One of the most exciting things for me as both a writer and a reader is watching new books come into the market. As a reader, I’m happy because, well, who doesn’t like spanking new content? As a writer — I feel a kinship with other writers of children’s literature, and so, there’s a sense of satisfaction that there are more treasures that children can choose from. So, every once in a while, I’m going to bring you some latest books that have gladdened my heart.
Up the Mountains of India: A Fun, Fact-filled Trek Across the Country’s Major Ranges by Mala Kumar contains a wealth of information about mountains, for which I nurse a particular love. It’s filled with fun facts on a large variety of subjects related to mountains. Geography, yes, biology, yes, but even history and science and forestry and geology and anthropology — it’s a mini-encyclopedia, a great book to dip into to learn about your favorite mountains.
Paati vs UNCLE (The Underground Nightly Cooperative League of Elders) by Meera Ganapathi, illustrated by Parmita Mukherjee, is a delightful, hilarious story about Inju, whose dreams of an uneventful vacation are dashed by a series of robberies and his spirited grandma’s determination to get to the bottom of it. The story flows effortlessly and had me chuckling all through.
The Smartypants series is a new series of science picture books by one of India’s best writers, Anushka Ravishankar. They are illustrated by Pia Alize Hazarika. At the most basic level, these are nonfiction books explaining the basics of science topics, including stuff like Evolution, Gravity, Photosynthesis and the Solar System. But interspersed with the serious text are hilarious answers to questions asked by a smartypants cat. These are the kind of questions that the little smartypants in your life would ask. Not a boring moment. The illustrations and color palette complement the mood of the books perfectly.
In Harvest Day by Niyatee Sharma, illustrated by Vibha Surya, Ananya’s family plants seeds in their garden. As they wait for harvest day, they watch the exciting developments of the plants that have grown from their seeds. But Ananya’s plant grows no flowers, no fruits, just leaves. Will she have anything to harvest at all? Perfect for the little gardeners and plant lovers in your life.
Batata, Pao, and all things Portuguese is a graphic novel by Vaishali Shroff, illustrated by Suha Riyaz Khopatkar. Not many children know about the strong Portuguese connection in India’s history. This book attempts to set that right. A combination of historical fiction and nonfiction—great for anybody curious about our history.
Kesar and the Lullaby Birds by Aditi Oza and Debasmita Dasgupta is a story set in the Great Rann of Kutch, in a family of traditional artisans. The illustrations in this book are simply gorgeous.
The author has written 14 books for children and can be reached at www.shruthi-rao.com
gobbledybook is a fortnightly column that gives a peek into the wondrous world of children’s books. Hop on! Or as Alice did, plunge into the rabbit hole.