cloth found in Egypt have to do with modern-day Gujarat? The answer starts with A — and sets us off through the alphabet, building with blocks of a very different kind! A for Ajrakh, B for Bagh, C for Chhipa… Each letter sparks off an aspect of block printing on textile, so that by Z for Zafran what we get is a fascinating patchwork of the styles, the motifs, the blocks, the dyes, and the skilled people who sustain and invigorate a centuries-old intricate craft.
Who? BUY NOW
Tiana Singhal’s life has been floating along fine, especially with the plum internship in a well known architectural firm. And then, without warning, it catapults into chaos. She is haunted by screams in her nightmares. She is confronted by a stranger who sets off alarm bells. She finds herself fleeing from she doesn’t know what. There are questions to her hazy past for which she must find answers. But will they be at the cost of her life? Is she losing her mind? Who IS she? A knife-edge thriller that keeps you breathless and guessing till the very end.
Wild Verses Of Wit And Whimsy BUY NOW
In Alok Bhalla’s alphabet symphony, imagination is unfettered and there’s no need to play by the rules, except to get away from the ‘sullen, surly, sombre’ use of language! The 26 letters freely frolic in the wild and wacky vistas of his nonsense verse. Set to whimsical rhythms, they reveal themselves in unexpected ways through the zaniest of characters from A to Z! Manjula Padmanabhan’s witty and refined illustrations evoke the enigma of the letters and their shenanigans. Funny and perceptive at once, this book is an invitation to a joyous, liberating and intelligent exploration of the verbal-visual-musical power of the alphabet.
This odd little book serves as a reminder that growing older needn’t mean growing up… Manjula Padmanabhan’s whimsical drawings complement the text the way baggy pants complement a clown. Whimsy has always been the dominant rasa in Indian cartooning, but here Padmanabhan adds a seditious flavour that suggests the words have all escaped from some asylum. – GoodBooks
Being Boys BUY NOW
Enter a world of boys. Writers and sportsmen, princes and cooks — scared, brave, bully, bullied, rich, poor, gentle, rough, in the gang and out of it… With different childhoods, challenges and choices, they come together in strength to take on the notion that ‘boys will be boys’. Being Boys is a collection which has a story for every boy. Written with humour and empathy, this array of fiction, fable, autobiography, reportage, diary jottings, memoir and history rewrites the ‘rules’ of being boys. Contributors: Manjula Padmanabhan, Amandeep Sandhu, Bharat Shekhar, Devashish Makhija, R.K Narayan, Jerry Pinto, Suniti Namjoshi, Siddalingiah, Kanak Shashi, Niveditha Subramaniam, Sowmya Rajendran, Raj Shekhar, M.R Renukumar, Ranjit Lal, Rinchin, Samar Halarnkar, N Sudarshan, Devika Cariapa, Vikram Seth.
While Being Boys presents itself as an anthology of short stories with young male protagonists, what stood out for me was its inclusion of narratives that one would be hard pressed to find in mainstream Indian publishing… Being Boys is an anthology that could get young readers thinking . More significantly, it suggests that sometimes, being a boy in India can be confusing and mysterious, as much a burden as a socially conferred privilege, as much about celebrating one’s feminine side as flaunting the masculine. – Saffron Tree
Girls To The Rescue BUY NOW
Move over, petrified princesses in towers. Stand back, sword bucklers. These audacious girls are their own saviours. What do you think happens when Snow White, Cinderella and gang meet an author who wonders: “Now what would any red-blooded girl with brains do in such a situation?… A girl who did not plan to make a living out of being obedient, sweet and good?” Six leading ladies decide not to stick to the script, and take us instead through some riveting retellings that sizzle with humour as they toss around notions of beauty, perfection and strength. Armed with real-world skills, they rewrite their happily-ever-afters. Rescue themselves. And save the fairytale!
