Friday, October 15, 2010

Book Review : Grandfather Goes on Strike

Last month, we were giving out review copies of few of our books. We were excited to hear what all of you thought of our books (the good things and the bad things!) and hope that this feedback from people (educators, parents, book lovers, children) will help us create better books and help you choose books for your own kids.

This book review comes from Vijay Krishna who received our book 'Grandfather Goes on Strike'.
"Grandfather Goes on Strike" is a good book that takes on an environmental issue and makes it accessible to young readers. Sathya's grandfather decides to climb a tree and stay there in order to prevent it from being cut down to construct houses. Sathya is staying alone with his grandfather so on his young shoulders falls the predicament of handling this situation. A stream of visitors, policemen, environmentalists, artists and councillors have to be managed, along with grandfather's well-being, but finally all ends well for both grandfather and the tree.

A very nice feature of this book is the understated humor.

Grandfather grinned: "I cannot hear anything you say, because of the breeze". There was no breeze. There was not even a breath of air.

I hope the child readers get the deadpan humor of jokes such as these.

The book does a good job of being realistic and true-to-life without being boring. The policemens' personalities are done well in text and illustration. The artists are intriguing, they seem to tread a fine line between being superficial do-gooders and being more substantive changemakers. I am not sure what the author had in mind! A few elements are glossed over: How does grandfather manage sleep, poop and pee up in the tree? If the land belongs to someone else, what about his right to use the land as he feels fit?

The book is a welcome addition to Read India's line. Congrats to the author, illustrator and Read India. But one also feels a small disappointment, that still more could have been done to make the book engaging and fun.

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