Wednesday, May 14, 2014

15 Books Recommended by Children's Book Editors in India

Hippocampus School Library Services asked editors from Tulika Books, Pratham Books, Duckbill and Karadi Tales to share their list of favourite books by Indian publishers. 

Here's what our editors (Mala Kumar and Manisha Chaudhry) had to say... 

Tulika Books, Duckbill, Pratham Books and Karadi Tales are some of the publishing houses that have contributed significantly to improving the quality of children’s books in India. 
1. Which are 2 books from other Indian publishers that you absolutely love?
2. Could you name a book from your own publishing house that fills you with pride every time you look at it? 
MALA KUMAR, EDITOR, PRATHAM BOOKS
Pratham Books
Counting on Moru by Rukmini Banerji (Pratham Books)
I like this book because the protagonist is like many of the kids you’d find in every school in every classroom. It should definitely be part of every school library, and hopefully some teachers will read it too. 
Other Publishers
Cobra in my Kitchen by Zai Whitaker (Rupa & Co)
The humorous way of bringing in animals and humans makes one think of Gerald Durrell. Such books do more for sensitizing children to the animals and birds around them than textbooks and moralistic articles on how to save our environment. 
The World of Anahi and Vir by Kalpana Subramanian, Illustrated by Prashant Miranda (Little Latitude)
This set of three books is delightful for little readers.

MANISHA CHAUDHURY, EDITOR & TRANSLATOR, PRATHAM BOOKS
Pratham Books
Kallu Series by Subhadra Sengupta, Illustrated by Tapas Guha (Pratham Books)
I really like the Kallu series titles: In Big Trouble Again and Monkey Business on Stage. These books introduce a bunch of children from a village in a fast, urbanising India in a most credible way. The children are instantly identifiable, likeable and their adventures are engaging. These books give a face to the ‘demographic dividend’ that is being bandied about by economists and tug at our heart to say that every child everywhere in India is important. Because they are so Indian, they are a delight to translate into Indian languages and their usage of English is also very Indian. 

Other Publishers
The Mountain of the Moon by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay (Katha)
I absolutely love The Mountain of the Moon. It is a translation of ‘Chander Pahad’ by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay from Bangla. Set in Africa, it is a feat of imagination and the translation is lovely. 
Ekki Dokki by Sandhya Rao, Illustrated by Ranjan De (Tulika)
This is also a perennial favourite. I used to read it out to my kids and I recently read it out to another kid from the next generation and she loved its quirkiness. The illustrations are arresting visually and the timelessness of the folk style narration has a power of its own.

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