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Fascinating February 2023 Reads for Your Penguinster! ?

Cuddled up with your kid and looking for the perfect bedtime story? Penguin’s got you covered. Here are our February recommendations to make your kids warm up to reading. 

My First Ruskin Bond Collection by Ruskin Bond

My First Ruskin Bond Collection: A Set of 10 Chapter Books
My First Ruskin Bond Collection || Ruskin Bond

A carefully picked collection of ten concise, endearingly illustrated stories from India’s favourite storyteller, each book provides a wonderful introduction to the world of Ruskin Bond through fascinating characters and stories that are delightfully crafted in his particular way. This boxset of heartwarming, humorous, and vibrant books makes the ideal present for independent and beginning readers.

10 Unforgettable Indians and their Remarkable Stories 

Puffin Lives: 10 Unforgettable Indians and their Remarkable Stories (Boxset)
10 Unforgettable Indians and their Remarkable Stories

These biographies, written by authors like Sreelata Menon, Subhadra Sen Gupta, Devika Rangachari, and others, reconstruct the lives and legacies of famous people. This compilation of fascinating stories about trailblazers like Mahatma Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, Guru Nanak, and Mother Teresa are laced with anecdotes, obscure facts, and trivia. Each book is an engrossing tale of icons whose lives continue to inspire every generation, making this a wonderful gift package for young readers.

My Little Book of Gods and Goddesses Boxset 

My Little Book of Gods and Goddesses Boxset
My Little Book of Gods and Goddesses

This collection of six endearingly designed board books features stories about some of the most well-known and adored Hindu deities, including Krishna, Ganesha, Lakshmi, Hanuman, Shiva, and Durga. These books provide a special and pleasant introduction to classic myths for contemporary kids. They include fascinating facts about each god as well as a seek-and-find exercise.

Hanuman: Anjani’s Mighty Son (Read and Colour) by Devdutt Patnaik

Hanuman: Anjani’s Mighty Son (Read and Colour)
Hanuman: Anjani’s Mighty Son || Devdutt Patnaik

A new generation of readers is introduced to the tale of Hanuman, a beloved Hindu god, by Devdutt Pattanaik. The read-aloud version of Hanuman, Anjani’s Mighty Son is ideal for introducing young readers to the courage, selflessness, loyalty, and humility that Hanuman possessed. Young readers will love this distinctive, interactive style, especially for nighttime reading.

Terminal 3 by Debasmita Dasgupta

Terminal 3: A Graphic Novel set in Kashmir
Terminal 3 || Debasmita Dasgupta

Khwab has persevered through bliss and emptiness, desire and loss, penance and serenity. She has a dream about the day when life will be a paradise. The story of the common people in the Valley attempting to live their dreams is told in Terminal 3’s breathing against the setting of violence.

Taatung Tatung and Other Amazing Stories of India’s Diverse Languages by Vaishali Shroff

Taatung Tatung and Other Amazing Stories of India’s Diverse Languages
Taatung Tatung || Vaishali Shroff

Khwab has persevered through bliss and emptiness, desire and loss, penance and serenity. She has a dream about the day when life will be a paradise. The story of the common people in the Valley attempting to live their dreams is told in Terminal 3’s breathing against the setting of violence.

Dakshin by Nitin Kushalappa MP

Dakshin: South Indian Myths and Fables Retold
Dakshin || Nitin Kushalappa MP

Explore this collection of fifteen colourful myths, fables, and folktales from vivacious southern India. Discover the alluring fairies, elves, gods, and goddesses along the route as you journey from the banks of the Kaveri to the coasts of the Indian Ocean, from the depths of enigmatic jungles to the towering Nilgiris, from the opulent palaces of kings to tranquil villages in Coorg. Chuckle at a miser’s humorous actions. Cry at the foolish misfortunes. Be in awe of the weak’s bravery in the face of the powerful. Come and enjoy these wonderful folktales!

Munni Monster by Madhurima Vidyarthi

Munni Monster
Munni Monster || Madhurima Vidyarthi

When Munni, a relative of her grandmother’s who has cerebral palsy, moves in with them, Mishti’s life is drastically altered. Her only thought is to somehow get her to leave. But as time goes on, Munni develops oddly appealing tendencies, and when things reach a crisis point, Mishti isn’t so sure Munni is the monster she initially believed she was. A humorously moving tale about a young boy, 10, who must deal with unexpected and challenging changes, a disability, and, most importantly, love.

The Complete Vikram–Aditya Stories by Deepak Dalal

The Complete Vikram–Aditya Stories
The Complete Vikram–Aditya Stories || Deepak Dalal

India’s response to the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and Famous Five mystery novels is the Complete Vikram-Aditya Stories boxset. This collector’s edition boxset includes all eight volumes for the first time ever. The dynamic duo of Vikram and Aditya, together with their ragtag crew of companions, set off on exciting excursions where they come face to face with frightened wild creatures, secluded indigenous communities, and a number of other frightening situations.


Chitti’s Travelling Book Box by Kavitha Punniyamurthi

Chitti’s Travelling Book Box
Chitti’s Travelling Book Box || Kavitha Punniyamurthi

Chitti enjoys reading. But her town doesn’t have enough books, and some of her friends believe they’re boring! Can Chitti convince them to reconsider?

