Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews
An incredibly great number of children’s books were published in India. We reviewed many on The Good Book Corner, but there were more reads out there! So we asked the publishers to tell us about the books they loved publishing this year!! And here is their list of books they loved publishing. If you haven’t already picked them up, now is the time to add them to your book list.
Suzanne Singh, Chairperson, Pratham
A series of ten books called Asila, Basila, Uthila, Doong Doong Dum Dum, The Catty Ratty Tale, The Clever Chicken, The Elephants Who Liked to Dance, The Fox and the Lump of Clay, The Jackal’s Loss, The Rabbit’s Long Ears and The Water Seed. In all probability the first ever children’ s books done in 4 tribal languages of Juanga, Saura, Kui and Munda. The stories are drawn from their own oral tradition and illustrated in their traditional style as well.
Wildlife in a City Pond, Ashish Kothari, illustrator Sangeetha Kadur
A lovely story on urban wildlife, and what our magical ecosystems nurture.
Freedom Run, Pratham, Subhadra Sen Gupta, Tapas Guha
In the Mirzapur and Bhadohi districts of Uttar Pradesh, in Many tiny villages, small children work long hours at the looms to create carpets famous around the world for their intricate designs. This is a story about the forgotten children of India.
One day in August, Bharati Jagannathan, illustrator Prashant Soni
A child’s view of Partition, it is about two children – Shagufta and Kishen and their friendship in the backdrop of Indian Independence in 1947 and the horror after that.
Sudeshna Shome Ghosh, Editorial Director, Red Turtle
Our Nana was a Nutcase, Ranjit Lal
Gosling and her siblings—Duckling and the twins Dingaling and Dumpling—have been brought up at Shadow House by their grandfather, the crazy, zany Nana and his lovely partner Shabby Aunty. But then when it becomes clear that Nana is slowly falling prey to dementia and Alzheimer’s, his daughter makes diabolical plans for him–and for the children’s future.
A Children’s History of India, Subhadra Sen Gupta
A well written book of Indian history that starts with the earliest cities in India, to the different dynasties and rulers that shaped India and left an indelible mark on it. The book also covers the post Independence India and how modern India changed to meet challenges before it.
Derek Introduces: Constitution and Parliament of India, Derek O’Brien
Most of us will remember how boring Civics classes used to be in school. This book deconstructs the Constitution and how democracy works in simple, lucid language. A must for children, and for adults who are still confused about State and Centre duties, the Parliament and how elections work!
My Life: An Illustrated Autobiography, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
In My Life Dr Kalam writes his life story starting from his days growing up at Rameswaram; about working on India’s space and missile programmes; his years as the eleventh President of India; and about his life thereafter. This autobiography is a wonderful introduction to a remarkable life.
100 Best Poems for Children, edited Deepa Agarwal
Featuring poets from India and abroad, this collection explores the works of T.S. Eliot, Rabindranath Tagore, Robert Browning, Gulzar, Ruskin Bond, Jerry Pinto, Anushka Ravishankar, Keki Daruwalla and many other voices.There are poems about mothers and fathers and new baby brothers and sisters; about grandparents and cats and trees and living in treehouses. The collection makes one relish the music of the words!
The Adventures of Septopus series, Jyotin Goel, illustrated by Rajiv Eipe
A brand new superhero, Rot8, the octopus with seven-and-a-half limbs is the hero of the two books in this series. Outfitted with a number of attachments for his half-limb, Rot8 turns from a not-quite octopus to a super octopus. Rot8 and his best friend, the turtle Tumboo embark on a series of adventures in Septopus Adventures of an Almost-Octopus Rot8 and Septopus and the Adventure of Captain Kidd’s Cove.
The Adventures of Stoob – A Difficult Stage, Samit Basu, illustrated by Sunaina Coelho
In the second book of the popular series, Stoob discovered his inner star and is all set to take Hollywood by storm—but first he has to audition for a part in the school play based on the hit children’s TV series Teem Rama Adventurezz. Unfortunately, the channel executive, a villainous Suit, casts him as a table. Fortunately, there are wheels within wheels and he ends up playing the Rakshas Hero.…but sinister forces lurk, as always, between him and ultimate glory.
