Publish with us

Follow Penguin

Follow Penguinsters

Follow Hind Pocket Books

Must-read books of August

We know that the little ones are busy adoring the blue sky these days turning into purple-pink and are wondering whether to mutter ‘Oh! August is finally here!’ or ‘Aww! It’s only August’. So, taking care of their visual palette, we intend to captivate their attention with our vibrant and colourful covers of our latest releases in August and promise to keep them entertained, engrossed, and ecstatic. The curated list ranges from care to courage, mantra to nostalgia, and struggle to success. It’s time for you to make some space in your bookshelves for these amazing titles.

Here is a list of our recommendations for August.

 

A Giant Leap
A Giant Leap || Thomas Scotto,  Translated by Nakashi Chowdhry

This is one of the books in the One Day Elsewhere series. It’s 20 July 1969. At home, June is waiting for a big event, the biggest of her life: the birth of the baby that’s in her mother’s belly. But in the hospital, on the streets, everyone else is waiting for another big event: a man is about to walk on the Moon.

 

My Father’s Courage
My Father’s Courage || Anne Loyer,  Translated by Nakashi Chowdhry

Aslam helplessly witnesses his father’s arrest: he disobeyed the British authorities by harvesting salt-a heavily taxed item. The boy is assailed with doubt. Why did his father break the law? Why doesn’t sea salt belong to everyone? When he learns that Gandhiji is going to be marching through his village of Jalalpore, Aslam feels hopeful. He is the only one who can oppose the authorities and, maybe, free his father.

 

The Black Tide
The Black Tide || Marie Lenne-Fouquet

Yann, the son of a fisherman in Portsall, loves selling fish at the port with his father. He lays out the ice, puts the fish on it and plays shop. But one day, the sea is very rough. The storm and the wind bring a terrible smell and devastating news: there has been a shipwreck and an oil spill!

 

Shyam, Our Little Krishna
Shyam, Our Little Krishna || Devdutt Pattanaik

In this all-in-one storybook, picture book and colouring book, India’s most-loved mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik introduces the story of Krishna, fondly known as Shyam, to a new generation of readers. Told simply in his inimitable style, Shyam, Our Little Krishna is perfect as a read-aloud to acquaint young readers with the beauty, wisdom and love that Krishna embodied. The book is curated with fascinating bite-sized stories, myths and trivia about the young god, and it features over forty playful artworks accompanied by pages dedicated for colouring.

 

How the Earth Got Its Beauty
How the Earth Got Its Beauty || Sudha Murty

Have you ever stopped to marvel at the earth’s beauty: at snow-capped mountains and oceans so deep; at colourful flowers and extraordinary animals? The tale of how such beauty came into existence is a curious one indeed. India’s favourite storyteller brings alive this timeless tale with her inimitable wit and simplicity. Tricked out with enchanting illustrations, this gorgeous chapter book is the ideal introduction for beginners to the world of Sudha Murty.

 

10 Indian Heroes Who Help People Live With Dignity
10 Indian Heroes Who Help People Live With Dignity || Somak Ghoshal

This book tells the stories of ten Indian heroes who have been working in diverse fields to help society’s most vulnerable live a better life–from securing mobility rights for people with disability to abolishing the practice of manual scavenging. While their challenges are different, what they have in common is the desire to see all human beings live a life of dignity. Journalist Somak Ghoshal writes about the below-mentioned women and men who are trying to make the world a more just and equitable place for everyone.

  1. Irom Sharmila Chanu
  2. Aruna Roy
  3. Bezwada Wilson
  4. Medha Patkar
  5. Dr Devi Shetty
  6. Bhanwari Devi
  7. Menaka Guruswamy
  8. Anup Surendranath
  9. Satinath Sarangi
  10. Mahantesh GK

Bringing Back Grandpa

Bringing Back Grandpa || Madhuri Kamat

As his Grandpa gets ill and more confused, Xerxes’ life becomes correspondingly difficult. There are boys at school playing all kinds of mean tricks on him and his mother wants him to excel, as usual-but it is hard when his main ally Grandpa is not himself. How is Xerxes going to cope with the different things people expect of him? Will he make peace in school? And most importantly, can he help Grandpa become better?

 

Let’s Go Time Travelling Again!
Let’s Go Time Travelling Again! || Subhadra Sen Gupta

How did Indian mulmuls make it into Cleopatra’s wardrobe? Who popularized the Mahabharata in households across the country? Did our ancestors really identify Jupiter and Saturn without even a telescope?

Find the answers to these and many other unusual questions about the India of yesterday. Go time travelling through the alleys of history and explore the many occupations that have existed through time-from dancers and playwrights to farmers and doctors. Sift through snapshots of the rich life led by ordinary Indians and discover unexpected titbits about language, food and culture.

Told through portraits of children growing up in the villages, towns and courts of our country, this sequel to the award-winning Let’s Go Time Travelling is a vivid glimpse into our past.