Learn about India’s history with our August books

We have published amazing books in August for you and our young readers. So, spend the holidays and long weekends with your little ones reading them stories of courageous people and helping them understand India’s history.


The Train to Tanjore

The Train to Tanjore
The Train to Tanjore || Devika Rangachari

Tanjore, 1942

There are few excitements in Thambi’s quiet life. There is the new hotel, disapproved of by elders, which lures him with the aroma of sambar with onions. There are visits to the library to read the newspaper, and once in a while, a new movie at the Rajaram Electric Theatre. More disagreeably, there are fortnightly visits from his uncle to lay down the law.

When Gandhiji announces the Quit India movement, Tanjore is torn apart by protests. The train station-the lifeline of the town-is vandalized. Mysterious leaflets are circulated, containing news that newspapers do not publish. And inspired by the idea of a free India and his own dreams of being an engineer, Thambi must find the courage to do what he believes is right, even when it endangers all he holds dear.

The Songs of Freedom series explores the lives of children across India during the struggle for independence.


A Conspiracy in Calcutta

A Conspiracy in Calcutta
A Conspiracy in Calcutta || Lesley D. Biswas

Calcutta, 1928

As the student protests gather momentum all across Calcutta, and police atrocities grow, ten-year-old Bithi wants to join in the struggle for freedom.

But living in a society where her best friend is to be married and just the fact that she is going to school is regarded with disapproval, how can Bithi play a substantial part? How can she fight those who are dearest to her? Discouraged but not daunted, Bithi schemes and plots and lies and is drawn into unexpected danger-all for the sake of fighting injustice in all its forms.

The Songs of Freedom series explores the lives of children across India during the struggle for independence.


After Midnight

After Midnight
After Midnight || Meghaa Gupta

At the time of independence, few believed that a country made up of over 500 princely states and British provinces could survive as a nation, even for a few years. That a land stripped of its riches, wracked by disease and famine and divided along tense communal lines, could thrive in its ambition and aspirations. Yet, in 75 years since independence, India has grown beyond anyone’s expectation. Today it’s an Asian powerhouse, poised to become the third largest economy in the world. In many ways, this is one of the greatest underdog-beating-the-odds stories in world history.

How did India get this far? What were the sweeping social, cultural, scientific, political, military, environmental and economic developments it witnessed along the way? Interspersed with personal anecdotes, illustrations, infographics, informative timelines and pull quotes, After Midnight gives a powerful context to the present and revels in the diverse and remarkable ideas that have come to shape this great nation. It attempts to provide young readers with perspective, meaning, and food for thought as they try to comprehend the many facets of this fascinating country. This well-researched, accessible and definitive handbook tells the story of India like never before.


The Vanguards of Azad Hind

The Vanguards of Azad Hind
The Vanguards of Azad Hind || Gayathri Ponvannan

The year is 1943 in British India . . .

Kayal is a 16-year-old freedom fighter who takes part in marches, burns British goods and sabotages trains-all without the knowledge of her law-abiding family. So, it comes as quite a surprise when Kayal discovers that her aunt Uma is a soldier in the Azad Hind Fauj, the all-volunteer Indian National Army from Southeast Asia led by Subhash Chandra Bose, which aims to free India!

By what Kayal considers a huge stroke of luck, Uma agrees to take her along to a recruitment camp in Burma. Suddenly, the war, which had once seemed a distant thrill, now becomes a horrific reality.

Packed with adventures of teenagers as they join military boot camps, and set off on the most exciting journey of their lives, The Vanguards of Azad Hind is an ode to the Azad Hind Fauj and its women’s unit, the Rani of Jhansi regiment, whose soldiers proved to be trailblazers with their feisty passion to fight for India’s freedom.


Misfit Madhu

Misfit Madhu
Misfit Madhu || Divya Anand

Madhu is a shy middle-grade developer who spends her holidays creating her dream app, ‘School Santhe’. Soon, the app goes viral…and so does she! And why not? After all, an app where everyone at school can trade stuff is the app they’ve all been waiting for! Madhu now sets her sights on winning the GoTek young developers contest.

But when School Santhe is used to selling leaked test papers, she’s faced with the hardest decision of her life:
a) Shut down the app that made her popular?
b) Or stay silent and become part of something…criminal?

As her dreams begin to crumble – with the entire school now blaming her for the mess her app has caused – Madhu realizes that sometimes, it’s far easier to debug an app than it is to debug your life!



Get your copies of these books from your nearest bookstore or via Amazon.

Help! Avi is in danger (or is he?)

Children are imaginative and curious, which is what makes them so different from adults who almost always lead a mundane life. But what happens when a child’s brain is over-imaginative and borderline paranoid? Meet Avi, the protagonist of Help! My Aai Wants to Eat Me, who is convinced that is Aai is keen on gobbling him up, after watching a documentary that fills his mind with wild ideas. Read an excerpt from the book to find out what happened, below! 

“All in all, not Avi’s favourite day. 

Until it was time for environmental science a.k.a. EVS—a subject Avi LOVED.  

Avi’s favourite subject, EVS

He loved it as much as figs love wasps (so much so that they let the wasp pollinate the fruit and die inside them—‘till death do us part’, just like in the movies that Baba and the Maushis watched and loved). 

He loved it more than birdwatchers loved the forest owlet, which had been believed to be extinct for 113 years until it was rediscovered right here in Maharashtra—the same state that Avi lived in! 

