Review | Kottavi Raja and his Sleepy Kingdom

Author: Yasasvini Sampathkumar
Illustrator: Henu Mehtani
Publication: Pratham Books
Age: Level 3 (7-10 years)

How many of you have trouble sleeping at night? Yawning through the day and feeling fresh like a daisy at night? If you answered yes to the above questions, then it is likely that you will relate to Kottavi Raja too!

Meet this insomniac king and enter his sleepy kingdom where the king is forever awake at night and keeping his kingdom awake too. Kottavi Raja’s wife, ministers and all the subjects in the kingdom are exasperated, exhausted and annoyed at the king’s lack of sleep as all their efforts to put him to sleep are in vain.

This Level 3 book by Pratham is an entertaining read. The language is simple and can be easily understood by kids above 4 years and kids above 7 years who read books independently.

The story has been woven beautifully through visual imagery created jointly by the author and illustrator.

Reading this book aloud to younger ones is equal fun!

Book Review | My Juggling Granny

Authors: Mala Kumar & Manisha Chaudhry
Illustrator: Niloufer Wadia

Grandmothers are extremely sweet and caring. I am sure you will agree that each granny is unique in her own way. All of us have sweet memories with our respective grandmothers and all vacations spent with her.

Meet this lovely grandma who has a strange fetish or hobby. She loves juggling anything and everything wherever she is – be it the kitchen, office, market or grandpa’s things! Everyone around are exasperated and frazzled with her strange fetish.

Inside the kitchen, she juggles pots, pans, vegetables, fruits etc. Once she even tossed grandpa’s watch, pen, spectacles, cap and even his umbrella in the air and juggled. Poor grandpa had a fit seeing his things tossed up in the air. He threw up his hands and became angry.

One day, she went to the market and to the fruit seller’s dismay, she tossed his mangoes in the air and one went flying to the ground and became pulp. Onlookers were scared as she kept tossing one thing after another and they dared not stop her. Grandpa looked flustered and embarrassed. In an office, one day, granny started tossing pens, books and stationary in the air, much to the dismay of the employees working there.

Finally, one day, grandpa gifted her a whole basket of colourful balls. Grandma was really happy with them and grandpa watched her in delight as she started juggling them in the air gleefully. That night he slept fitfully as granny kept juggling the balls the whole night!

This book is a lovely read-it-aloud for toddlers aged 3+. Kids will love to imagine the juggling granny and probably try juggling themselves too!

A Level 2 book from Pratham Publications, the authors have asked questions about juggling which makes children think and comprehend the story well.

Book review | Bunty and Bubbly

Author/Illustrator: Sorit Gupto

This story is about a little girl called Bunty. She loves playing outdoors in sand, and chasing butterflies and birds. But she hates cleaning up after playing and brushing her teeth. One night she gets a dream that germs are attacking the sand castle she made and she is running away from them. Then Soap king Bubbly appears as a savior and saves her from germs with the help of his army of bubbles.

Parents can use this book to inculcate importance of hygienic habits in young children. A great book to read aloud to toddlers, it has simple language that makes it easy for kids to relate to, and understand. Vivid illustrations from Sorit Gupto make the book visually appealing to young readers.

A Level 1 book from Pratham Publications, it is highly recommended for kids aged 3+ years.

Book Review | Aaloo Maaloo Kaaloo

Author: Vinita Krishna
Illustrator: Suvidha Mistry

In the good old days, children visited their grandparents’ houses in the village during vacations. Because most villages did not have electricity and had limited “entertainment” options, it was easy to engage children in household chores.

Children would help out in the vegetable garden, the elders at home in running errands, and perhaps even meeting friends in the village for a cool dip in the local pond.

Aaloo Maloo Kaloo is a fun story about a boy named Maloo who is visiting his grandmother in the village.  His grandmother asks him to pick vegetables from her garden. His canine friend Kaloo also accompanies him.

Suvidha Mistry’s illustrations along with author Vinita Krishna manage to create vivid images of the vegetable garden and the rural landscape, which can transport you to the countryside; an excellent book for kids to learn more about colours and vegetables.

Yet another gem from the Pratham Books, it is a good read-it-aloud book for kids in the ages 2-4 years.