The #ChildrensBooks I read this January

During the school winter vacations, I bought as many children’s books as I bought other reads to last me almost the year. So you can expect a number of reviews of children’s books this year because I am more excited than my daughter to read those titles and share how my child liked them.

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  1. The Tigers of Taboo Valley by Ranjit Lal:

After reading, the award-winning book, Our Nana Was a Nutcase by Ranjit Lal, I had to read another book by this gifted author. And am happy to report that am glad I did, because The Tigers Of Taboo Valley is a beautiful book.childrens-books-2

The promises made by its colorful cover that it shall be loaded with the fun in the jungle, are delivered with a pinch of humor, a dash of pragmatism and above all it helps children learn how futile some of the societal stereotypes are. I picked the book because the blurb promised to touch upon and defy the belief that a single parent (a male in this case) can’t rear his children alone.

I wish to congratulate the author on the beautiful portrayal of all the animals part of the book who not only stand tall to their animal instincts but also reflect shades of human tendencies in their behavior very cleverly.

The effort invested in naming these animals shines brightly because children not only love memorizing them but also remember the stories behind their names long after. For example, the vulture couple has been named Diclo-Fenac (after the harmful effects of vultures scavenging on cattle fed diclofenac sodium medicines and ending up on the verge of extinction). The troupe of porcupines has been named, ASKAA- Al-Seekh-Kebab Atankvad Aandolan.

The book is written for ages 12 years and above and touches upon the fascination for social media, love for youth, fashion and being famous (on Facebook included) and above all on presenting various important life-lessons in an easy-to-understand by children format.

The book is a thorough entertainer for children and adults alike. Though the start comes across as an overdo of humor but as the plot thickens, you’ll find yourself glued to this page-turner, a touching story of wildlife politics, scary terrorist tactics, dysfunctional families and the adventurous journey of a single parent realizing his capabilities when life pushes him to the edge.

2. The Whistling Schoolboy and Other Stories of School Life by Ruskin Bond:

The past year saw me reading many books by Ruskin Bond. And slowly I have come to develop a personal bond with this celebrated writer because, with every book I read, I now feel like I am connecting the dots of his childhood memories, his youth, his writings and life in Mussoorie.

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Like all works by Ruskin Bond, this book is a hilarious and heart-warming collection of stories about school life.  From incidents from the author’s school life of his days of being a compassionate scout, to cherishing his being a shy, quiet boy who had only a few friends, to reminiscing his days of the fun the football field to looking back on the eccentric characters of his strict teachers while exploring their human sides, the book is a treat for every reader.

If you’re a Ruskin Bond fan, you’d be charmed by his seemingly simple yet succinct writing that’ll plaster a grin on your face right from the moment you set your eyes on the book’s pretty cover. The book is a classic that guarantees there is never a dull moment, no two stories are similar and there is a beautiful lesson to learn by the school goers of today while a memory to re-visit by adults like yours truly in every story that unfolds in this book.

To spice up the short story collection there a few fantastic, spooky stories too. There are tales of children walking for miles in the mountains just for the love of studying, braving the wild animals and looking life in the eye as they learn and grow every day.

So if you’re looking for a breezy, entertaining read for yourself or your child, 9 years and up, this book is a must read.

3. Monkey Trouble and Other Grandfather Stories by Ruskin Bond: 

This book was particularly loved by my 5-year-old because it has simple yet entertaining stories with amazing illustrations to make a child jump with joy with every turn of the page.

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This comic book has three of Ruskin Bond stories illustrated by Priya Kuriyan to bring forth a colorful, lively book that taught an important lesson in a fun way. My daughter’s favorite is the first story, ‘Monkey Trouble’ featuring a mischievous monkey, named Tutu.

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While ‘Eye of the Eagle’ inspires young readers to be courageous, the third story ‘A Special Tree’ inspired my daughter to plant a tree just like Rakesh planted a Cheery tree in the story. So this spring, my little one is busy finding the perfect spot for her tree in our little garden.

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Loved this book because my child can’t have enough of reading it on her own after we read it together a few times.

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