These girls are not the wilting, submissive, good girls of yore, but strong, real, and intelligent human beings who want to do their own thing, know what they want, and go ahead and do it. Busting of stereotypes is not limited to these princesses alone in these fairy tales placed firmly in contemporary times… The stories, as they are narrated, have a timeless feel to them, equally enjoyable to young readers, and to older ones – teenagers, young adults, and adults. Simple enough that a 6 year old might enjoy the narration, yet profound enough that older readers might find layers that mean different things to them. – Saffron Tree
Beyond The Blue River BUY NOW
In this novel that is part adventure, part mystery and completely captivating, B. Vinayan takes the genre of fantasy to a new realm of resonance. Through lucid prose and magical moments, he transforms the story of a perfectly mundane mechanical creature into a metaphor for human existence. Every time GRACE – City Auto For Hire No. SD 013422 hears the Blue River tune, she gets a funny feeling. Sometimes she feels the tune even before it is hummed. What is the Blue River? Why does it affect her so deeply? What lies beyond it? One day Grace revs up her engine and sets out to find out. Along the way she encounters several new worlds, creatures, ways of life and even systems of language and communication. It is a journey replete with experiences that range from the fun to the funny to the philosophical, and answers that lead to more questions.
B.Vinayan’s imaginative story brings a fresh approach by its warmth and humour and its effortless weaving of philosophy and childlike wonderment… The original and engaging ideas of the ‘language of the spheres’ which allows everyone to understand everyone, the possibilities of transformation of selves, and travel between worlds, sets Vinayan apart from other writers. – Mariam Karim Ahlawat
Parthiban’s Dream BUY NOW
The Chola ruler King Parthiban has a dream . . . he wants to make his empire the most powerful in the region. However, before he can do this, he is killed in battle. His son, Prince Vikraman, is a child at the time, but he carries his father’s dream in his heart. He grows up in the shadow of the burgeoning power of the mighty Pallava ruler, Chakravarti Narasimha Varman, also known as Mamalla Pallavan, after whom Mamallapuram is named. How will Vikraman fulfil his father’s wishes?
Suddenly, a mysterious Shivanadiyar, follower of Lord Shiva, begins to enter his life at the most opportune and unexpected moments to help him out of trouble. Who is this man? Why does he help Vikraman? Does Vikraman finally succeed in his quest? And what’s so special about this story that made a 15 year-old sit down and translate it at one shot? Nirupama Raghavan’s joyous translation and considered abridgment of Parthiban Kanavu carries forward twists and turns of the story with magic and lightness.
Kabir The Weaver-Poet BUY NOW
Mystic weaver, radical reformer, loved and hated equally in his time . . . the simple wisdom of his pithy couplets, the famous dohas, makes him one of the most frequently quoted poets even today. Yet Kabir the person remains an enigma. This brilliant novel traces one day in Kabir’s life, from Daybreak through Midday to Nightfall. Threading fact, legend and poetry into a superbly structured narrative, it etches Kabir’s compelling persona against the backdrop of fifteenth century Banaras — a period that mirrors quite remarkably our own troubled times. Spare visuals before each section continue Kabir’s own favourite metaphor of weaving, a delicate tapestry of the city unravelling as the day progresses. Kabir the Weaver-Poet is a landmark in contemporary writing for young readers and old — thrilling yet gently emotive, incredibly blending high drama with the mesmerising calm of Kabir’s beliefs.
Jaya Madhavan’s retelling is well written and makes some very complex issues – communal hatred, intolerance, caste, even the frightening phenomenon of mob frenzy – accessible to young audiences. I liked the spareness of her writing style, very much in keeping with the simplicity of the man at the heart of this book. She adds a dash of fantasy too, inventively casting the tools of Kabir’s trade – Dhaga, Takli, Warp, Weft, Spindle – as narrators and loyal friends of the poet. Much like the sutradhar of traditional folk theatre, they are more than merely detached story tellers;through their playful banter, their squabbling and occasional bits of role playing, we get a glimpse of Kabir’s life and his effect on people around him. – Saffron Tree
One World BUY NOW
The second in a series of theme-based books, this book focuses on peace. How do children cope with the pressures of divisive and contradictory forces at play in the world today? With its affirmative writing, the series brings together writers in English and other Indian languages. Contributors: Paul Zacharia, Ambai, V. Ramnarayan, Shobhit Mahajan, Gita Mehta, Geetha Varadan, Raghavendra Rao, Ashokamitran, Poile Sengupta, Nitin Madhav, Sandhya Rao and Safdar Hashmi. This book has been recommended by CBSE for schools.