 

A Cello on the Wall
A Cello on the Wall || Adèle Tariel, Translated by Nakashi Chowdhry

On an ordinary afternoon in West Berlin, Charlie discovers a cello that once belonged to his grandmother. His parents had fled East Berlin with this cello many years ago, while Charlie,s grandparents still live on the other side of the wall. But the year is 1989 and revolt rumbles in the streets of Berlin to tear down the wall. This book is another one in the One Day Elsewhere series.

 

Postbox Kashmir
Postbox Kashmir || Divya Arya

Do only Muslims live in Kashmir?

Why do girls in Kashmir do stone pelting?

Whom do they want freedom from?

Can you imagine being confined to the four walls of your home with no internet, no social media?

Are Kashmiris really invisible to the rest of the country?

These are some of the questions two teenagers–Saumya in Delhi and Duaa in Kashmir–asked through letters they exchanged over almost three years.

Framing these letters is the detailed history and commentary provided by Divya Arya, a BBC journalist who asked them to be pen pals, which places their conversations against the backdrop of the political history and turbulent present of Kashmir and India. Postbox Kashmir takes on the challenging task of attempting to portray life in Kashmir from the perspective of the young minds growing inside it and providing a context of understanding for the young generation watching it from the outside.

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+!

Timeless classics from your favourite storyteller

Sudha Murty’s stories are eternal. We finish the books, we keep them back in the shelves, but we can never forget the wonder inspired by her stories and the fascinating characters she crafts. Here are some of her timeless classics that we keep returning to:

 

front cover How The Onion Got Its Layers
How The Onion Got Its Layers||Sudha Murty

 

 

How the Onion Got Its Layers

 

Have you noticed how the onion has so many layers? And have you seen your mother’s eyes water when she cuts an onion? Here is a remarkable story to tell you why.

India’s favourite storyteller brings alive this timeless tale with her inimitable wit and simplicity. Dotted with charming illustrations, this gorgeous chapter book is the ideal introduction for beginners to the world of Sudha Murty.

 

 

 

front cover Grandma's Bag of Stories
Grandma’s Bag of Stories||Sudha Murty

 

Grandma’s Bag Of Stories

 

Who can resist a good story, especially when it’s being told by Grandma? From her bag emerges tales of kings and cheats, monkeys and mice, bears and gods. Here comes the bear who ate some really bad dessert and got very angry; a lazy man who would not put out a fire till it reached his beard; a princess who got turned into an onion; a queen who discovered silk, and many more weird and wonderful people and animals.

Grandma tells the stories over long summer days and nights, as seven children enjoy life in her little town. The stories entertain, educate and provide hours of enjoyment to them. So come, why don’t you too join in the fun?

 

front cover The Daughter From A Wishing Tree
The Daughter From A Wishing Tree||Sudha Murty

 

The Daughter from a Wishing Tree

 

Did you know that the Trinity often turned to goddesses to defeat the asuras?

Did you know that the first clone in the world was created by a woman?

The women in Indian mythology might be fewer in number, but their stories of strength and mystery in the pages of ancient texts and epics are many. They slayed demons and protected their devotees fiercely. From Parvati to Ashokasundari and from Bhamati to Mandodari, this collection features enchanting and fearless women who frequently led wars on behalf of the gods, were the backbone of their families and makers of their own destinies.

India’s much-loved and bestselling author Sudha Murty takes you on an empowering journey -through the yarns forgotten in time-abounding with remarkable women who will remind you of the strong female influences in your life.

 

front cover The Magic of the Lost Temple
The Magic of the Lost Temple||Sudha Murty

 

The Magic Of The Lost Temple

 

City girl Nooni is surprised at the pace of life in her grandparents’ village in Karnataka. But she quickly gets used to the gentle routine there and involves herself in a flurry of activities, including papad making, organizing picnics and learning to ride a cycle, with her new-found friends.

Things get exciting when Nooni stumbles upon an ancient fabled stepwell right in the middle of a forest.

Join the intrepid Nooni on an adventure of a lifetime in this much-awaited book by Sudha Murty that is heart-warming, charming and absolutely unputdownable.

 

 

front cover Grandparents' Bag of Stories
Grandparents’ Bag of Stories||Sudha Murty

Grandparents’ Bag of Stories

 

It’s 2020 and children are stuck indoors as the novel coronavirus finds its way into India. A nationwide lockdown is announced and amidst the growing crisis, Ajja and Ajji welcome their grandchildren and Kamlu Ajji into their house in Shiggaon.

From stitching masks, sharing household chores, preparing food for workers to losing themselves in timeless tales, the lockdown turns into a memorable time for the children as they enter the enchanting world of goddesses, kings, princesses, serpents, magical beanstalks, thieves, kingdoms and palaces, among others. The myriad stories told by their grandparents become the biggest source of joy, making the children compassionate, worldly-wise and more resilient than ever.

Following the trail of the best-selling Grandma’s Bag of Stories, India’s favourite author Sudha Murty brings to you this collection of immortal tales that she fondly created during the lockdown period for readers to seek comfort and find the magic in sharing and caring for others. Wonderfully woven in her inimitable style, this book is unputdownable and perfect for every child’s bookshelf!

~

Our bookshelves have an entire section dedicated to Sudha Murty. That’s just how our young readers like it! What about you?