Avi loved it more than . . . well, it was his favourite subject. Unlike HJ who loved maths and art and always got 24 out of 25 marks in them. And today was EVS Film Day! Which meant they all got to watch a wildlife film instead of studying. Avi settled down next to HJ, his knees aching from having stood for thirty-four minutes outside the classroom. ‘Arre, how will I play cricket today?’ 

‘Yeah?’ asked HJ. ‘That bad?’ ‘Shhh . . .’ Kshama hissed like a snake and glared at the two boys. ‘Do you want to spend another class outside?’ 

Avi bit back a retort—Kshama was the class monitor and could easily report him and then he would have to miss EVS Film Day. He had already seen films about climate change, about a tigress called Machli, and one about ghost crabs! 

Miss Mankad

Miss Mankad, who taught EVS, walked into class. Every time Avi looked at his favourite teacher, he was reminded of a meerkat—an upright spine, broad head and large, bright eyes. Except, unlike meerkats, she was six feet and one inch tall. Clearly, she did a great job of teaching, given that Avi knew more facts about the natural world than his herd of classmates put together. 

Miss Mankad shut off all the lights and Avi and Kshama closed all the curtains, turning the room into a dark den, perfect for watching a film. Even more perfect, it was about bears! Avi watched open-mouthed as jamun-like bear cubs wrestled on the screen, a mama sloth bear battled with a tiger (and won) while defending her cubs, and then . . . 




Even worse than the day Avi was having. Another mama bear ate up her second-born cub. 

A terrified Avi

At first, Avi thought she was licking the bear cub. But no. She just gobbled the cub up. Slurp. The baby was gone. Back into her tummy. Where he had lived for so long. Avi’s eyes widened. He gripped his pencil box tightly. What just happened? Did she . . . Really? No, that could NOT have happened. He squinted in the dark to see his classmates’ expressions. He couldn’t make out much, but did Kshama also look horrified? Or was that just her usual expression?” 

Curious about what happens next?  

Get your copy of Help! My Aai Wants to Eat Me to find out! 


Illustration credits: Priya Kurian



Would you like to meet some fantastic beasts from ‘Mythonama’?

Mythonama || Mudita Chauhan-Mubayi, Adittya Nath Mubayi


Winged horses, tusked fish, shape-shifting snakes . . . Bovines that provide endlessly, raptors that devour senselessly. Some so colossal they block the sun, others so infinitesimal they defy vision. No myth is complete without its fabulous creatures, divine or demonic.

While exploring India’s many mythologies, Mudita and Adittya’s Mythonama introduces us to an array of animals, somewhat familiar in appearance yet incredible in ability.


Here are some excerpts from the book.




Krishna displays the fabulous Navagunjara (‘nine beings’) avatar to Arjuna, in an episode from the fifteenth century Sarala Mahabharata, composed in Odia by Sarala Dasa.

This cannot be an earthly creature, thought Arjuna, instinctively reaching for his bow. What stood before him was unseen, unheard of. A rooster’s head on a peacock’s neck; a bull’s hump on a lion’s torso; legs of a deer, tiger, elephant; a serpent’s tail; and a human hand holding a lotus—nine beings in one fantabulous form . . . Could it be divine? It is believed to be Krishna manifesting spectacularly to either reward Arjuna for completing his penance on Manibhadra Hill or, an eco-sensitive interpretation, to prevent him from razing Khandavaprastha to the ground. Realizing that a creature may not exist in human imagination but surely in god’s creation, Arjuna bows to the infinite wisdom of the universe.



BURAQ was the noble white steed of lightning speed, who effortlessly carried the Prophet ﷺ from Mecca to Jerusalem to heaven. A creature of lore, she appears in various artworks with a woman’s head, radiant mane, gem-laden crown, eagle’s wings, peacock’s tail and bejewelled throat. Some believe that the Prophet ﷺ climbed to heaven on a glittering ladder, having fastened Buraq to a wall. Today, we know it as the Buraq Wall or Wailing Wall.



MARDYKHOR (manticore) was a man-eating monster with a scarlet lion-like body, a human face with blue-grey eyes, triple rows of razor-sharp teeth, a scorpion’s tail with spikes it shot (and promptly regrew) and impenetrable hide. It hid in tall grasses, lured men (even three at a time) with its flute- or trumpet-like crooning, paralysed them with toxic stings and devoured them whole, bones, clothes and all. It moved faster than anything and could kill anything except elephants. Creepy!



RE’EM was a Biblical unicorn, or perhaps an aurochs or rhinoceros because—horn. It was strong, swift, agile, untameable and possibly untrustworthy because—pride. One touch of its horn could detox and sweeten any water. Jews believe it dwarfed mountains and dammed the Jordan with its, erm, dung. It couldn’t fit in Noah’s Ark, so it was tied by its horn, allowing it to swim along and poke its mouth in to breathe and feed.



SIMURGH was a benevolent bird deity with a canine head, lion’s claws, often a human face, peacock plumage, healing feathers and copper wings so strong it could carry a whale. It lived atop Saena, the Tree of All Seeds. When it took flight, the branches shuddered and sent millions of seeds across the world, creating life. It lived for 1700 years—witnessing the world’s destruction thrice and gaining endless wisdom—before diving, Phoenix-like, into flames.



