Moongphali by Neha Singh & Mukesh Chhabra

I am always on a lookout for children’s books. Those being published in India are the ones I usually seek because Pari finds them easier to grasp given the familiarity of the culture, relatable names, Indian English (if the book is not in Hindi) and the like.

Moongphali -1

Needless to say, my 6-year-old loves books with colourful illustrations over the ones with no pictures at all.

Keeping the above criteria in mind, when I came across Moongphali, I didn’t think twice before getting hold of a copy.

The blurb on the back of the book reads:

Nandu wants to go to his school fancy-dress competition dressed as a king, but his mother makes him wear a foolish-looking watermelon costume instead.
Dolly and Sunny are leading a happy life as a pair of genius twins, till they wish for their clones.
All Poonam wants is the perfect pair of blue and white slippers and she finds them too, except that they belong to someone else.
Sher and Samandar are best friends till a piece of mysterious rock turns them into sworn enemies.
Meet these kids and many others like them in this very delightful collection, Moongphali.

The beauty of this delightful book spans across its fascinating cover, engaging title and beyond with every story a heart-warming treat that leaves you craving for more, quite like the peanuts, we all love.

The book’s cover made my daughter squeal with joy and there has been no looking back since the day she picked this book. The bright and colourful illustrations by Sonal Gupta Vaswani, are the highlight of this book. Adding to the joy is a simple, free flowing language and children friendly font to keep them reading with delight.

The colourful, refreshing illustrations by Sonal Gupta Vaswani leave a lasting impact while luring young readers to return to the book often.

The high point of this refreshing collection of stories is the subtle blending in of funny, adventurous, smart and mischievous characters who speak different languages, eat all kinds of foods, live in starkly different areas of the country, yet inspire the reader to find a bit of themselves in myriad ways.

I was touched by the sensitive plots that do not aim to preach, neither do they strive for a happy ending. All they do is tell stories that could very well be happening around us, any day. The stories are relatable and inspire us to reflect upon our lives, our childhood memories. My kid was swayed by the virtues possessed by the protagonists to the extent that they helped strengthen her resolve to become a better person in her little ways.

This book is a treat for children and adults alike.

The biggest plus of this book is that every story ends with a DIY, craft project with easy to follow instructions. This added part makes the book all the more interesting for children while gifting parents the joy of seeing their children make paper dolls, a piggy bank, coconut laddoos, an origami ball and more on their own.

Every story is spiced with heart-warming illustrations that make this short-story collection an entertaining and memorable one.

The book is a collection of eight magnificent stories. Of these, I particularly loved The Mysterious Stones of Hanur, Poonam’s Chappals and A Happy Day.

I highly recommend this thorough entertainer, adventurous, vibrant, laden with precious morals book for all children aged 7 to 14 years and also for parents because though the stories have been written keeping the young readers in mind, there is nothing childish about this fantastic book.

About the Book: 

Title – Mongphali
Author – Neha Singh and Mukesh Chhabra
Illustrator – Sonal Gupta Vaswani
Publisher – Red Turtle/ Rupa Publications Pvt. Ltd.
Genre – Fiction
ISBN – 9788129148131
Pages – 154
Price – INR 295 (Get the best online deal here)

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Authors:

Mukesh Chhabra is a leading casting director in the Indian film Industry. He has a special penchant for casting for children’s films and has worked
in Chillar Party, Nil Battey Sannata, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Dangal.

Neha Singh loves telling stories, using books, theatre and films as
different mediums. She has authored two picture books for children—The
Wednesday Bazaar and Bela Missed Her Train—published by Karadi Tales.
She also helps children and adults rekindle their imagination through her
drama-based workshops.

* The illustrations are a publisher copyright and have been photographed only for example purposes.

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