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Read the whole book and go down the rabbit hole

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.


The two new Hole Books added to the collection, A Pinch of Magic by Asha Nehemiah and Nida Finds a Way by Samina Mishra, carry this task out to perfection. Here is a sneak peek into both books. There is no way your child won’t want to read these after being thrown into the middle of some thrilling action from both the stories.




A Pinch of Magic


A Pinch of Magic FC
A Pinch of Magic||Asha Nehemiah

Appa should have known better than to ask Veena for help. Because whenever Veena was asked to help, many strange and unexpected things happened.

Take the time Veena’s mother had asked for help with oiling her bicycle.

‘Just one single drop of oil right here,’ Amma had pointed to the spot on the bicycle pedals. Shailaja Seshadri was getting ready for the Blue Mountain Bicycle Rally. ‘One. Single. Drop,’ she repeated firmly.

Veena, of course, wanted to be of as much help as possible. So she oiled every single point she could find. And to be safe, she used a few drops of oil each time. Then she tied a lucky charm on to the handlebars. She really wanted her mother to win the race.

The next day, a few minutes after starting the race, Amma found her fingers slipping off the handlebars and sliding off the brakes. Even worse, the lucky charm flew off when she started cycling fast, and got stuck in her nostril. Amma had to stop without even finishing the race.

So though he knew that he could be asking for big trouble, Veena’s appa didn’t know what else to do. Or who else to ask. His wife was out cycling with a group of friends. His sister, Malu, had left the house at dawn, muttering something about a spoon. Only he and Veena were at home, eating breakfast.


Nida Finds a Way


Nida Finds a Way FC
Nida Finds a Way||Samina Mishra

‘I want to ride a bicycle!’ Nida sang out. Her small hand—quite big for a seven-year-old, she thought—was folded into Abba’s large one as they walked together through the streets of Abul Fazal Enclave.

The large hand quivered and tried a strange move, as if it wanted to hold not just the small hand but also the wrist, maybe the entire arm.




Abba stopped walking. Nida looked up. His eyes were round like pooris, his beard twitched nervously in all directions, like the traffic on the street.

‘Do you see this road?’

Nida looked down at the road. It was black, like most roads. Many kinds of wheels rolled past—scooter tyres, car tyres, rickshaw wheels, bicycle wheels.

‘Do you see this traffic?’

Nida looked up. A red Maruti was overtaking a faded white tempo. A motorcycle was swaying to the right, a rickshaw swerving to the left.

‘No cycling for you!’

Imran went past on a cycle much too big for him, riding scissor-style. He was in Nida’s class.

‘Nidaaaa! Look, no hands!’

Show-off, thought Nida and turned to Abba. ‘No, not like that,’ she began.

‘I don’t want to ride like that.’

But Abba’s eyes had become rounder, his face had become red.

Nida sighed. She knew that face. Abba the Worrier, they called him at home. When Nida climbed up the ladder that led to the water tank, Abba flapped his arms in panic.

When Nida came home from school with a scraped knee, Abba lurched about the house looking for Betadine.

The sad fairy-tale becomes a reality in Samina Mishra’s Jamlo Walks

Samina Mishra’s Jamlo Walks, though filled with beautiful and colourful illustrations, in not a happy story, but it contains an extremely important message, the dissemination of which is imperative for the future generation. In many ways, it is reminiscent of Hans Christian Andersen’s stories. Not Little Mermaid or Ugly Ducklingwhich have been glorified or retold with happy endings. It is more like the Little Match Girl, which is a lesser known tale about a girl who tries to sell matchsticks on New Year’s Eve, but cold and unsuccessful, she collapses, a victim to lack of empathy, much like Jamlo.

Jamlo Walks is a book meant to bring awareness to its young readers who span from ages seven to nine, of the plight of other children and people not very different from themselves, but who are faced with completely different circumstances.

Here is a glimpse into the author’s mind to give you some insight into how and why she created this sad, yet beautiful story.


Jamlo Walks front cover
Jamlo Walks||Samina Mishra

Where do ideas come from? There are no clear answers to this question but certainly, some ideas come from what we experience and observe. Jamlo Walks came to me sometime in April last year. I don’t think I actively decided to write the story – the first draft just came in one sitting. I think it came as a response to the vulgar inhumanity that was on display last year – and continues to be even now. The working class, in conjunction with caste, has always been treated differently but what we have seen in the pandemic has been naked and ugly like never before. The stark images of the migrants walking through the night, out of Delhi on the Yamuna bridge, the middle class apathy on social media, the way domestic workers were treated at colony gates, police thrashing common citizens… Jamlo’s story was reported as one casualty in this series of unending tragedies. It was heartbreaking. It made me think of what these experiences means for all children – how are they to think about these stark divides across different childhoods, would they go on to continue institutionalizing this inhumanity… So, I think the first draft just came out of a need to respond to all this.


Once an idea arrives in its own mysterious way, our job as creative practitioners is to wrestle with it and hone it. We have to make choices and take decisions about what we want to do with it and shape the work. That was perhaps more of a challenge with this one because of the content. Picture books are generally seen as books for young readers and though we know that that is not true, putting this story out threw up questions around readership for me. Was the story too grown-up? Was the form of the story something children could understand and respond to? It was important that I try and answer these questions for myself. For me, it’s a picture book that I hope children across ages will read, that will prompt them to reflect.


