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:

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 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,,  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"