How to convert an idea into a venture; Become A Junior Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs are bringing education online, connecting families at the touch of a button and revolutionizing the shopping experience-in short, they’re changing the way we live.

Following the success of Become a Junior Inventor, Vrunda Bansode gives every kid a hands-on crash course in entrepreneurship in her new book, Become a Junior Entrepreneur. Here is a checklist on how you can convert an idea into a venture, from the book.


Think of all the things that you can build on to develop your business as an entrepreneur and note them down. Right now, do not think of constraints. Just think of all that you would like to do. Innovate. Invent. Dream big! Now comes the reality check. Let us think of what you can actually work towards and have a good chance of succeeding at. How does one figure that out? Try to answer these questions for each of the businesses you have listed:

  • Do I myself have the skill of making this product or delivering this service?

(Hint: If you want to start a baking business but do not know how to bake, the answer would be No. If you want to start a web design service and are good at using design softwares yourself, your answer is Yes.)

  • Do I know who might be the customers for my business and can I reach them easily?

(Hint: If you are developing a book-trading app and know that many of your friends will use the service, your answer is Yes. But let’s say you are considering starting a garden clean-up service and don’t have any houses with gardens around you, the answer is No.)

  • Do many people need this product or service?

(Hint: Everybody needs and buys toothbrushes regularly, so the market is large. But not everyone needs dental braces, so the market is much smaller.)

  • Roughly how much money is needed to start this business and will I be able to get it through my savings, allowances and borrowings from family and friends?
  • Can I start working towards this right away – at least within a few months?

For any idea that you end up with more No-s than Yes-es, mark it as a passion to be pursued later. Where your Yes-es are more than the No-s, get going! If you have a Yes for all five questions, that’s a great place to start. But if you had to scrap all of your ideas, don’t be hassled. Just start again or see if you can modify an idea you like even a little until you get all five Yes-es.

Another great way to start is to team up with your friends. You will have more helping hands and great ideas on board, and there’s nothing wrong with having a little bit of fun on the side. Many great start-ups started with a team of founders rather than a single founder.

If it is not just you, but you and a group of friends who want to start a business together, then do the above as a group exercise. The group together will then have the skill of ideation, knowledge, access to prospective customers and the ability to get the money or seed capital—as it is called in the business world—to start your new business.

From sifting through ideas to running a business, Become a Junior Entrepreneur accompanies the reader through every stage of turning a nascent dream into a commercially viable start-up.

 

The arrival of rice and the children


Following the trail of the best-selling Grandma’s Bag of Stories, India’s favourite author Sudha Murty brings to you this collection of immortal tales that she fondly created during the lockdown period for readers to seek comfort and find the magic in sharing and caring for others. Wonderfully woven in her inimitable style, this book is unputdownable and perfect for every child’s bookshelf!

 

It was a pleasant afternoon in March. Ajji and Ajja were glued to the television. The worry on their faces deepened as they heard increasingly distressing news about the coronavirus situation. Ajja turned to Ajji, ‘The virus started in China, but look at what has happened. It has spread all over the world, becoming a pandemic!’ The anchor on the television announced, ‘The government is asking people to isolate themselves and follow social distancing protocols. All schools will be closed until further notice.’ Ajji’s thoughts turned to her grandchildren in Bangalore and Mumbai. The sound of an autorickshaw coming to a stop outside the house interrupted her thoughts and the bell rang. Ding-dong! Ajji opened the door and saw Kamlu, Ajja’s sister, and her granddaughter Aditi. Ajji was delighted and surprised to see them. ‘Come inside,’ she said. Kamlu Ajji smiled as she took the bags out of the autorickshaw. ‘Why didn’t you tell us you were coming?’ asked Ajji. ‘We would have picked you up from the railway station. Kamlu Ajji and Aditi entered the house. ‘Kamlu, why did you make this trip with the deadly virus around?’ Ajja demanded, concerned. ‘Oh, I didn’t know coronavirus had reached here too. Isn’t it time for the cart festival now? I haven’t seen it in so long! Aditi has her holidays now and her mother is working from home, so it is hard to keep her engaged. I thought she might enjoy the festival and brought her with me. Besides, I wanted to give you a surprise!’ Nine-year-old Aditi stood shyly behind Kamlu Ajji. ‘Come, child. Sit,’ said Ajji, inviting her with love. They all went to sit in the living room, and just then, the phone rang.

Ajji picked it up. It was her daughter, Sumati, from Mumbai. ‘Amma,’ she said, ‘I am sending both the kids to you in Shiggaon.’ ‘I’d be happy to have Raghu and Meenu, but what happened?’ ‘With Covid-19 spreading like wildfire, the schools are closing down for some time and no one knows when they will reopen. Most people live in small apartments in Mumbai and it is almost impossible to keep children from going outside. Moreover, we are working from home and can’t tend to their needs all the time. So we thought about it and spoke to Subhadra to see if I could send Raghu and Meenu to her, and she said yes . . .’ ‘All the children can come here, Sumati!’ Ajji interrupted her. ‘I knew you would say that and that’s why I called. Subhadra has also agreed to send her children to Shiggaon to be with you. You have a large compound around the house and there’s plenty of fresh air and space to move around. This way, the kids can be with you all and not get bored since they will be able toplay with each other. Now, don’t hesitate to be frank. Tell me, will it be a problem for you to handle the four of them without sending them outside the house?’

