Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pratham Books Week on Indian Moms Connect

The lovely folks at Indian Moms Connect are celebrating Pratham Books Week from 16th-20th March by reviewing our latest books. 


They've started the Pratham Books week by reading 'Rani's First Day at School' ( written by Cheryl Rao and illustrated by Mayur Mistry).

The book aptly captures the mood of a child going to school for the first time. It’s a book to be definitely read aloud to a kindergarten going kid as it will make them realise that all kids have some hesitation going alone for the first time and that is absolutely normal the language is easy enough for kids to read on their own.
Illustrations are apt for the text and I loved the Indianness of the figures. The colourful sarees, scooters, old uncle in dhotis all make the story come alive. Rani’s facial expressions are so wonderfully depicted.
Read the entire review.
Buy the book
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The second book that got featured was 'What Shall I Wear Today?' (written by Natasha Sharma and superbly illustrated by Tanvi Choudhury).
Natasha Sharma uses simple words with a poetic feel to the sentences. I could so relate to the shirt buttons troubling, pants being tight, chudidar not going up and the zari irritating! She has captured the nuances of the clothes and their issues too well  
And the illustrations are truly awesome. Tanvi Choudhury could actually go on to be a fashion designer. The color combinations and little details like threads to the pyjama or design on the choli are so noteworthy. The brat even noted the changes in the expression of the little girl as she tries to figure out what to wear. 
The 6 yo in the house laughed after reading it saying Amma this always happens to me na!
Read the entire review.
Buy the book
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The IMC team reads 'The Red Raincoat' and goes on to say :
The Red Raincoat published by Pratham Books, written by Kiran Kasturia and illustrated by Zainab Tambawalla is a simple, sweet and heart warming story about Manu who has a new red raincoat. 
The book has a slight twist in the tale that made us smile. The 6 year old in house and I read it aloud and giggled through the book as Manu keeps waiting for the rains. ‘Poor Manu’sighed the brat at least three times through the book. 
Short sentences, simple words and lucid language make the book an easy read for children. It’s a wonderful way to teach children the days of the week as everyday Manu keeps asking his mom about the rains. It also teaches children in a subtle way how to know when it’s going to start raining like when dark clouds gather. 
The illustrations enhance the reading experience and the colors make the book come alive. Manu’s disappointment at not seeing the clouds, his anticipation waiting for the rains and his joy are all captured beautifully.
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Veeru Goes to the Circus (written by Richa Ingle Deo and illustrated by Reshma Barve) is a story about Veeru who comes back from the Jumbo-Mumbo Circus with some very big ideas.
Simple words coupled with the wonderful imagination of the author make the book a lovely read for children. The author has managed to capture all the special acts of the circus and connected it in a way or other with how Veeru performs at home. I loved Veeru’s juggling act. 
The illustrations are lovely. Check out how Reshma Barve manages to change Veeru’s facial expressions in every page. Colourful and vibrant colours make the book a page turner. 
Recommended for its imagination and fun element.
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No Smiles Today (written by Cheryl Rao and illustrated by Saurabh Pandey) tells the story of Shanti, the ever cheerful little girl who suddenly stops smiling one day.
Shanti and Arun are the best of friends and go to school together. Shanti is always laughing and smiling. But one morning, she is very quiet. She doesn’t smile or open her mouth.

Cheryl Rao manages to make us smile at the end of the story. I must admit I was a bit apprehensive when I read the title of the story, but reading the book made me laugh. The six year old in the house laughed loudly when she read the ending. Simple words which are easy to read let the child read on her own. 
The illustrations are simple yet very effective. I loved the small changes in Shanti’s facial expressions as the book progresses. The illustrations capture the mood of the book brilliantly.
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My Best Friend (written by Anupa Lal and illustrated by Suvidha Mistry) is a bilingual book about a little girl who has a very special friend.
Anupa Lal writes an adorable story that makes us smile. The Hindi words are simple and the six year old in the house was able to read it with a bit of prompting from my end. The advantage of a bilingual book, at least in our house, is that the brat sees the English words thinks of its Hindi equivalent and then pronounces the Hindi word in case it’s difficult to read. 
The illustrations are elegant and compliment the words. I loved the cover page and the naughty expression of the little girl’s friend on the last page.
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The Auto That Flew (written by Ken Spillman and illustrated by Ajanta Guhathakurta) is a delightful and yet profoundly philosophical picture story book about Arjun the Auto who rides in the streets of Delhi.
Ken Spillman has added a slight philosophical twist to the story although the writing is simple and fun to read. Delhi’s landmarks are pointed out while the calmness even in the chaotic traffic has been described so well. What we really wish in our minds may not be our truest wishes and often superficial wishes supersede what we think make us happy  
I love Ajanta Guhathakurta’s illustrations and she does a wonderful job with this book. The quirky expressions of Arjun, the landmarks of Delhi, the zig zagging roads from the air, the expressions of the birds when they see a flying auto everything is captured so well.
Read the entire review. There is an added treat with the review - an audio version of the story!
Buy the book
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I Want That One (written by Mala Kumar and illustrated by Soumya Menon) is an adorable book of a little boy Anil who keeps wanting stuff but everyone keeps saying no to him.
Anil has a holiday and he wants to do ‘something’. (This resonated so well in our house where the six year old wants to do something all the time!) So he tries to climb up and get the bottom most box down from the attic. Before he can do it, his mom stops him from doing so. Anil is angry. Then his mom takes him to the market. Anil keeps pointing out stuff from the bottom of the pile saying ‘ I want that one’.

Mala Kumar weaves her magic with a simple but very effective story. Easy to read words and a sense of pattern in the reaction of the shopkeepers to Anil make the book a lovely read aloud book. I loved the ending of the book and this is a wonderful way to make young kids realise that things may not really happen the way they expect! 
Soumya Menon does a superb job with the illustrations which are colourful and vibrant. Check out how she shows Anil’s expression getting angrier by the page. He looks adorably cute in the end.
Buy the book
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Under My Bed (written by Anupa Lal and illustrated by Suvidha Mistry) is a bilingual book, about a little kid who finds something lurking under his bed.
Simple words which are easy to read make the book just appropriate for children to be either read aloud or start reading on their own. The Hindi words are also easy enough for beginners to start reading. The brat who has just started reading Hindi was able to read the book on her own without much help. The twist in the tale made her giggle and she was went ‘ How funny, Amma!’ 
The illustrations are splendid and so amazingly done. Night is depicted in a deep colour and facial expressions of the child seem amazingly convincing. The illustrations go on to enhance the text. 
The book has a nice feel good feeling to it with a lovely ending. Go on and pick it up.
Buy the book
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Grandma’s Glasses (written by Noni and illustrated by Tanaya Vyas) is a sweet story about a little girl who becomes a detective to find her Grandma’s glasses.
It’s adorable that the author has taken up a daily occurrence in most households and turned it into a detective sort of story. The book will make kids giggle at how Richa traces the glasses. The six year old in my house was laughing away as we read the book together.

The illustrations are bright and vibrant and enhance the storyline.I loved the illustration on the last page. It captures the nuances so very well. 
Recommended for the fun and the mystery element

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