Sayoni Basu, Publisher, Duckbill
When She Went Away, Andaleeb Wajid
A funny and warm story of an unusual teenage dilemma–what do you do when your mother abandons you?
Tiger Boy, Mitali Perkins
Neel and his sister Rupa set out on a quest to locate their tiger cub. A warm and amazing story of a community and a boy and a tiger, and many things inbetween!
The Sherlock Holmes Connection, Martin Widmark, Anushka Ravishankar, Katarina Genar, Bikram Ghosh
Sherlock Holmes is dead, but his legacy lives on in unexpected ways.
In stories spanning almost a century, in cities half a world away from each other, the magnifying glass of Sherlock Holmes appears just when there is a mystery to solve. But its appearance throws up other questions: who was John Watson? Was he really what he seemed to be? And how and why are his heirs involved in the mysteries?
Vatsala Kaul Banerjee, Publishing Director, Hachette
The Gita for Children by Roopa Pai
This book became a runaway bestseller in 2015. Roopa Pai’s informed and spirited approach to the classic not only touched the hearts and minds of young and old readers across India but also at schools and literature festivals such as Bookaroo.
Dead as a Dodo by Venita Coelho
An endearing, chuckle-worthy and often touching animal rescue mission ever, full of inventive twists and turns.
Across the Seven Seas by Anuradha Kumar
The book traces the dramatic lives of an absolutely fascinating selection of Indians who travelled abroad in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Astro-Nuts: An Intergalactic Drama, Manjula Padmanabhan
The perfect thought-provoking annual day play about many problems that have plagued the earth for long, and continue to do so.
Publisher, Penguin RandomHouse
Reignited:Scientific Pathways To a Brighter Future, APJ Abdul Kalam and Srijan Pal Singh
Join Dr A.P.J. Kalam on a fascinating quest to explore the realm of science and technology, its extraordinary achievements and its impact on our lives in the days to come. Will robots take over the world? When will we meet aliens? How are memories stored inside the brain? This book features exciting and cutting-edge career paths in areas such as robotics, aeronautics, neurosciences, pathology, paleontology and material sciences . . . in other words, careers that are going to make a difference in the future.The book offers a plethora of ground-breaking ideas that will make youngsters think out of the box.
The Milk Moustache, Vikas Khanna
When the children of the village refuse to drink milk one day, it makes Kali the cow very sad indeed. And it is up to Jassi, the local milkman’s daughter and Kali’s best friend, to find a way to end the milk strike and lift Kali’s spirits again.Sumptuously illustrated and simply told.
The Incredible History of India’s Geography, Sanjeev Sanyal
In here you will discover all sorts of things you never expected, like the fact that we still greet each other like the Harappans used to or that people used to think India full of one-eyed giants. Full of quirky pictures and crazy trivia, this book takes you on a fantastic journey through the incredible history of India’s geography.
The Story of Babur: Parvati Sharma & Urmimala Nag
This is the story of Babur, the first Mughal emperor of Hindustan. It is based on the Babur Nama, in which Babur writes about the events in his life, and of the people and things he loved or hated. Descended from two legendary conquerors, Chenghis Khan and Amir Temur, Babur spent much of early life losing kingdoms, wandering through the Uzbek mountains and almost living the life of a vagabond. This is the story of the strange and wonderful things the future brought to him.
The Wild Wisdom Quiz Book Vol 2, WWF
If questions around nature and wildlife intrigue you, this handy quiz book is one you should own! Take a joyride through the animal and plant kingdom as you learn about exotic and familiar species. Compiled from India’s only national-level quiz on wildlife, this book will evoke excitement and a sense of wonder with fascinating facts, interesting trivia and vivid illustrations.
SuperZero and the Grumpy Ghosts, Jane DeSuza
The second caper of this hilarious, popular series has feisty gritty little SuperZero walk smack into ghosts who are terrorizing the local mall. Meet the looniest ghosts ever – screeching singers who steal mannequins, old buffalo-riders and even ghosts who are afraid of ghosts. The supporting cast of whackos – Anna Conda, Vamp Iyer, Tara RumPum – all play their role in creating even more hysterics.
