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.

Monday, 25 August 2014

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

Would love, love, love to have this book with me. Here's a review ( not mine- since I haven't checked it out myself) that is getting me all excited about owning this:
I bought The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds recently and thought it was wonderful.It’s about a young girl who doesn’t think she can draw, but who has an amazing art teacher who encourages her creativity and artistic self-confidence. Maia enjoys The Dot and wants to read it several times in a sitting, but the book is really aimed at older kids and even adults. Maia, of course, hasn’t gotten to the stage where she might question her drawing ability and I hope that she never does.I worried a little (as I worry about everything!) that by reading her a book about a child who doesn’t think she can draw that I might be introducing the concept to her. But in the end I decided that the book is really about a girl who grows tremendously in creativity and confidence and who goes on to draw and paint enough for a whole art show. And really, I shouldn’t worry so much!THE DOT IS A BOOK ABOUT CREATIVITY And is written to encourage artistic self confidence.

Via: http://artfulparent.com/2008/02/the-dot-a-book-about-creativity-and-confidence.html

Rimjhim - Hindi Textbook

Young Hindi language learners!!!
The NCERT Hindi textbook may just be the right resource for you if you are interested to learn a language in the most interesting of ways: art, activities, stories,culture, folklore and more!

Very impressed with this Class 1 CBSE textbook that I picked up called 'Rimjhim' .It is simple, fun, and attractive book ---gently encourages your child towards learning Hindi  pick the RimJhim series published by NCERT.
The class 1 book meant for a 6 year old has no " k, kha , gaa"  to memorise before anything else. It dives straight into a world of stories and imagination with words that kids relate to in their school life. Wonderful illustrations, Hindi ditties, folk art (Madhubani or Warli anyone?) , riddles, picture stories- what else can you ask for while teaching a language! I just wish they had improved on the paper quality but maybe it is a trade off for keeping the prices low. (Rs 50/-)

If you are a looking to pick up a Hindi book to teach your kid the language, do seriously think of this. If you are looking to supplement the existing Hindi textbooks prescribed in the school , even then think of this.
Here is a link where you can download them online for free:


Monday, 28 July 2014

Taking  a break from reviewing children's books  to put this wonderful resource up
: http://en.childrenslibrary.org/
 where you can get some wonderful children's books digitally archived for you to read for free.

Here is what part of their mission statement says :
The ICDL Foundation's goal is to build a collection of books that represents outstanding historical and contemporary books from throughout the world. Ultimately, the Foundation aspires to have every culture and language represented so that every child can know and appreciate the riches of children's literature from the world community.

How wonderful! 

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Dolma visits the city

School closes for the winter break and Dolma is excited about her vacations. She is singing her father’s favourite song while waiting for him to come home. On seeing her dad, Pa-La , Dolma runs up to him in joy. But Pa-La doesn’t share her excitement about school holidays and Dolma remembers why. He will soon have to go away to the big city to earn a living. Like many other Tibetan refugees of the Phuntsokling refugee camp , in Chandagiri, Orissa , Pa-La will once again spend the winter away from Dolma and her mother selling sweaters in Bangalore. Although Dolma loves to sing, no one can coax a song out of Dolma after her Pa-la goes away. 
But Ama-La , Dolma’s mother, has a surprise for Dolma. They are going to Bangalore to help and be with Pa-La. Dolma visits a big Indian city for the first time- excited and nervous- observing the traffic, customs, markets and the people. Dolma does her best to help not only in setting up the shop but also in cooking the Thukpa, organizing a community feast, and celebrating Losar, the Tibetan New Year, with other Tibetans sellers in Bangalore. In the end, much to her Pa-La’s delight, Dolma sings a lovely Tibetan folk song for every one present.

A gift from a friend,Benson,  this book didn't catch my 5 year old's fancy for a while because of the long text. But once we did a reading together, she was on a roll. I often saw her seeking it out and reading it and attempting to mimic some of the words and it soon became a hot favourite!

Also written as a political commentary  ( which book on Tibet and its people wouldn't be ) Aravinda Anantharaman cleverly introduces  Tibetan customs, language, food, and culture through a simple story.  This  book can be a great way to encourage discussion about different communities, life in exile,  and at the same time about the hopes and aspirations of children alike. 

At the end a well compiled glossary provides more nuggets of information. There is even an interesting glossary of Tibetan words used in the book. It is one of the two children’s books written as Meyul series that attempt to offer children a glimpse of life in an exile community. (Meyul is a Tibetan word that means a place that is not one’s home. ) More on this here: http://www.thinktibet.org/project/books/dolma-visit-the-city