Front Cover Grandparents' Bag of Stories
Granparents’ Bag of Stories

‘No, Sumati, that is not a problem at all! My worry is—how will they come here?’ ‘We will take care of that, Amma! Raghu and Meenu have already taken a flight from Mumbai to Bangalore today and are about to reach Subhadra’s home,’ said Sumati. ‘They can come to Shiggaon tomorrow and stay for a few weeks.’ Ajja, who had been listening to Ajji’s side of the call, took the phone from her and spoke to Sumati, ‘Don’t worry, child. Kamlu and her granddaughter Aditi are also here. Send the children.’ Almost immediately, there was another call from Bangalore. Subhadra was on the line. She said the same thing. ‘My parents have already taken Anand with them, but Krishna and Anoushka want to see you and stay in Shiggaon. I have spoken to Sumati already and the four children will reach your home tomorrow. Our office manager has offered to drive them from Bangalore to Shiggaon, but he will come back immediately because there is a lot of work to be taken care of before things get worse, as is expected,’ said Subhadra.Ajji ended the call and looked at Ajja. ‘I am happy to hear that our grandchildren are coming, but I am concerned about the coronavirus situation. Will you call the temple and check if the cart festival is still going ahead as planned?’

Ajja nodded and dialled the temple’s number. While calling, he remarked, ‘It is unlikely that they’ll go ahead with the festival. We had a committee meeting yesterday and I suggested that we skip the cart festival this year, but others rejected my opinion. They felt that we shouldn’t worry because the coronavirus hasn’t reached us yet. I disagreed. Conducting the festival will be akin to giving coronavirus an invitation to come here.’ Kamlu Ajji’s face fell. ‘Instead of surprising you, I am the one who is surprised and disappointed. I think I will go back after a few days.’ Kamlu Ajji and Ajji were close friends. Ajji was pleased that her friend was with her. ‘You are not going anywhere,’ she said emphatically. ‘Cart festival or not, you are staying here with us.’ Ajja turned out to be right. The festival had been cancelled. Kamlu Ajji turned to Ajji and announced, ‘I am going to take charge of your kitchen. I love cooking. You can rest for a few days.’ Ajja added, ‘If the situation with respect to the coronavirus gets worse and a lockdown is announced, then we should not bring any outside help for the workaround the house. Let’s share the work. ‘Yes, I agree. We can’t call anyone,’ said Ajji. ‘Once the children arrive tomorrow, I will assign household chores to all of them. They will also help us.’

Ajji went to the storeroom to check if she needed to get more groceries. Ajja followed her and remarked, ‘Some places have already announced lockdowns. If we have a lockdown here too, there will be many people who will not get enough food. We must help and lend a hand when the time comes. Please order extra rations and keep them in the storeroom. We may need them to feed other people.’ Ajji began to make a grocery list, and Ajja dialled the number of the local grocery shop for a home delivery. Meanwhile, Aditi sat nearby, reading a book. She was happy to hear that four of her cousins were coming. The next evening, Raghu, Meenu, Krishna and Anoushka arrived with great excitement. They loved visiting their grandparents’ large and spacious home where they were pampered and allowed their freedom. The office manager dropped the kids and promptly left.

As soon as they entered the house, Aditi squealed and joined them immediately. Anoushka had grown tall. Ajji announced, ‘Anoushka, you are the tallest of the girls now!’ The children had brought their schoolbooks, and many bottles of sanitizer and handwash refill packs. They seemed happy to be away from their parents with no classes or teachers to worry about. They told their grandparents how sanitizers were being used everywhere in their schools before they had closed and in their apartment blocks in Mumbai and Bangalore, including even the lift. ‘Have things become that difficult there?’ Ajji asked, concerned. ‘Yes,’ said Raghu. ‘The government is taking many precautions and has become quite strict.’ ‘Children, what would you like to eat for dinner?’ ‘Something light, Ajji, as we had heavy snacks a short time ago,’ said Krishna. ‘Then I’ll make some special rice today—perhaps methi rice,’ said Kamlu Ajji. ‘It is easy to digest, delicious and good for supper.’ The children agreed and Kamlu Ajji headed to the kitchen.

Ajja switched on the television. Discussions about quarantine and social isolation continued on all news channels. The prime minister was going to address the nation shortly. Ajja looked outside the window. The evening was turning into night. He sighed, ‘Children, this is serious now and we all must stay inside the walls of the house. You can only go as far as the wall of the compound. We must not go out for any reason.’ In less than an hour, Kamlu Ajji had made an excellent dish of methi rice with cucumber raita. Proudly, Ajja said, ‘All these vegetables are from our vegetable garden. We use natural fertilizers and grow organic vegetables that taste much better than what you get outside.’ After dinner, the children helped Ajji in laying down five mattresses next to each other. Each of them chose the bed they wanted. Once it was done, Raghu turned to Ajji, ‘You have not completed your daily routine.’ Ajji smiled. She knew what he was referring to. ‘A story, Ajji,’ pleaded Anoushka. ‘A story a day keeps alldifficulties away . . .’Everyone chuckled. ‘Okay, I will tell you a story. It is a tale of what you ate for dinner—about rice. Rice is part of our daily diet and we can’t imagine living without rice or wheat today.’ The children gathered around both the Ajjis. Ajja sat on a chair nearby, watching the television. The prime minister announced, ‘A lockdown will be imposed starting midnight. Everyone must stay home for the next few weeks.’ It was evening and already dark outside. The children began listening to the story earnestly, just as the quarantine period was formally declared. Ajja muted the volume on the television, but continued watching. ‘Let us all listen to the story of how rice came to earth,’ said Ajji.

