Savio Mascarenhas reviews the book 'Ramya's Stars' on Goodbooks
It’s a sweet relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter that becomes the crux of this 16-page picture book, Ramya’s Stars. Written by Mala Ashok, this picture book takes you into Ramya’s world of colorful and vibrant earrings and the magical story that follows. Yes, Ramya likes to collect earrings, a fascinating hobby for a little girl of seven. The story reads almost like a fairy tale bordering on the lines of fantasy.
Ramya gets a gift from her grandmother, a pair of glittering starry diamond-shaped earrings. And what follows is a fantastical tale told by Mala, a story very simple in language. The words are limited in vocabulary and the length of the sentences kept to the minimum. This makes perfect reading for a child who has just started her exploration of the language and is gradually understanding words and the forming of sentences.
The book is a sureshot eye-catcher on the stands with its striking starry night scene on the cover done in watercolors by the illustrator Helga Parekh. The paintings inside complement the story beautifully. In today’s world of digitally colored artworks, it’s a delight to see artists dabble in the challenging art of watercolors. The lucidity of the paintings is perfectly in sync with the flow of the story and makes the book a complete piece of art. It’s like taking the reader through a story that rolls over a 16-page canvas.
The two factors that work well for the book are the tale that’s so uncomplicated and the visuals that are so vivid. As a parent, it would be good to expose children to stories that are simple yet fantastical and art that’s so original and natural.
Ramya’s Stars makes for a magical reading experience and is a perfect example to propagate the philosophy that Pratham Books would advocate - to democratize the joy of reading.