Read in detail by getting your copy of Mythonama from a bookstore near you or by ordering online.

What is cyberbullying?

This time, the Super Six of Ganesh Colony are up to something serious! Their friend, Lakshmi, seems to be harbouring a terrible secret–she’s being bullied online! As she receives one nasty message after another, she fears being disqualified from the tournament.

Let’s read this excerpt from Chatur Chanakya vs The World Wide Web to understand what cyberbullying is.


The next day, Arjun walked into assembly feeling determined. He’d decided to discuss his problem with Chanakya right after assembly ended. But just as the students were about to disperse after the national anthem, Dr Dolly Henry, the principal, took over the microphone and requested the students to settle down. Everyone started looking around. This urgent meeting convened by her sent a wave of murmurs through the room that was packed to capacity. It seemed that the president, trustees, secretary and other school management were in attendance too.

Chatur Chanakya vs the World Wide Web
Chatur Chanakya vs the World Wide Web || Radhakrishnan Pillai

‘Dear students, good morning,’ Dr Henry began. ‘I know that most of you and your parents use social media. Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter and even YouTube . . . it is all helpful, we all know that. We find information and new ideas for projects and assignments online. It opens our minds to a new world of possibilities. It broadens our vision and we come to know what is happening around the world. But while we can use it to our advantage, let us be aware that it can also do a lot of harm.’

She paused and looked at the students with deep concern before continuing, ‘Yesterday, we were called by an official of the education department for a meeting. Principals from schools in Mulund and the surrounding areas were present there.’

Dr Henry continued, ‘Most of us have seen that both adults and children are quick to develop an addiction to smartphones and social media. But did you know that we are vulnerable to attack when we’re online? Even your parents can be targets of cybercrime. In the past, internet accounts have been hacked and money has been transferred from bank accounts by accessing personal information. But today, I’m here to talk to you about something closer to home.’ The principal’s eyes scanned the crowd. The children shifted on their feet; even the teachers sat up straight.

‘In the meeting, one of the school principals presented a case of a young girl from her school, who had made a friend on Facebook. The girl had accepted the friend request and been chatting with this friend regularly because after looking at her pictures, she thought it was someone she’d seen in her tuition classes.

‘One day, this friend asked her to meet up for a snack outside her school. When the girl agreed and went there, the friend was nowhere to be seen. Instead, a man came to her and told her that he was her friend’s father, and that she was waiting for her on the other side of the road. So this innocent girl started walking with this man. But his intention was to take her away!

‘Luckily, one of the schoolteachers saw her along with this unknown man and immediately sensed something was wrong. The teacher went and asked the girl who he was. When the teacher started to cross-examine the man, he ran away. The young girl was so shocked. She was so disturbed by this incident that she started to distrust all her friends.

‘The good news is that the girl is fine now, thanks to the support of her school, parents and friends.’ Dr Henry breathed a sigh of relief.

‘But,’ she added, ‘we have been asked to be cautious, given the rise in the number of cybercriminals and bullies. There have been cases of people who have been harassed and bullied by their own classmates. This is called cyberbullying.

My dear students, it is our responsibility as a school and management to tell you about this and make you aware of the dangers that are all around us.


Read to your little ones this story about cyberbullying and much more! Get your copy from the nearest bookstores or online.

‘Tis the season to be jolly: Our top picks for December are here!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and as your little ones celebrate this festive season, make the most of their time at home with our exclusive selection for December. Winter is all about spreading warmth and joy, and with our exclusive section of books for your bundles of joy, we are celebrating the essence of this season. From wholesome books such as You Are Simply Perfect that will help young teens and tweens to navigate through this tumultuous time, to inspiring reads such as Malhar in the Middle, we have the best December treats for your holiday heart!

Ages 12+

You Are Simply Perfect

Front Cover: You Are Simply Perfect
You Are Simply Perfect||Sadia Saeed

Jealousy. Bullying. Anger. Anxiety. Body image issues. Selfies and social media addiction . . . Are you grappling with any of these?

Let’s be honest, juggling school, extra classes, home, friendships and new relationships can be hard. It’s difficult to find balance and tough not to get affected by the ‘happy’ content we see online. But what is genuine happiness vis-à-vis short-term pleasure? Are we even looking for it in the right place?

Written by a renowned psychologist, this beautifully illustrated book is divided into five parts that will help in easing everyday anxieties. Learn to make friends with yourself, your body, mind and feelings, and to deal with difficult emotions and situations.

You Are Simply Perfect! will equip you with life-changing tools to find contentment–in school and outside. Find your own quiet spaces inside this book with journal pages left for you to write and reflect.

Ages 12+

Chumki and the Pangolin

Cover: Chumki and the Pangolin
Chumki and the Pangolin||Lesley D.Biswas

The dangerous virus is making everything go into lockdown. But the village poacher trying to catch the pangolin Chumki has befriended. How will Chumki save the rare animal in these tough times?

Ages 7+

Malhar in the Middle

Cover: Malhar in the middle
Malhar in the middle||Shruthi Rao

Malhar wants to be a famous tabla player. But why do tabla players always sit to one side of the stage? Are they not important enough? Malhar wants answers–and he wants to sit in the middle!