A tiny glimpse into Sudha Murty’s brand-new bag of stories!

Have you ever wondered why the dogs start barking in the middle of the night? Ajja and Ajji have a story for us that might just explain why this happens. Here is an excerpt:

 

pumpkin

The Language of the Dogs

It was a quiet and hot night. The children were sitting in the veranda under thefan, talking to each other.

A short distance away, Ajja and Kamlu Ajji were sitting on the stairs in comfortable silence, each lost in their own thoughts. They could hear the street dogs barking near the main gate of the house.

‘Why do the dogs bark at night?’ asked Kamlu Ajji. ‘It’s the same story in Bangalore too—they start barking in the middle of the night and go on for a really long time.’

‘They also have their own problems,’ said Ajja. ‘Usually, the dogs are fed leftover food from restaurants. But these days, no hotels are open during the lockdown and many are going hungry.’

Ajja turned and called out to Ajji who was still inside the house. ‘Do you have any food for the dogs?’ he yelled.

‘A few chapatis and some rice,’ she yelled back. ‘Bring them here!’
Ajji brought the food and biscuits and went with

Ajja and Kamlu Ajji to the main gate. The children watched from a distance. They looked on as two dogs appeared.

Grandparents' Bag of StoriesAjji put biscuits, rice and chapati in a bowl and kept water in another bowl just outside the gate. The two dogs looked at her and attacked the food greedily, gobbling it down in minutes. Then they drank the water, wagged their tails to thank her and ran away.

Slowly, the trio walked back and sat on the steps of the veranda. Ajji said, ‘I wish they could speak. Then I could make them their favourite food. After all, the earth also belongs to them.’

‘Your perspective is so different,’ said Ajja. ‘Humans can speak and that’s why we can do the things we want to and own material things like property and land.’

‘Poor animals. We are occupying their land just because they cannot communicate like us. Even if they had ownership of any piece of land before us, they can’t tell us.’

‘You are right,’ said Kamlu Ajji. ‘Now that humans are all indoors, lots of animals in India are coming out from the forests to the cities nearest to them because it was all their land a long, long time ago.’

Ajja added, ‘This world would have been a different place if we understood the chirping of birds and the language of animals.’

Ajji smiled and said, ‘I am thinking of Dheeraj now.’ ‘Who’s Dheeraj?’ asked Ajja.
‘Do you want to listen to a story?’
Ajja and Kamlu Ajji nodded their heads like children, eager to listen to what Ajji had to say.

 

***

Amit and his wife Preeti were high-ranking officials in their kingdom. They were young, powerful and rich and lived in a mansion by a river. They frequently hosted official celebrations on their yacht or their beautiful large gardens, but made sure they invited only those people from the kingdom who were also rich or powerful, and not whom they considered less fortunate.

Ramu was a housekeeper who lived with them and served them for years. One day, he brought home a young boy of six years. The boy looked innocent and intelligent.

Ramu asked Preeti, ‘I met this boy in the village fair. He doesn’t have anyone to take care of him. I would like to help him. Can he live with me?’

Preeti glanced at the boy and said, ‘Sure, as long as he works for us and does not spoil the premises.’

And that is how Dheeraj began living in Preeti and Amit’s home.

front cover - Grandparents's Bag of Stories
Grandparents’ Bag of Stories||Sudha Murty

One day, Amit hosted a dinner for an important minister. The evening began with a tour of the river on the yacht. Then the yacht docked on the riverside, and music began playing as the celebrations commenced in the beautiful gardens. There was a wide spread of delicacies being served. Dheeraj was assisting Ramu with his chores.

The dinner was in full swing when the barking of two dogs disturbed Amit and his guests. The dogs were right outside the main gate of the gardens. Amit gave instructions to Ramu to hush them and chase them away, but the dogs refused to move. The non-stop barking upset Amit and he said, ‘I wish someone could understand what they are saying so that we could respond appropriately and ask them to leave.’

Dheeraj was nearby and overheard Amit. Timidly, he approached the master of the house and said, ‘Sir, I can understand them.’

Some of the guests laughed while others passed sarcastic comments.

Preeti asked, ‘Tell me, boy, what are they saying?’

‘Madam, I will tell you if you promise me that you will not get upset when I share their words with you,’ said Dheeraj, looking worried.

‘They must be talking about food, boy! Anyway, hurry up and tell us,’ said Preeti firmly.

‘Madam, they are not talking about food.’

