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
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.
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
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
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