Ages 0-3

My First Words

Book Cover: My First Words
My First Words||Penguin India

This collection of 15 mini board books is more than just a set of adorable books for a child’s first library–they are also engaging learning tools! The format includes activities like stacking, sorting, counting, matching and identifying colours that encourage interactive learning of basic concepts and facilitate developmental skills in kids.

The box set comprises mini books with sturdy board pages and rounded corners that are perfect for tiny hands. With adorable illustrations and a modern design, this box set includes a variety of relevant topics like first words, animals, numbers, shapes, colours and more.


Ages 3-5

Mazes and More

Cover: Mazes and More
Mazes and More||Penguin India

From adventures in the galaxy, hot air balloon ride, treasure hunt to helping the lion finds its way and much more, each maze provides hours of fun and learning. Amazing Mazes features full-color pages filled with different puzzles and mazes, along with search and find activities to keep little minds engaged. Designed to encourage logical thinking, sharpen hand-eye coordination, these activity-filled pages are sure to keep little puzzlers engaged.

Grab your pencils, trace the squiggly path and follow each amazing maze to a new discovery!

Ages 5-7

The Hook Book Series

Cover: Boy, Bear
The Hook Book Series||Various Authors

These books are for very young readers, aged five and above. The books work well for reading out loud to kids or for young readers just starting to read by themselves. Written by some of the best-known writers for children, and illustrated in exuberant colour by some of India’s most-loved illustrators, these stories are set largely in non-urban settings. Hawaldar Hook is the endearing mascot of the Hook Books. Each book includes short and fun language exercises at the end.

Ages 7+

One Day Elsewhere Series

Cover: The Black Tide
One Day Elsewhere Series||Various Authors

Discover the stories about events that changed the 20th century in the One Day Elsewhere series.


Dreamer Series by Lavanya Karthik

Dreamers Series Banner
Dreamers Series||Lavanya Karthik

The vividly illustrated stories of Teejan Bai and Satyajit Ray in Lavanya Karthik’s Dreamers Series are inspiring for young kids. Karthik’s stories and artworks are perfectly synced with the high and low notes of Teejan Bai’s life and have captured the most significant shots of Satyajit Ray’s life. Both of them are acknowledged and appreciated for their unique talents.

Get your children hooked to the pages of the Dreamers Series and let them get inspired to hone their skills. Here’s a glimpse of the younger selves of Teejan Bai and Satyajit Ray.


The Library of h0les

Cover: The Library of Holes
The Library of Holes||Penguin India

Recognizable by the hOle at the top corner of each book, these chapter books are aimed at kids learning to read independently. They are full of fun stories, gorgeous illustrations and hOles!

The hOle books are early chapter books for children transitioning from picture books to longer books. The stories are contemporary, Indian and with protagonists who are the age of the potential readers, facing dilemmas and challenges which the readers would be familiar with.

Over the years, the hOle books have been shortlisted for or won every major book award in India and a couple internationally.


Ages 8+

And That Is Why . . . Manipuri Myths Retold

Cover: And That Is Why . . . Manipuri Myths Retold
And That Is Why . . . Manipuri Myths Retold||L. Somi Roy

A collection of endearing and vibrant retellings of Manipuri myths told for the first time to the outside world! Discover twelve magical tales from Manipur, the mountain land in the northeast of India on the border with Myanmar. Passed down by learned scholars, balladeers and grandmothers over hundreds of years, these unknown myths and fables are enriched with beautifully rich paintings that will transport you to Manipur!


The Sage with Two Horns

Cover: The Sage with Two Horns
The Sage With Two Horns||Sudha Murty

Have you heard of the king who sacrificed his flesh to keep his word to a pigeon? Or about the throne that gives anyone who sits on it the unique ability to dispense justice! And how about the sculptor who managed to make magnificent statues with no hands at all?

There’s something for everyone in this collection of tales of wisdom and wit!

From quarrels among gods and the follies of great sages to the benevolence of kings and the virtues of ordinary mortals, Sudha Murty spins fresh accounts of lesser-known stories in Indian mythology. Accompanied by fantastical illustrations and narrated in an unassuming fashion, The Sage with Two Horns is sure to delight fans of the beloved storyteller.


Maithili and the Minotaur

Cover: Maithili and the Minotaur
Maithili and the Minotaur||C.G. Salamander

What if our world was a lot more? Filled with unknown creatures-some friendly, some scary.

An outcast to the world of humans, Maithili lives in the outskirts of a magical wilderness. But as she makes new friends in the realm of monsters, she must learn to be careful. Because some monsters are just like humans: mean, nasty and out for blood.

Perfect for fans of Hilda and Arthur and the Golden Rope, join Maithili and the Minotaur on their very first adventure in an outlandish world where nothing is as it seems.


The Very Glum Life of Tootoolu Toop

Cover: The Very Glum Life of Tootoolu Toop
The Very Glum Life of Tootoolu Toop||Stuti Agarwal

A delicious adventure set in Darjeeling about a young witch’s attempts at living a human life. For readers of Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton and David Walliams.

To every witch, wizard and glum,

I’m Tootoolu Toop, a ten-year-old, fully trained witch of the Oonoodiwaga tribe from the Darjeeling mountains. Like every other ordinary human who wants to live a life of magic, we witches and wizards want to experience the non-magical world too (I do for sure). For me, the ‘ordinary’ world is nothing short of an adventure. So I have left my tribe to live life as a glum.

This is my story.