‘Get to the point, boy! I am losing patience with you,’ snapped Amit.

Nervously, Dheeraj continued, ‘Sir, there is a male dog and a female dog at the gate. The male dog said, “Look at life’s irony.”

“What do you mean?” said the female dog.

“This couple is used to being served by someone all the time. But a day will come when the master of this house will give an important person water to wash their hands and the lady will voluntarily run and bring a towel for him to wipe his hands.”

“Who are you talking about? Whom will this couple serve?”

“The male dog grinned and said, “This little boy.”

Both the dogs then had a hearty laugh,’ said Dheeraj, and fell silent.

The silence spread through the guests and it ruined their mood.

bird

Did you lose yourself in Ajja and Ajji’s world of stories? We did too! There is so much more in Grandparents’ Bag of Stories.

Jawaharlal Nehru: A life in words

There is no dearth of writing on Jawaharlal Nehru. More will always be less when accounting for his contribution to the country, which starts from before the inception of India, the idea of India. A man who fought imperialism, colonialism, and strove for the idea of a nation propped by secularism, diversity and communal camaraderie is not a figure easily summarised in words. But this 14th of November, we are celebrating Nehru’s birthday with a list of works that come close to portraying the brilliance of his persona, a figure larger than life, vital to our history.

 

~

 

An Autobiography

front cover an autobiography
An Autobiography||Jawaharlal Nehru

by Jawaharlal Nehru

 

Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India, was a great personality who also wrote a number ofinspiring and knowledgeable books. ‘Jawaharlal Nehru: An Autobiography’ is his autobiographical work which he penned down between the years of 1934 and 1935 while he was in prison. In this book, Nehru explores his ideologies and the events in his life that led him to the situation he was positioned in when he wrote this book.

The practice of civil disobedience that Nehru had taken up, is discussed by him terms of his belief in the movement. The author starts off the book with an introduction to his ancestral history, where he mentions that his predecessors had to run away from Kashmir to settle elsewhere.

The book also paints a vivid picture of the pre-independence era in India, where the air of dissension was at an all-time high. The book depicts the political realisation of an upcoming giant of a nation and the battle for its freedom.

 

 

front cover Discovery of India
The Discovery of India||Jawaharlal Nehru

The Discovery of India

by Jawaharlal Nehru

 

Jawaharlal Nehru wrote the book ‘The Discovery of India’, during his imprisonment at Ahmednagar fort for participating in the Quit India Movement (1942 – 1946). The book was written during Nehru’s four years of confinement to solitude in prison and is his way of paying an homage to his beloved country and its rich culture.

The book started from ancient history, Nehru wrote at length of Vedas, Upanishads and textbooks on ancient time and ends during the British raj. The book is a broad view of Indian history, culture and philosophy, the same can also be seen in the television series. The book is considered as one of the finest writing om Indian History. The television series Bharat Ek Khoj which was released in 1988 was based on this book.

 

 

front cover Glimpses of World History
Glimpses of World History||Jawaharlal Nehru

 

Glimpses of World History

by Jawaharlal Nehru

 

‘Glimpses of the World History’ is an account of the progress of the world through centuries and ages. This book is a collection of letters that Jawaharlal Nehru wrote to his daughter Indira when he was in various Indian prisons for three years. The letters were meant to introduce her to the world and its history. In the first few letters, Nehru expresses his sadness for not being able to be around his daughter and give her the materialistic gifts that other parents could but  he promises to give her a gift that he could afford; in the form of knowledge and wisdom through words that come from the very core of his heart. Nehru wrote 196 letters and covered the history of mankind from 6000 BC to the time he was writing the letters.

 

front cover Letters From a Father to HIs Daughter
Letters From a Father to HIs Daughter||Jawaharlal Nehru

 

Letters from a Father to His Daughter

by Jawaharlal Nehru

 

When Indira Gandhi was a little girl of ten, she spent the summer in Mussoorie, while her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, was in Allahabad. Over the summer, Nehru wrote her a series of letters in which he told her the story of how and when the earth was made, how human and animal life began, and how civilizations and societies
evolved all over the world.

Written in 1928, these letters remain fresh and vibrant, and capture Nehru’s love for people and for nature, whose story was for him ‘more interesting than any other story or novel that you may have read’. This is a priceless collection of letters from one legendary leader to another.

 

 

~

 

Get a small glimpse into the life of Pandit Nehru in his own words.

 

Fun new reads for your shelves, this Children’s Day

Not that we need an occasion to buy books, but Children’s Day is the perfect time to add some fascinating and wonderful reads to your young readers’ shelves! From magical adventures in forests, to exciting stories about monarchs, and a glimpse into the constitution of India, we have you covered on all fronts.

 

~

front cover of A Box of Stories
A Box of Stories||Ruskin Bond

 

A Box of Stories: A Collector’s Edition

by Ruskin Bond

 

A collector’s edition featuring the best of Ruskin Bond’s works

Featuring some of Ruskin Bond’s finest stories, poetry and selected non-fiction pieces, this special collector’s edition brings together the best works of India’s best-loved author for all his fans. Included in the collection are the two treasuries The Room of Many Colours and Uncles, Aunts and Elephants. Featuring illustrations and a rich cast of characters, this box set is a    perfect collection for fans of the master storyteller.