“All the pieces are well-written… At no stage do any of them talk down to their target audience of not-so-young children. The tone is conversational and thought-provoking, encouraging readers to respond to issues that beleaguer the earth, so that they can make responsible decisions and choices to create a more harmonious tomorrow. The questions included in the ‘Afterword’ further the desire to discuss and probe.” – Indian Review of Books, 1999
Andamans Boy BUY NOW
Tired of life in Mumbai with his Chacha and Chachi, Arif runs away – far, far away. He hops onto a train going to Chennai. From there he smuggles himself onto a boat going to . . . the Andaman islands! Rich with adventure and humour, full of the wonders of nature, the book is also filled with details about the unique, misunderstood world of the Jarawa, a tribe in the Andamans whose very survival is being threatened, especially by the forces of so-called development. Nature drawings by Indraneil Das are beautifully offset by soft pencil sketches of the adventure by Ashok Rajagopalan.
Author Zai Whitaker talks about a Skype session with a school in Mumbai!
My Brother Tootoo BUY NOW
Twelve-year-old Rini and her little brother Tootoo are intrigued by the new boy, and innocent games soon turn into dangerous ones as the trio begin to venture into territories once forbidden. Occasional glimpses into Rini’s diary look back at the haunting memories of events that escalate to a point of no return. This gripping, multi-layered story poignantly evokes the secrets that we hold, and ultimately, share.
A bold step by Mahajan to talk about a subject that is usually taboo in the world of children’s fiction. it is a much needed book and should reach the hands of as many kids as possible – before they too get trapped on to this path of no return. Parents and teachers of pre-teens and teenagers should definitely encourage their kids to read this book and preferably have a frank and open discussion with them on the story. – Young India Books
That Summer at Kalagarh BUY NOW
Gitanjali is furious with her cousins — Ajay, Ajit and Aveek —who call her ‘Hathni’, she-elephant, to tease her. But the nickname sticks, and curiously enough seems to set the tone for their holiday in the jungles of Kalagarh. A dangerous face-off, cries of distress at night, an eerie ride through the jungle . . . turn out to be elephant encounters of a very strange kind! And at the hub of it all is Gitanjali, who seems to share an unusual bond with the big, gentle creatures.
This is Ranjit Lal is at his best. His naturalist’s eye gets full play in the lush setting of the Kumaon Hills, Corbett country, as he spins a spine-tingling tale that is taut with mystery and tinged with his trademark humour.
Just A Train Ride Away BUY NOW
Santosh travels alone from Mumbai, where he lives with his mother, to Kolkata, on holiday. But he has secret plans to look for his father whom he barely remembers. The train ride brings him into contact with people quite outside his sheltered world — an eventful prelude to another, deeper, journey. With a refreshingly light and honest touch, Just a Train Ride Away explores the emotional dilemma of young boy who craves the space for both parents in his life and faces the bitter-sweet reality of estrangement and belonging. A short, quick-read, coming of age novel.
It’s the story of the dilemmas faced by single parents (how to deal with the missing half) and kids with single parents. Mini Shrinivasan deals with it in a straightforward, no-nonsense yet sensitive way. Neat and sparse, the book (which won the Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2010) is a simple read about how, often, life is not what we’d imagined it to be, and we must make the best of whatever it has on offer and move on. It can… be consumed in a single gulp like a ‘roshogulla’. – GoodBooks
Advaita The Writer BUY NOW
When Advaita leaves Delhi for boarding school in Dehradun, she is lonely and unhappy. Even if Dunham Girls’ School is supposed to be the best in Asia. Even if, as her father had promised, it has a fabulous library. But the library soon becomes her haven, losing herself in books a shield against her deepening homesickness. Then one day she hears that the writer Ruskin Bond, whose books she devours, stays less than an hour away. Could it be true that the famous author is a real, living person, breathing the same Uttarakhand air as herself? Could she, Advaita, also become a writer? Advaita emerges out of her cocoon into a world fresh with ideas and inspiring possibilities. Unfolding gently and sensitively with the pace of Advaita’s changing emotions, this is a story about the love of books, the power of the imagination, of literary heroes, and of the birth of dreams.