Tootoolu is on the run. From her mundane life of stirring grasshopper’s legs into potions and her underground home where her tribe has been in hiding for 569 years. Will Tootoolu find what she’s looking for-best friends, books and a chance to be who she truly is?



Middle Grade

The Storyteller

Cover: The Storyteller
The Storyteller||Anushka Ravishankar

What if your life depended on being able to tell a good story?

Schariar, King of Persia, would marry a woman every night only to chop off her head every morning. He had sentenced the clever Scherazade to the same fate. Determined to save herself and other women from this gruesome decree, Queen Scherazade begins telling him stories one night-of magic lamps and genies, of fishermen and caliphs, of treasure caves and strange potions.

Tales so wonderful that the one night turns into 1001 . . . But what will happen when Scherazade runs out of yarns to spin? Illustrated afresh, this tenth-anniversary edition offers tales from the Arabian Nights as told by the magical storyteller Scherazade. Narrated in an engaging, tongue-in-cheek style complete with vivid imagery, The Storyteller will keep you spellbound for days!

Young Adults

Naturalist Ruddy

Cover: Naturalist Ruddy
Naturalist Ruddy||Rohan Chakravarty

Are you ‘Ruddy’ for adventure?

In the forests of central India, where teak meets sal and plateaus meet hills, natural history meets detective fiction in an inquisitive Ruddy Mongoose’s investigations. Join Naturalist Ruddy as he unearths some of nature’s most fascinating mysteries in this one-of-a-kind comic book set across India’s various natural habitats.

Learn more about lesser-known animals, insects and organisms of India, and how they interact with their environment!

Will Supersleuths be able to solve this mystery?

Rachita and Aarti have a nemesis who is out to destroy them. Garbage vandals are defacing walls of residential societies. Aarti’s birthday presents include miniature coasters. Rachita starts having egg-themed nightmares. Are these happenings related to the mysterious time-travelling detective gang that is challenging the Superlative Supersleuths? We’re all eager to find out!

Here’s an intriguing excerpt from the third book in the Superlative Super Sleuths series titled The Case of the Nosy Time Travellers.


The Case of the Nosy
The Case of the Nosy || Archit Taneja

Our sleuthing services had been in high demand since we got semi-famous last winter. I’d thought that having Vipul and Ashwin as official Supersleuths would help us manage the load, but the number of cases just kept growing. Aarti had come up with the idea of creating a website during the summer vacations. It’s been a great success: anyone can anonymously request us to solve a mystery. We encourage others to solve them too. It reduces our workload, and we feel good about keeping the spirit of sleuthing alive. Jyoti and Shilpa from our class formed a team and claimed that they’ll solve one before us one of these days. They’ve been failing miserably so far.


We had got a request two days earlier. Someone was vandalizing walls in Aarti’s apartment complex, the Shobhana Hillside View. One of the boundary walls had been smeared with garbage from the dustbins. This had been happening for just under a week. The adults didn’t seem to care much since the wall wasn’t visible during their evening walks or early morning yoga classes, but it stank up the area where the kids played football. Aarti hadn’t noticed it either—she had been busy pet-proofing her home for the last five days.


We had scouted the boundary wall before the party began. It was already dark by then, but my phone’s flashlight was enough to make some initial observations. The garbage patterns on the wall looked random. If the vandals were human, I’d expect them to leave some sort of message behind. Vandals leave messages because it made them look cool. They’d have made some art out of the garbage or arranged it to form curse words or something like that.


Interestingly, smearing trash on the walls seemed a nice way to segregate it. The wet waste remained stuck on the walls, while the dry waste slowly fell down. Could it be that the vandals understood the importance of recycling and wanted the people in the society to segregate their waste better? I noticed a glum-looking eggshell and a banana peel on the ground. I picked them up and smeared them on the wall again so that they could be back with their wet-waste brothers and sisters.


I tried to convince the security guards to show me the CCTV footage. They didn’t take me seriously, even when I tried to bribe them. I put them on the suspect list. My hunch was that the criminal was an animal, one that was really fond of playing with garbage. I’ve heard of pet owners complain about that. We couldn’t spot any strays in the society, so it was likely to be someone’s pet.


‘How many pets are left?’ I whispered into the mic. ‘Around a dozen, I guess. Over,’ Ashwin responded. ‘Make it quick, people will start to leave soon,’ I said. I’ve explained to Ashwin several times that he doesn’t need to use ‘Over’ when he finishes a message. We’re not in the 1950s any more, when only one person could speak on the radio channel at a time. But he insists on doing it because that’s how he’s seen it being done in movies.


I’d asked Aarti to invite everyone in the society who had pets, even if she didn’t know them well. She didn’t have a problem with that. For her, it just meant more gifts and more pets to cuddle with. Uncle and Aunty weren’t pleased, but they couldn’t say no. Our school counsellor must have recommended to our parents that they be extra nice to us after what we had been through.


To find out more about the spying adventures of Rachita and Aarti, read The Case of the Nosy Time Travellers.

Daydreamer Dev loves volcanoes!

Daydreamer Dev loves volcanoes…and daydreams of course!

Forever daydreaming-that’s Dev. Sitting in class or watching the clouds from the roof of Kwality Carpets, he floats off to places all over the world and has wonderful, bizarre adventures.