 

 

front cover The Magic of the Lost Temple
The Magic of the Lost Temple||Sudha Murty

The Magic Of The Lost Temple

by Sudha Murty

 

City girl Nooni is surprised at the pace of life in her grandparents’ village in Karnataka. But she quickly gets used to the gentle routine there and involves herself in a flurry of activities, including papad making, organizing picnics and learning to ride a cycle, with her new-found friends.

Things get exciting when Nooni stumbles upon an ancient fabled stepwell right in the middle of a forest.

Join the intrepid Nooni on an adventure of a lifetime in this much-awaited book by Sudha Murty that is heart-warming, charming and absolutely unputdownable.

 

front cover Moin and the Monster
Moin and The Monster||Anushka Ravishankar, Anitha Balachandran

 

 

Moin and the monster

by Anushka Ravishankar

Illustrated by Anitha Balachandran

 

One night, in the dim darkness of his room, Moin heard something shuffling and sniffling under his bed …’

It is a monster. Moin has to learn to live with the monster, which does nothing but eat bananas, sing silly songs and try out new hairstyles.

However, keeping the monster a secret from his parents and teachers is a tough task and finally Moin decides that the only thing to do is send the monster back where it came from…

 

 

front cover Book of Beasts
Book of Beasts||M Krishnan

 

 

Book of Beasts: An A to Z Rhyming Bestiary

by M Krishnan

 

The hispid hare is rather rare in fact, outside north-eastern east it lives nowhere and even there it is a most uncommon beast.
With scientific facts, quirky verse and gorgeous illustrations, this is a most unusual alphabet book!
A writer and an artist, M Krishnan was one of India’s best-known naturalists.

 

 

 

front cover 10 Indian Monarchs
10 Indian Monarchs Whose Amazing Stories You May Not Know||Devika Rangachari

10 Indian Monarchs Whose Amazing Stories You May Not Know

by Devika Rangachari

 

This book tells the stories of ten Indian monarchs who find, at best, passing mention in the history textbooks we read, though their lives were exciting and their achievements considerable:
Ajatashatru
Bindusara
Rudradaman
Pulakeshin II
Jayapida
Didda
Ramapala
Abbakka
Chand Bibi
Ahilyabai Holkar

Historian and award-winning novelist, Devika Rangachari writes absorbing tales of the men and women who shaped lives and kingdoms in their times.

 

 

front cover of The Curious Case of the Sweet and Spicy Sweetshop
The Curious Case of The Sweet and Spicy Sweetshop||Nandini Nayar

The Curious Case of The Sweet and Spicy Sweetshop

by Nandini Nayar

 

Making and selling sweets day after day is the life of Vishnudas Mithaiwala, the owner of The Sweet and Spicy Sweetshop. However, when Laddoo appears at his doorstep one night, claiming to be his estranged sister Revati’s son, Vishnu’s life is thrown into confusion. More craziness ensues when Anu turns up, also insisting that she’s Revati’s child! With no idea how to discern the real Mithaiwala, life is full of chaos for Vishnu, as the two children compete to prove their identity.

And Laddoo, worried about his parents, who have suddenly disappeared, is thrown another curveball-he senses a ghostly presence in the house! When a plot to steal the Mithaiwala family’s valuable recipe book is hatched, Laddoo tries to use this new psychic ability to save the day.

 

front cover Akbar and The Tricky Traitor
Akbar and the Tricky Traitor||Natasha Sharma

 

 

Akbar and the Tricky Traitor

by Natasha Sharma

 

The mighty Mughal emperor Akbar is angry. Someone is leaking secrets of his court to his enemies. What’s worse, his enemies are now laughing at Akbar. Who can help the emperor   solve this mystery?

Mysteries you’ll never find in history books

 

 

 

front cover of Timmi in Tangles
Timmi in Tangles||Shals Mahajan

 

 

Timmi in Tangles

by Shals Mahajan

 

Timmi’s life is full of tangles. Her mother expects her to go to school even though she’s a raja; Idliamma eats up all her idlis and everyone thinks Timmi ate them … and why can’t people understand that if you have a giant for a friend you can lift the roof to let the rain in?

 

 

 

 

front cover of Simply Nanju
Simply Nanju||Zainab Sulaiman

 

Simply Nanju

by Zainab Sulaiman

 

Nothing worries Nanju too much; not the fact that he walks funny or that he’s known as the class copy cat or that the cleverest (and prettiest) girl in class barely knows he’s alive.

But when books start disappearing from the classroom, the needle of suspicion begins to point at Nanju. Aided by his beloved best friend, the fragile but brainy Mahesh, Nanju has to find out who the real thief is. Otherwise, his father might pack him off to Unni Mama’s all-boys Hostel from Hell, and Nanju might lose all that’s dear to him.

Set in a school for children who are differently abled, this funny, fast-paced whodunit will keep you guessing till the very end.

