Monday, 4 July 2016

Dragon Gets By- Dav Pilkey


Dragon Gets By is a really nice book for children beginning to read on their own. It is a series of books featuring the not at all scary, no fire spewing, gentle dragon who is a bit silly.The first book of this series is "A friend for dragon: Dragon's first tales (1991) ." Apparently this series was also made into a TV series but I haven't seen that.

I have only read this one book with my kid who was 6 years old at the time of our first reading, But this is also a book for early readers and younger kids. Here is this dragon barely managing his days through all muddled up chores be it sweeping, cleaning the yard, going shopping. The pictures are really funny and guarantee a laugh and also comforts you if you are a messy homekeeper yourself! ;)

It is always a pleasure to read books that have been illustrated by the author him/herself because there is so much more that the picture conveys. Google books review informed me that the author, Dav Pilkey, is an award-winning author/illustrator of the Captain Underpants series as well. Here is his website for those interested in more of his work: www.pilkey.com

Also, I have a positive bias towards the use of humour in children's books and when kids get the jokes, I so enjoy watching them laugh . Nothing beats being a silly blue dragon and being acknowledged for silly-ness by a toddler!

The language is easy to read and as I wrote before pictures do so much of the talking. There are five stories in the book and each one involves the Dragon getting into some sort of a mess. By the end of the book you start liking the Dragon and wanting to know more of his simple, easygoing life.
Here are some pages-pictures I took using my mobile camera
just to give you an idea



Friday, 24 June 2016

Fifth Lane series, Madhuri Purandare

I read the two books in the Fifth lane series by Madhuri Purandare several times in these past few days.
First off, I am a huge fan of her work. When I heard about the books I could barely wait to order them from https://jyotsnaprakashan.com/ who are actually my favourite publishers of children's books. My colleagues had felt the English translation of these Marathi books was not impressive but I disagree. Both the Marathi and the English versions are worth reading. I quickly gave off the English version as a gift because I wanted to make an effort to read Marathi( it is an adopted language for me) and am very happy I did that. But my 9 year old read it in English and really liked the stories too.

Do read either in Marathi or in English because they are such tender tales with the most gorgeous of illustrations. I kept wishing I could dress up like some of the characters Madhuri P. has drawn in the books.

The books are titled 'Sakkhe Shejari' in Marathi which means true neighbours and Paanchvi Galli or Fifth Lane (The lane in which the building evolved from a bungalow) and it is a set of stories of residents living in an apartment through the eyes of Ketaki, a kid who lives with her single mom . So you get to meet different characters - a single parent, a hearing impaired mother, a stay at home artist dad, a single woman professional - who are all part of our worlds in a children's book.
Madhuri P. has managed to bring in a sense of a real community with people who are different - look different/talk different/dress different weaving in these themes effortlessly as Ketaki goes prancing around and observing acutely like only a child can!

Monday, 13 June 2016

I revisited the  Little Princess series yesterday for our younger one. She is not that into books as her sibling so I had to "trap" her through some lovely videos available on you tube(thankfully)  of the T.V series,   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Princess_(TV_series),  and then we settled into reading some of the titles we had. Man, the three year old got every single humour! Be it the hairstyle of the princess thanks to the crown, the same style of clothes that she keeps choosing from, the tantrum and the open mouth scream, the admiral with a swimming tube, or the twist of the tongue when the princess writes letters. Hats off the the clever illustration that so spoke to a child's mind.  

Parents- this is a must- explore for your preschoolers  if you want to introduce your kids to quirky humour. The main character is everything that you would warn your toddler about- bratty/ loud/rude/ demanding (most of the books start with a "I want..." title) and yet children get it because it features the joys and frustrations of childhood in the most endearing manner and an impish smile! 

 My favourite title is  "I want to be"
 

http://www.littleprincesskingdom.com/

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

I want!