Mild-mannered schoolboy Dev is no stranger to survival in extreme environments. Classroom trances and home-made flights of fancy take him all over the place-what other kid could have visited Amazon rainforests, summited Mount Everest and crossed the Sahara? Along with the challenges of all this, he also needs to avoid the wrath of teachers and make Amma and Baba proud . . . Not so easy when your brain lives elsewhere!


Dr Ira wore dark-rimmed glasses and had a soft, round face and a gentle voice. Dev could imagine her speaking calmly as the Titanic went down. She listened carefully to Amma and adjusted her glasses to read the two pages supplied by Dev’s headmaster. Dev imagined himself shrinking very steadily so that by the time she looked up, he would be gone.

‘Dev, what do you think about all this?’ Dev realized that he must still be visible. ‘Ma’am, I think it’s very bad that Mrs Kaur needs to write so many notes,’ Dev said. ‘Amma doesn’t like them, and Baba must spend his time lecturing me about concentration and teaching me the meaning of words like “lamentable” and “deplorable”.’

‘Would you be able to tell me about one of your daydreams, Dev?’

Dev told her about the time he hit a six off the final ball at Wankhede Stadium to win the match against Australia, and about riding on a dolphin.

Front cover of Daydreamer Dev
The Astoundingly True Adventures of Daydreamer Dev || Ken Spillman (Author), Suvidha Mistry (Illustrator)

He was launching into another story when she interrupted.

‘Do you have some good friends, Dev?’

Surprised that she wanted to talk about his friends, he told her about Vihaan, Adil and the best of friends ever, OP—Omprakash, as only Mrs Kaur preferred to call him.

Dr Ira asked more questions and looked over his school reports. Eventually, she sat back and looked as squarely at Amma as a round-faced woman could manage.

‘It would be valuable if I could spend some time with Dev alone on another occasion. Would that be all right, Dev?’ Dr Ira paused and when Dev did not say no, she went on. ‘Let’s be clear—daydreams are normal. But recently, there has been some good research on what is called “maladaptive daydreaming”. This is when fantasy tends to takeover. And when fantasy takes over, it can get in the way of everyday things, such as education, or the jobs people do.’

Amma was like a sculpture. She was sitting bolt upright with her head tilted and her lips squeezed together.

‘Dev seems well adjusted socially,’ Dr Ira said.

‘And he’s managing at school. But Mr Bannerji and the school counsellor believe he is gifted and might do very much better.’

The sculpture beside Dev became Amma again.

She nodded vigorously. Dr Ira leant forward.

‘I’d like to explore this a little. Maladaptive daydreamers tend to imagine worlds and stories as relief in times of stress or boredom. In Dev’s case, I suspect it is boredom. But the ability to daydream so vividly that you experience a sense of presence in an imagined environment can be addictive. I can work with Dev to help him develop some strategies to manage it.’

The word ‘maladaptive’ came as a relief.

Evolution was all about adaptation. Dr Ira probably thought Dev needed to adapt, to evolve.

At least he wasn’t going to have an operation or an electric shock.

‘It will be quite painless, young man,’

Dr Ira assured, as if reading his thoughts. ‘Think about it like this. Active volcanoes don’t erupt every day. In fact, most of them very rarely erupt. Your daydreams can rumble away in the background and that’s healthy. We can try to limit unwanted eruptions that affect your education. Does that make sense?’

Actually, it did. And Dev rather liked volcanoes.


For ages 7+!

Sita in Chitwan National Park!

Sita is in Chitwan National Park in Nepal!

As big as 1,78,000 football fields, Nepal’s first protected national park is home to over 550 species of birds; awe-inspiring animals, such as greater one-horned rhinoceroses, Bengal tigers, clouded leopards; and a confident, brave girl called Sita.

Sita dreams of being a nature guide like her baba. With a spring in her step and a group of eager tourists, she unravels the secrets of the forest. But when she wanders astray and comes face to face with a mamma rhino, will this eight-year-old be able to listen to the stillness of the jungle?

Join Sita in Chitwan National Park, a magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site!


There were no female nature guides in Nepal until one woman challenged herself to do something that no woman had.

Meet Doma Paudel, the first female nature guide in Chitwan.

Sita: Hi Doma! I am sure everyone is excited to learn that there is a real-life me! Tell me more about yourself, Doma.

Doma: I was twenty-three years old when I became the first female nature guide in Chitwan, Nepal in 2007. In 2012, I founded Nepal Dynamic Eco Tours to promote sustainable ecotourism. I support wildlife victims and conduct awareness programs on forest conservation. There is always something that keeps me busy.

Front cover of Sita's Chitwan
Siuta’s Chitwan || Vaishali Shroff (Author), Kalp Sanghvi (Illustrator)

Sita: Wow! You wear many hats, Doma! My baba inspired me to become a nature guide. Who inspired you?

Doma: My family’s house in Sauraha is along the border of CNP. Elephants destroyed our bamboo and grass house a few times. Rhinos, deer and wild boars ate our crops. Once, a sloth bear attacked my father. Coming from a poor family, it was hard to recover from these losses. In 2004, we lost our beloved mother to an unexpected rhino attack; she had gone to the forest to collect firewood for the house. But I still love animals and forests.