 

 

front cover Discover India
Discover India: The Complete Collection||Sonia Mehta

Discover India: The Complete Collection

by Sonia Mehta

 

The Discover India series will take you on a grand tour of every single one of our country’s states. Join the adorable Pushka and Mishki and the wise and witty Daadu Dolma as they traverse the length and breadth of India. Meet nawabs in Andhra Pradesh, roam the highways of Haryana, learn the history of Odisha, study the culture of Bihar, explore the snow-laden valleys of Uttarakhand and pick up a new dance in Sikkim.

 

 

 

 

The Jungle Radio

front cover The Jungle Radio
The Jungle Radio||Devangana Dash

by Devangana Dash

 

Come, listen to the sweet jungle orchestra, featuring the Woodpecker’s drums, the Hornbill’s trumpet and the Kingfisher’s blues

When curious little Gul hears some strange sounds coming from her radio, she follows the musical clues into . . . an Indian jungle! On her walk, she finds feathered friends who TWEET, TAPP and TALK. There are some who howl and hoot, and others who play the flute. With a KEE here and a KAW there, Gul discovers songs everywhere!

Brought to life by painterly illustrations, The Jungle Radio is a little story about the language of birds-their songs and sounds-with a loud and clear call to listen to the world around us.

 

 

front cover of We the Children of India
We, The Children Of India||Leila Seth

We, The Children Of India

by Leila Seth

Illustrated by Bindia Thapar

Former Chief Justice Leila Seth makes the words of the Preamble to the Constitution understandable to even the youngest reader. What is a democratic republic, why are we secular, what is sovereignty? Believing that it is never too early for young people to learn about the Constitution, she tackles these concepts and explains them in a manner everyone can grasp and enjoy. Accompanied by numerous photographs, captivating and inspiring illustrations by acclaimed illustrator Bindia Thapar, and delightful bits of trivia, We, the Children of India is essential reading for every young citizen.

 

 

 

The Incredible History of India’s Geography

front cover The Incredible History of India's Geography
The Incredible History Of India’s Geography||Sanjeev Sanyal

by Sanjeev Sanyal

 

Could you be related to a blonde Lithuanian?

Did you know that India is the only country that has both lions and tigers?

Who found out how tall Mt Everest is?

If you’ve ever wanted to know the answers to questions like these, this is the book for you. In here you will find various things you never expected, such as the fact that we still greet each other like the Harappans did and that people used to think India was full of one-eyed giants. And, sneakily, you’ll also know more about India’s history and geography by the end of it. Full of quirky pictures and crazy trivia, this book takes you on a fantastic journey through the incredible history of India’s geography.

 

 

~

 

 

Pack your young reader’s day with this varied collection!

 

Ashta Siddhis and the extraordinary powers of Goddess Durga

Do you know what the Ashta Siddhis, or the eight kinds of supernatural powers are? Read an excerpt to find out more about Nalini Ramachandran’s Nava Durga and the extraordinary powers that Goddess Durga can bestow on other gods!

 

~

 

The goddess, in each of her forms, grants different kinds of blessings to her devotees. But Siddhidatri, the goddess worshipped on the ninth day of Navaratri, is special. In Sanskrit, ‘siddhi’ means ‘supernatural power’ and datri means ‘giver’. So, Siddhidatri is ‘the giver of supernatural powers’.

After Adi Shakti, in the form of Kushmanda, had created the universe and the new gods and goddesses, Shiva prayed to her, ‘O Supreme Goddess, grant me all the siddhis to make me a perfect god.’

He meditated for thousands of years so that Adi Shakti would listen to him. Impressed by Shiva’s devotion, the goddess appeared in the avatar of Siddhidatri from Kushmanda’s japa mala, which the smiling goddess used to bless people with the ashta siddhis and the nava niddhis. Almost immediately, Siddhidatri also emerged from the left side of Shiva’s body. So the right half of Shiva’s body was his own, and the left half was in the form of Siddhidatri. This half-man, half-woman form of Shiva is known as Ardhanarishwara, ‘the lord who is half woman’.

Just as she lives within humans, she began living within Shiva too as his shakti. And in this unique way, she bestowed supernatural powers on him and made him a perfect god.

…Those who truly worship Siddhidatri can get some or all of these abilities (but it’s easier said than done!):

 

 

Mahima

To make your body huge in size
(It can help when you suddenly come face to face with a mighty asura.)

 

 

Anima

Front cover Nava Durga
Nava Durga||Nalini Ramachandran

To make your body as tiny as an atom
(It can help when you play hide-and-seek with friends.)

 

Garima

To become very, very heavy
(You can face a storm like a mountain.)

 

 

Laghima

To be nearly weightless
(You can levitate or even float in the air.)

 

 

Prapti

To travel to or be present in any place you wish
(You can time-travel, whenever and wherever you want.)

 

 

Prakamya

To get or be able to give whatever one desires
(You can gift your mother the very thing she has been secretly wishing for!)

 

 

Ishitva

To be in control of nature, like a god
(You can make the sun listen to you in summer and make the rain obey you in monsoon.)

 

 

Vashitva

To be able to control other beings.
(You can turn bullies into friends.)

 

~

Nalini Ramachandran’s Nava Durga tells us about the rich mythology of Durga Puja and what makes each day special!

error: Content is protected !!