Advaita the Writer is many stories rolled into one… A story of separation, of belonging, of space, of identity, of dreams, of inspiration… What keeps this delightfully unpredictable world of Advaita aloft is Spillman’s narrative. It flows like a happy river, meandering through difficult emotions and exciting metaphors with equal ease, as it runs its preordained course. Throughout the book, Spillman gently pushes the boundaries of language, never once compromising on the intelligence of the reader or taking it for granted. It’s a delicate balance that is rarely achieved in books for young readers. The illustrations by Menon too are spot on, hovering, almost respectfully, behind Advaita’s story. Read this book to be touched by not just the magic of Ruskin Bond, but also that of Spillman’s through lovely, whimsical Advaita. – Young India Books
No Fear, Jiyaa BUY NOW
The five most venomous snake species can all be found in Australia’s Outback — and that’s where Jiyaa is headed on her first school camp since moving to Perth from Mumbai. Mom is NOT happy. Jiyaa is super-thrilled (though she’s trying to act cool). Getting along with Olivia Robbins for two days isn’t going to be easy, but she’s quite sure that her biggest challenge will be Facebook deprivation! How wrong can she be! In No Fear, Jiyaa! Ken Spillman sends a bunch of pre-teen girls into the Outback. As their excitement, troubles and insecurities play out, what we get is a fresh and funny story about friendship, courage and growing up.
No Fear Jiyaa reads with the same flare and drama characteristic in children’s chatter – hyperbolic and exclamatory. – The Book Review
The Boy With 2 Grandfathers BUY NOW
Not everyone has two grandfathers quite like Amol’s! From the way they look to the way they speak, the food they eat and the way they think, they couldn’t be more different. But both are “interested in everything, afraid of nothing and capable of anything”. And they dote on Amol. This comes with perks, but it also means that Amol has to indulge them their quirks — whether it’s Appa discussing toilet habits loud and clear, or Ajoba lecturing bratty children in a burger joint on good citizenship! But when the going gets tough, Amol couldn’t ask for a tougher twosome to stand by him.
Shrinivasan’s novel is sure to comfort and illuminate young readers, irrespective of whether they are in a similar predicament or not. It will serve to inspire similar courageous works in children’s fiction. One can ask no more of an author or a story. – From The Hindu Young World-Good Books Award 2018 citation
Shrinking Vanita BUY NOW
Three days to go before a killer asteroid will end life on Earth! Everyone is in a panic. Everyone, that is, but Vanita, who has things to do. Such as saving the planet. She has a plan drawn up to the minutest detail. All pure science. With just a little help from fridge magnets, a little puppy – and a special ‘shrinking’ gift that she has. Manjula Padmanabhan’s cartoonist’s eye for people and their little eccentricities conflates with a supergirl story to give us this spectacular science fiction for young readers. A side splittingly hilarious book from a master storyteller with her tongue firmly in cheek and a straight face!
The Enchanted Saarang BUY NOW
This unique collection of stories about Kashmir invites readers into the everyday lives of ordinary people. Their homes nestle amid jagged rocks and flowering valleys that inspire fear, love, and closeness with and respect for nature. It is a world filled with giving spirits, powerful snakes, cunning horse thieves, greedy treasure-seekers, magical bowls and enchanted saarangs – drawn from mythology, folklore and lived experiences. Told through finely crafted prose and dramatic illustrations of the landscape, flora and fauna, the stories bring alive a world less known but as real as the turbulence that defines the region today – as fragile as it is beautiful.
The simple yet engaging style of writing has a charm of its own. Proiti Roy’s illustrations are lovely, detailed and appropriate… Educative and thought-provoking, the stories show how closely the fates of people and their animals are intertwined. – Vishesh Unni
Blue And Other Stories BUY NOW
Suniti Namjoshi, internationally acclaimed fabulist and poet, brings both depth and lightness of touch to Blue and Other Stories. Playful and gentle, these timeless stories effortlessly traverse layers of myth to speak to readers of all ages. Nilima Sheikh’s paintings hang in galleries all over the world. Her art embraces myriad influences, from Indian visual traditions to written and oral texts. Here, the sensuous colours and delicate textures match and enhance Suniti’s nuanced writing. Blue and Other Stories is the coming together of two fine minds to create a contemporary classic.