I want everything from here: http://playfullearning.net/10-books-that-inspire-kids-to-write/




Santa! Are you listening?! :)




This one especially , " My Map Book" by Sara Fanelli. a wonderful picture book with vivid maps of the author’s bedroom, neighborhood, tummy, heart and so on…



Friday, 5 September 2014

Myths and Legends from India- How and Why tales

Great book. Simple language. Charming stories that explain everyday rituals and practices in Hindu culture and the mythological beliefs behind them. Written from the perspective of a grandmother , the author, Rama Srinivas, committed to paper those oral folklores that gets passed down from one generation to another. Which is why not only they make a great read but are a valued contribution to the existing  repository of mythological Hindu tales. Also, 'Greystroke' a regular on the illustrator circuit has contributed to it. ( Bangalore peeps would probably have met him in the Bangalore Children's literature groups)











I like the stories  because they explain  the why and how of simple rituals practiced in our everyday life. For example, the origin of the practice of knocking on one's head while visiting a temple; or explaining why touching the ears or prostrating before God is common amongst some worshippers. Here is a nice story whose snapshot I attach about the 'One Eyed Crow'.  


Here is a nice note from the author explaining the origins of her book.




The copy I have is from my daughter's school library. It was published by MacMillan India Limited in 1997 and priced at Rs. 18/- However I find no internet trail and am wondering if it was reproduced. What a pity if it is not. 

 P.s. Sorry about the bad quality pictures on this post- taken from my mobile phone and shaky hand.


Thursday, 4 September 2014

Holy Cow and Other Divine Beasts



Indian Mythological tales are to me the best form of story telling. Full of imagination, excitement, vividity, they contain a special appeal to children. They are also quite amenable to vivd illustrations so when I picked up this book and saw how its author and artist , Shiela Dhir has interpreted the stories in traditional Mithila style of art form, I was hooked.


And this Scholastic book written and illustrated by Shiela Dhir does such a wonderful job. The illustrations are also done by the author (since she is a NID graduate- this makes sense!)  in the Mihila art style making this book come alive with its colour and form. The simple narrative are like short stories describing mythical Hindu  figures ranging from Surabhi, Hanuman, Airavata, Manasa, Varaha, Narsimha, Ananta, Matsya , Garuda.Kurma. Very educative for parents like me who are very sketchy  with their mythological knowledge with a  kid  who wants to be very up to date!
Here is a sample page I clicked from my phone to give you an idea, my crude version of Look Inside"!



And here's some interesting Trivia about the author:http://scholastic.co.in/en/authors/sheila-dhir

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Little Princess Tony Ross



HAHAHA to the 'Little Princess' books that always make us laugh.

We stumbled upon this series when we were watching BBC's channel 5 programs and Man! what a find! Ever since we have been squealing in delight on discovering  these books  in libraries or book shops here in Bangalore!

Tony Ross is the author/illustrator and here is a lovely write up about his other work (also illustrated the Horrid Henry series )

This adoringly impish princess is the main character of this book series; surrounded by grown ups of the royal household such as her parents- the king and queen, little brother, admiral, cook, nanny, prime - minister, and the doctor . Lovely illustrations;crazy illustrations- Little Princess wearing a saucepan on her head, the nose digger cook, a doctor with chicken pox , a delightful little girl with a crown---what's not to love and laugh!

Also, every 'Little Princess' story has some endearing thought attached. 
Take this book "I want to be" as an example. The cover has a lipstick smeared face and the story begins with her announcement of  " the time has come to grow up". The princess goes around asking "what is the best way to be?"
 "Kind like your father", suggests her mother; "Loving, like your mother", suggests her father; "Clean", says the cook standing in a filthy kitchen as he sticks a finger in his nose ; the prime minister, worried about his last piece of a puzzle says ``be clever''; and the doctor--covered with pox--advises her to "be healthy". Finally confused with all these replies she goes to her nanny who lovingly lifts her up in her arms and instructs her to " Be yourself"

At the end sitting on her potty she declares "I want to be tall" and in comes her little brother saying " You are already tall"!

Such giggles.