While I was writing and rewriting, trying to make it a story that could be shared with the world, the thing that was important to me was to make Jamlo a person, a layered character, and not just the girl we read about in the news reports. This was not easy given the pandemic. My practice is very connected to being on the ground, getting out, talking to people. But here I was – in lockdown – without access to details on the ground that normally build context in my work. So I tried to imagine the inner world of the child, for Jamlo and for the other children in the story. I hope that works. I hope that readers find a bit of themselves in Jamlo and/or the other kids. And I hope that Jamlo is remembered so that we do not witness another such incident.

Magnificent reads for young readers for the month of April

As days get longer and warmer, we find ourselves cooped up in our homes, avoiding the scorching heat and that deadly virus no one should name. But time indoors doesn’t have to feel like a chore necessarily, thanks to our age-old friends—books.

Here’s a list of refreshing reads to keep you engrossed and entertained through the long, sunny days of April.



Queen of Fire

Devika Rangachari

front cover of Queen of Fire
Queen of Fire || Devika Rangachari


Lakshmibai, the widowed queen of Jhansi, is determined to protect her son’s right to his father’s throne and safeguard the welfare of her kingdom. Faced with machinations to take over Jhansi, at a time when all of India is rising up against the British, she has to prove her valour and sagacity time and again. But will this be enough to save all that she values?

In this gripping novel, award-winning historical novelist Devika Rangachari brings to vivid life the interior life of this nineteenth-century queen, thrust into a position she does not desire but must assume, and of her son, who is cowed by the challenges he has to face but determined to live up to his mother’s courage.


Satyajit Ray in 100 Anecdotes

Arthy Muthanna Singh, Mamta Nainy

front cover of Satyajit Ray in 100 Anecdotes
Satyajit Ray in 100 Anecdotes || Arthy Muthanna Singh, Mamta Nainy


Tracing his magnificent life with 100 little-known and inspiring incidents as well as unusual trivia, this collectible edition pays homage to the maestro on his 100th birth anniversary.

A master filmmaker, a remarkable auteur, a writer par excellence and an artist of immense reach and range, Satyajit Ray was an indefinable genius. This book is a classic tribute that celebrates his many accomplishments across literature, music, art and more.


Satyajit Ray
front cover of Another Dozen Stories
Another Dozen Stories || Satyajit Ray


Another Dozen Stories brings to you the magical, bizarre, spooky and sometimes astonishing worlds created by Satyajit Ray, featuring an extraordinary bunch of characters!

While ‘The McKenzie Fruit’ trails a humble man trying to leave his mark in history, ‘Worthless’ is a moving story about a seemingly hapless character not quite able to win the confidence of his family. Meet Professor Hijibijbij, the eccentric scientist bent on creating living replicas of peculiar creatures and follow Master Angshuman into a nail-biting and unexpected adventure on the sets of his very first film. This collection includes twelve hair-raising stories that will leave you asking for more!


Jamlo Walks

Samina Mishra

front cover of Jamlo Walks
Jamlo Walks || Samina Mishra


It is day 7 of the lockdown and everyone says the skies are blue again.
Jamlo walks. She looks straight at the road ahead. It is long.

The world has stood still. The streets lie empty and schools are closed. All work has dried up and people keep whispering the word ‘corona’ all the time. Jamlo walks down a long and hot road, alongside hundreds of other men and women and children whom Tara sees on TV. Jamlo walks as Rahul watches the streets turn quiet.

Jamlo walks and walks in a world that needs to be kind and just and equal. A world where all lives are seen as important.


Sita’s Chitwan

Vaishali Shroff

front cover of Sita's Chitwan
Sita’s Chitwan || Vaishali Shroff


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?


The Astoundingly True Adventures of Daydreamer Dev

Ken Spillman

front cover of The Astoundingly True Adventures of Daydreamer Dev
The Astoundingly True Adventures of Daydreamer Dev || Ken Spillman


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!


The Bournvita Quiz Contest Quiz Collector’s Edition, Vol. 1

Derek O’Brien

front cover of The Bournvita Quiz Contest Quiz Collector's Edition
The Bournvita Quiz Contest Quiz Collector’s Edition || Derek O’Brien


The award-winning Bournvita Quiz Contest started as a radio programme in 1972, then shifted to television in the 1990s. Since 1994, it has been hosted by Asia’s best-known quizmaster, Derek O’Brien, in his inimitable style, and it holds the record for being the longest-running knowledge game show on Indian television.
This definitive edition comprises a selection of the best Q & As from this iconic children’s show. Featuring 1000 questions, carefully curated from the exhaustive twenty-year-old archives, this book is dotted with heartening anecdotes, fun trivia and thoughtful essays by people who worked on this much-loved show.


The Bournvita Quiz Contest Quiz Collector’s Edition, Vol. 2

Derek O’Brien

front cover of The Bournvita Quiz Contest Quiz Collector's Edition
The Bournvita Quiz Contest Quiz Collector’s Edition || Derek O’Brien


Which Nobel laureate wrote articles under the name Gul Makai?
Hilsa is the national fish of which neighbouring country of India?
In which organ of the human body would you find the aqueous humour?

With fun Q&As carefully curated from the exhaustive twenty-year-old archives, this definitive book is a treat for all quiz aficionados who can choose from an array of fifty sections including:

Art and Culture
Books and Authors


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