Every story in this book is a benediction; there is a blessing planted deep within the words, and the tales evoke a precious kind of joy every time you read them… this book is a precious addition to a child’s imagination, or, more importantly, it examines the autonomous life of such an imagination. – GoodBooks
The Boy And Dragon Stories And Other Tales BUY NOW
A dragon has to be punished by a boy. But neither knows how to go about it, and they become friends instead. Together they chase whirlwinds, combat giants in cyberspace, listen to the stories of pebbles by the sea… Sweeping through spans of fantasy, reality and time, the author of the popular Aditi Adventures gives us a set of stories that once again takes children on a ride through magic realism. And with confused dragons, cricket playing giants, mirror books and little girls who don’t see why they should cry, they once again say as much between the lines as through the light, lively text. Dramatic yet contemplative illustrations evoke the intriguing mix of strength-gentleness that pervades the stories.
This slim, almost gentle looking book is packed with little and big thoughts that set you – thinking ! A Boy and A Dragon and you may immediately think cliched couple, what’s new and what now.. but this is Suniti Namjoshi and she urges you to think things like what is the worth of crying and how similar are we to pebbles ? Bah ! What is all this fantasy you may ask but I think the power lies in fantabulous fantasy of this kind. Every 2 -3 page story made dreamy and whimsical by Krishna Bala Shenoi has a teachable thought. I loved this little book, I am imagining myself reading one story at a time to a whole bunch of YESNO boys and girls, discussing BADHATS and talking trees and allowing a book like this to be a MIRRORBOOK. – Bookworm Trust
Sorry, Best Friend! BUY NOW
Concerned by the divisive forces of communalism, and its influence on children, the Centre for Science, Culture and Education conducted a workshop to examine ways of dealing with the situation. This collection of short stories focusing on communal harmony is an offshoot of this workshop. It is the first in a series on affirmative themes. Contributors: Zai Whitaker, Poile Sengupta, Shama Futehally, Githa Hariharan, Savithri Narayanan, Swapna Dutta, Hemangini Ranade and Sawan Dutta.
“This is a book to be welcomed for its relevance to the world of today, directness, simplicity and, most of all, its effort to hold us to what nature intended us to be – thinking, caring human beings whose ego is best kept within bounds. These stories are mirrors in which our children view us, often in shock and disbelief, but in which we do not stop to look any more. It is high time we did and recognised that regardless of name, species and gods, ‘each one of us has a place in this strange, funny world of ours.’ … Children will readily relate to the contents. Adults please take a look too.” – The Pioneer, 1997
Water Stories BUY NOW
Well-known writers draw upon the oral traditions of Ivory Coast, China, India, Greece, Australia, North America, Spain, Nigeria, Botswana and places beyond names to reflect upon an intrinsic connection, while the pictures are inspired by the rich, visual representations of water across cultures.
Together with interesting facts and a timeline from earliest times, this book makes a creative plea to readers of all ages to treat water, and, by extension, all life, with respect. Contributors: Amruta Patil, Deepa Balsavar, Mariam Karim-Ahlawat, Niveditha Subramaniam, Radhika Chadha, Sandhya Rao, Sowmya Rajendran, Suniti Namjoshi, Zai Whitaker.
Each of the nine storytellers represented here has a very distinctive voice but the one thing they all have in common is that they grip the reader right from the first sentence. And among the stories themselves, there’s something for everyone: magic, retribution, monsters, dragons, giants, deities, misunderstandings, humor, pride… Helping to bring the stories together as a collection are Nirupama Sekhar’s colourful illustrations. Her style shifts to allow each story some individuality but certain motifs are carried through the whole book… All in all, this is an excellent anthology that is likely to become a firm favourite in homes and schools alike. – PaperTigers.Org
Aditi Adventures – The One-Eyed Monkey BUY NOW
An enchanting modern fairytale involving an unlikely foursome. A monkey sets out to explore the world, joined by a curious ant and an elephant trying hard to be aggressive. They come across a princess with a mission and rally around to help her. Armed with a cloak of invisibility, a sword of courage and a ball of magic clay, the friends journey to the den of a fierce dragon who must be tamed. Poor dragon! UK-based feminist writer Suniti Namjoshi has published several books and collections of poetry. There is fun and adventure in this ‘fairytale’, which stands adventure on its head as it twists and turns its humorous way.
Aditi Adventures – The Thames Dragon BUY NOW
There’s an urgent call for help from London, and Aditi
and her friends — the One-eyed monkey, Elephant and
Ant — fly off on the back of their new friend, the Dragon.
