By Neha Kirpal
Reading books is known to have multiple benefits in growing children, including improved cognitive development, language skills, concentration, discipline, imagination and creativity. This Children’s Day, November 14, eShe brings you a list of 14 recently released books for children across the ages five to 12 and above.
Subjects and themes range from spirituality to festivals, food, technology, animals, Indian culture and eminent Indians. Read on, and take your pick. Because what better gift can we give our little ones this Children’s Day?
(Click on the photos for purchase information.)
Young bright Kartik is the son of Shiva and Parvati. Kartik feels left out, because everyone in his family has special powers except him. He goes to meet Lord Brahma in Brahmaloka and asks him a simple question – what Aum means and why it is auspicious. This makes Brahma angry. Finally, Kartik lucidly answers the question himself, and lucidly explains it to all the grownups around him. This delightful story proves that “the clarity of a child can unravel even the deepest mysteries of the universe.”
Five-year-old Devika is anxious because she is starting a new school. Just then, her grandmother who had become a star two years ago, visits her, taking her on an adventure – through books and libraries – which helps Devika confront her fears. The book is inspired by the author’s mother-in-law, Bandana Sen, a pioneer in the field of children’s libraries and reading programmes in India.
Sen built a beautiful library with hundreds of books for her granddaughters at home. The book explains that, “At any given moment, for every child, there is a perfect book and, for every book, there is a perfect child. It is our job to make the two meet each other.”
Here’s a unique biography that explores and celebrates the life of an Indian popstar as a feisty little girl. Right from her childhood, Usha Uthup knew that music was her true calling. She picked up songs from the radio and sang with her big, booming voice. But when rejected during the audition for her school choir, Usha wondered if her big voice was any good. All she wanted was to sing. Does she find a way? Read this lovely book to find out.
Parvati, the elephant, has an important role to play in the temple during Kerala’s pooram festival. Very excited about the role, the elephant dresses in bright colours and gets ready for the festivities. By narrating a day in the life of a temple elephant, this colourful rhyming picture book describes in detail how the festival is celebrated, showcasing the colour, sounds, and pulsing feel of Kerala temple traditions. It’s the perfect gift for kids who are fascinated by these majestic creatures.
An enchanting cottage, a scandal and a former life. The master storyteller is back with a quaint new tale set in the hills. The story’s protagonist has rented a lonely cottage near a forest during the summer in order to write books. In no time, odd things begin to happen. He sees a disturbing dream at night, and goes onto encounter an owl, the vision of a witch, a solitary grave, and even a leopard.
The book, filled with lovely descriptions of nature, is accompanied by some striking pictures to go with the story. “Chance gives, and takes away, and gives again,” writes Bond.
Srinivasa Ramanujan wants to go to school in Kumbakonam only to do maths but his class has no maths teacher this year. Instead, there is a series of substitutes making the boys do strange exercises – lifting iron ingots, measuring milk, jumping from one island to another and frying fish.
Ramanujan wants no part in it, but he and his team, the Kumbakonam Krackerjacks are drawn into a challenge with the Triumphant Trio – and in any maths challenge, Ramanujan has to win!
Filled with rollicking humour, puns, puzzles, this meticulously researched novel describes the childhood of one of the world’s greatest mathematicians in a vividly imagined historical setting.
Join 26-year-old creator of masterful desserts, Shivesh Bhatia, as he dishes out recipes of 42 delicious dishes for 21 special days of the year. The book is divided into memorable days with easy recipes for each day (Valentine’s Day, Holi, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Friendship Day, Teacher’s Day, Christmas, Halloween, Grandparent’s Day, and more).
Recipes include hot chocolate, nutella, mousse, popsicles, waffles, milkshakes, cupcakes, muffins, cookies, truffles and homemade ice cream. With this book, Bhatia hopes that children discover the pleasure of making something from scratch in the kitchen. A yummy books that all kids will love!
This is book one in the Young Techie Series, a set of books about everyday technology. Alia and Copa are two young learners who take readers through the exciting world of everyday technology. In a conversational and easy-to-understand style, this handbook presents several complex concepts and fundamentals, such as the internet, search engine, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), extended reality and cyber safety.
The book is filled with vibrant illustrations and interesting trivia, which helps simplify these topics, making them fun for young readers.
This year marked India’s 75th Independence Day. To celebrate the occasion, this book examines the lives and contributions of 75 eminent people who helped shape modern India. The icons included in the collection cover a spectrum across political leaders, scientists, public servants, industrialists, environmentalists, artists, writers, activists and more.
Notable persons in the list include Vallabhbhai Patel, Vikram Sarabhai, Homi Bhabha and Sunderlal Bahuguna. There are also detailed biographies, trivia and facts about well-known female pioneers, such as Amrit Kaur, Muthulakshmi Reddy, Gaura Devi, Medha Patkar and M S Subbulakshmi.
When Kanna and Molu go home on vacation, they stay in a beautiful village surrounded by hills, farms and forests. Their grandmother reads exciting stories to them about various mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Along the way, they discover a treasure trove of information about endangered species and their habitats in the country.
A collection of 26 stories with an overarching theme of species endangerment, the book traces the lives and adventures of wild creatures across India – its deserts, oceans, rivers, jungles and forest reserves. The book is written with the intent to encourage children to be aware of and appreciate India’s rich faunal diversity.
Set in the early fourth century, this is a story about sibling rivalry, featuring two princes of the Gupta kingdom, Prince Rama and Prince Chandra, the sons of Emperor Samudragupta. Prince Chandra is an ideal prince, hardworking and able. Prince Rama, on the other hand, is a proverbial prodigal son, who leans towards a life of luxury.
When Chandra is trapped in a web of deceit by Rama, he has to fight several major battles to the throne. The story is inspired by Vishakhadatta’s play ‘Devichandraguptam’, about the turbulent relationship Chandragupta shared with his elder brother Ramagupta.
This spooky story set in Fort Kochi is about 12-year-old Edwin, who blames his father, a wayward fisherman, for everything wrong in his life. When he meets Velu, Edwin’s life goes from bad to chaotic. Velu is the ghost of a fisherman who was slaughtered five hundred years ago by Kapitan Vasca da Gama.
Soon, Velu spirits himself into Edwin’s life, appearing everywhere at the most unwelcome moments – until Edwin banishes him from his life. However, Edwin later realises that Velu has actually helped heal his family in ways he had never imagined possible.
When self-indulgent Rahul’s bike collides with a truck, he finds himself walking the line between life and death. Between heaven and earth, Rahul wants to go back. But first he must pass the test for a second chance at life – and Chitragupta will decide. For that, Rahul is granted an internship to travel through heaven under the guidance of Lord Krishna.
Four gurus talk to him about caste, family, youth, the environment and living righteously. The book reflects the soul of India’s rich culture and value system.
This supersonic adventure set in the early 1960s in a dusty old farm town in the Midwest of America is the story of 12-year-old Ruth, an orphan who is obsessed with the outer space. She stays up all night to watch the stars from her tiny attic room in her aunt’s farmhouse. When a flying saucer crash-lands in the cornfield, Ruth finds herself in the midst of a thrilling adventure – and a friendship that will span the universe.
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