My  mother  treated  me  no different  than  my  brothers.  She always  encouraged  me  to  follow  my  heart  and  step  out  to  do something for society. In school, I was part of the Green Club and participated in plantation and garbage collection events. That’s where my journey to be a nature guide began and I never looked back.

Sita:  Did you have to undergo special training to become a nature guide?

Doma:  I received training from lots of places including the National Trust of Nature Conservation. I learnt the history of Nepal and Chitwan National Park, the protected areas, all about animal behaviour, safety rules, hospitality, culture, responsible tourism and a lot more!

I was the only female among twenty-five male guides. No one wanted to go with me into the forest because they thought I was not  strong  enough  to  protect  tourists  and  other  guides  from wild animals. But I did not give up. On the first three-day walk I was assigned, a rhino charged at us. I used all my knowledge and training to protect my guests from the rhino. Since that day, everyone knows me as ‘the one who is not afraid’!

Sita: That’s incredible! I once saved a tourist from a rhino attack too! What does a day in the life of Doma Paudel look like?

Doma:  A nature guide’s life is full of excitement, adventure, challenges and risks. In peak season, I am at my office by 6 a.m., planning safaris and tours for our tourists over cups of tea. My guides and I show Chitwan’s beauty and wildlife to our tourists and the last safari ends by 5.30 p.m.  At 6 p.m., all of us get together to share our day’s encounters and stories. No two days in the forest are the same and that’s the most exciting part of my job. When  there  are  no  tourists,  I  organize  events  to  raise  awareness  on conservation efforts  and  the  participation  of  women  in  conservation among our communities and schools. We also visit other national parks to constantly update ourselves.

Sita: What do you love about your job?

Doma: I love that I get to be in the midst of nature and wildlife all the time.  I learn something new about the forest every day.  Just like you, I love meeting new people from different parts of the world, Sita. It’s a very special feeling to know that you have taken more and more people closer to nature and made them feel more empathetic towards nature and its biodiversity. I am an ambassador of nature and proud to have inspired many women to become nature guides and make families believe that it’s not just a man’s job. And I don’t miss a chance to meditate in the forest—it’s the best place to do so!

Sita: Thank you, Doma. You inspire me to not give up on my dream!

Careful what you wish for

All Time Favourites for Children celebrates Ruskin Bond’s writing with stories that are perennially loved and can now be enjoyed in a single collectible volume. Curated and selected by India’s most loved writer, this collection brings some of the evocative episodes from Ruskin’s life. It brings together many known charming, endearing characters such as the iconic Rusty, the eccentric Uncle Ken and the ubiquitous grandmother, and a smattering of new ones that are sure to be firm favourites with young readers, especially middle schoolers. Heart-warming, funny and spirited, this is a must-have on every bookshelf!

All-Time Favourites FC
All-Time Favourites||Ruskin Bond

Here’s a taste of what’s in store in this exciting collection of stories. An extract from the story of a parrot who could, but ‘wouldn’t’ talk. ‘What goes around comes around’ is a complete mood in this one.


‘Kiss, kiss!’ Aunt Ruby would coo, putting her face close to the barge of the cage. But the parrot would back away, its beady little eyes getting even smaller with anger at the prospect of being kissed by Aunt Ruby. On one occasion, it lunged forward without warning and knocked my aunt’s spectacles off her nose.

After that, Aunt Ruby gave up her endearments and became quite hostile towards the poor bird, making faces at it and calling out, ‘Can’t talk, can’t sing, can’t dance!’ and other nasty comments.

It fell upon me, then ten years old, to feed the parrot, and it seemed quite happy to receive green chillies and ripe tomatoes from my hands, these delicacies being supplemented by slices of mango, for it was then the mango season. It also gave me an opportunity to consume a couple of mangoes while feeding the parrot.

One afternoon, while everyone was indoors enjoying a siesta, I gave the parrot his lunch and then deliberately left the cage door open. Seconds later, the bird was winging its way to the freedom of the mango orchard.

At the same time, Grandfather came to the veranda and remarked, ‘I see your aunt’s parrot has escaped!’

‘The door was quite loose,’ I said with a shrug.

‘Well, I don’t suppose we’ll see it again.’

Aunt Ruby was upset at first and threatened to buy another bird. We put her off by promising to buy her a bowl of goldfish.

‘But goldfish don’t talk!’ she protested.

‘Well, neither did your bird,’ said Grandfather. ‘So we’ll get you a gramophone. You can listen to Clara Cluck all day. They say she sings like a nightingale.’

I thought we’d never see the parrot again, but it probably missed its green chillies, because a few days later I found the bird sitting on the veranda railing, looking expectantly at me with its head cocked to one side. Unselfishly, I gave the parrot

half of my mango.

While the bird was enjoying the mango, Aunt Ruby emerged from her room and, with a cry of surprise, called out, ‘Look, my parrot’s come back! He must have missed me!’

With a loud squawk, the parrot flew out of her reach and, perching on the nearest rose bush, glared at Aunt Ruby and shrieked at her in my aunt’s familiar tones: ‘You’re no beauty! Can’t talk, can’t sing, can’t dance!’

Aunt Ruby went ruby-red and dashed indoors.

But that wasn’t the end of the affair. The parrot became a frequent visitor to the garden and veranda and whenever it saw Aunt Ruby it would call out, ‘You’re no beauty, you’re no beauty! Can’t sing, can’t dance!’

The parrot had learnt to talk, after all.

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