There they discover that the River Thames is being slowly
poisoned… and the River Dragon who lives in it is dying.
Something has to be done quickly. And what they do
lands them on primetime television news!
Aditi Adventures – The Marine Sage BUY NOW
Aditi and her friends are on a mission for the Island
Sage. So they fly on dragon-back to her sister who lives
deep down under the sea off Australia, on the Great
Barrier Reef. But the Elephant has a mission of her own
— to find her name that was swallowed by a fish.
Action enters new-age with a Thought Submarine and a
laser beam show by the dragons!
Aditi Adventures – The Techno Sage BUY NOW
Goldie the dragon is missing! Following a clue, Aditi and
her friends fly to Italy on Opal, their other dragon
friend. The search leads to encounters with the Sybil of
Cumae who knows everything, a magic mirror that can
trap, and the tantrum-throwing, lava-spewing,
earthquake-causing Vesuvian Giant.
Aditi Adventures – Meeting Grendel BUY NOW
Looking for a Deep Rose that may make Aditi’s grandmother
feel better, the adventurers go to the coast of Devon in
England. There they meet the little boy Grendel who lives
under the sea, prowls around at night scaring others, can’t
remember anything and doesn’t care about it.
Re-casting ‘monster’ characters from the Beowulf story, the
author wonders if what we see depends on how we see it.
Aditi Adventures – The Vesuvian Giant BUY NOW
An official visit to Prague takes a strange turn. The naughty granddaughter of Princess Libusha casts a spell on Monkeyji, and the only one who can help is Shemeek – the snow white horse who sleeps behind a rock at Wysherad, dreaming of the world. But to reach Shemeek, Aditi and her friends must first deal with rude Sir Sparrow, and get past Old Fiery Blue, the good-hearted dragon intent on a good fight. A popular legend is woven into this unusual adventure in the Czech Republic. There is action and drama, but by the end of it there are also questions: Who finally wins? And can a problem be a solution? With her usual light touch, the author subtly infuses the ordinary and everyday with new depth in the eighth book in the series.
Aditi Adventures – The Budapest Changeling BUY NOW
Siril the Ant finds himself bobbing on the River Danube
in Budapest, Hungary. He has been brought there by a
strange little creature who keeps changing form and
wants to help him become great.
As the adventurers try to discover who this changeling
really is, Beautiful is captured underwater by an Old
Woman Who Lives in a Shoe.
Aditi Adventures – Finding Shemeek BUY NOW
On a visit to Prague, the naughty granddaughter of
Princess Libusha casts a spell on Monkeyji. And the
only one who can help is Shemeek, the sleeping
white horse of Wysherad. But to reach him Aditi and
her gang must first deal with a rude sparrow and a
dragon who wants to fight. A popular Czech legend
is woven into this unusual adventure.
Aditi Adventures – The City Of Lions BUY NOW
Gardy isn’t sure if he is the lost lion cub prince who will save the ‘City of Lions’, Singapore. But he rushes there with his friends, all the same. They find that the city is indeed under threat — from its very own haughty, crotchety, bickering guardians, Sir Leon and the Old Woman under the Sea.
Aditi Adventures – The Word Eater BUY NOW
Danger! That’s what the digital butterflies seem to spell out. There is a little boy, Otto, who has been snatching up words and making them disappear.
Armed with Siril and Gardy’s own word-hoards and Monkeyji’s mind power, the adventurers go to Hong Kong — the city of dragons — to stop Otto and his platoon of crows from destroying the city.
Aditi Adventures – The Spaceflower BUY NOW
A space adventure! One of Jupiter’s moons is going off orbit and calls out to Siril. So, with some help from the scientific genius of the Techno Sage, Aditi
and friends build a spaceship, fix on anti-gravity pads, and zoom off to see what they can do to correct its path. A gripping sci-fi fantasy with some unusual insights.
Aditi Adventures – The Cyberspace Runaway BUY NOW
Holiday plans for the adventurers go off track when a runaway computer programme, the naughty Mistress i, decides to hide with them. Hot on her
heels is the scientist who created her, who threatens to put them in jail for kidnapping. And in the middle of all the commotion, Beautiful the Elephant is determined to become rational and logical.