We asked some people who we know read a lot of Indian children’s and YA books to tell us about one (or more) really impressive book they read this year. We will be posting their replies over the rest of the month.
Preeti Singh writes and reviews and runs The Good Book Corner, among other things.
We are thrilled that there is a Duckbill book in Preeti’s list, and we promise no arms were twisted–platypuses do not believe in list-fixing.
Raja Raja and the Swapped Sacks by Natasha Sharma (Duckbill) – I loved the way facts were blended into fiction to create a charming funny story. The illustrations were irreverent and fun.
The Freedom Run by Subhadra Sen Gupta and Tapas Guha (Pratham Books) – A book about three children who work at a carpet loom in Uttar Pradesh to pay off their parents’ debts. Do they know what freedom means and do they find it?
Mysteries of History by Anu Kumar (Red Turtle) aims to explain certain events and people in India’s rich cultural past.From trying to decode what happened to the Indus Civilization, intrigue of who killed Razia Sultan, to information on the Ashoka pillars and much more, this book attempts to present history in an engaging manner for children.
The Magic Moonlight Flower and Other Enchanting Stories by Satyajit Ray, translated by Arunava Sinha (Red Turtle) is a delightful collection of stories by the multi-faceted Ray. My favorite story in the collection was that of Sujan Harbola who becomes a mimic and brings back birds to a kingdom that has lost them. These tales are told with amazing simplicity and carry a world within them.