Rusty and the Magic Mountain, Ruskin Bond
A brand new Rusty after almost a decade. Rusty and his friends Pitambar and Popat find adventure in no small measure when they set out to climb a mysterious mountain around which legend and superstition have grown over the years. On the way they shelter in a haunted rest house, encounter a tiger, and experience a hilarious mule ride which takes them to the palace of a mad Rani who presides over a murder of crows. There are other surprises in store for the boys a beautiful but mysterious princess, a colony of dwarfs and a wonderful musical stone!
Ambushed, Nayanika Mahtani
Gadget geek Tara (aka the Wii Wonder at school) braces herself for the dullest summer ever when her banker-turned photographer father whisks her off to a sleepy tiger reserve in the Himalayan foothills, where Nothing Ever Happens. In her debut novel, the author tackles the glaring issue of tiger poaching, while spinning a compelling story about man versus nature.
Horrid High, Payal Kapadia
If eleven-year old Ferg Gottin had been bought from a store, his parents would have returned him and demanded a refund. But of course they can’t, so they do the next best thing. They send him to the world’s most horrid school.An absolute blast!
The House that Sonabai Built, Vishakha Chanchani, photographer : Stephen P. Huyler
As a young woman, Sonabai Rajawar finds herself alone, day after day for almost fifteen year. No family, no friends… And then one day she ‘makes’ her way out of oppressive loneliness into a world of creativity, beauty and joy.
Gender Talk:Big Hero, Size Zero,story , Anusha Hariharan, Sowmya Rajendran, pictures: Niveditha Subramaniam
Big Hero. Size Zero. The perfect male-female bodies — says who? Are sex and gender the same thing? Two young writers, ‘talk’ directly to young people about this complex subject with empathy and in a language they would understand. Uncovering truths, untruths, semi-truths and myths, using everyday examples as well as references to popular media, the book explores what it means socially and culturally to belong to a certain gender.
Being Boys, various, pictures: Niveditha Subramaniam
Written with humour and empathy, this array of fiction, fable, autobiography, reportage, diary jottings, memoir and history rewrites the ‘rules’ of being boys. Among others, contributors include Jerry Pinto, Amandeep Sandhu, Vikram Seth and Manjula Padmanabhan.
Our Incredible Cow, Mahasweta Devi, pictures : Ruchi Shah
Nyadosh the cow has a fierce gleam in her eyes and a furious appetite. She chomps on textbooks, feasts on frocks and devours anything blue in colour. But once this incredible cow gets onto the ilish fish trail, there’s just no stopping her…
Bhimrao Ambedkar : The Boy Who Asked Why, Sowmya Rajendran, pictures : Satwik Gade
Why do I have to sit separately in a corner of the classroom? Why can’t I drink water from the tap like other children? Why do the teachers never touch my books?The ‘whys’ shout louder in little Bhim’s head as he grows up, trailed constantly by the monster of untouchability. They catapult him into a lifetime of struggle for equality. They shape the remarkable ideas that are the cornerstone of the Indian Constitution, which he drafted as India’s first Law Minister.
Publisher, Tara Books
The Boy Who Speaks in Numbers, Mike Masilamani, illustrated by Matthew Frame
The Boy Who Speaks in Numbers is a darkly satiric account of childhood in times of war. Set in Sri Lanka, the events it narrates could equally happen elsewhere — in all places where human deaths are reduced to numbers and guns do not differentiate between adults and children.
8 Ways to Draw an Elephant
A brilliant way to explore Indian art traditions. The elephant is imagined and rendered in eight different folk and tribal styles. Through tracing, patterning and coloring the elephants, the child can immerse herself in detailed exploration of styles, or just have fun.
Captain Coconut and the Case of the Missing Bananas
The first in the Captain Coconut series. Meet the ace detective Captain Coconut, whose great brain can solve any mystery, large or small. In ‘The Case of the Missing Bananas’, Captain Coconut finds himself on a slippery trail of peels and numbers.
Half the Field is Mine, Swati Sengupta
A beautiful story of friendship that will shake notions of what’s suitable for girls and what’s appropriate for boys; what’s beautiful and what’s ugly; and why differences in class cannot come between soul-mates.
For Kids By Kids 2015: Award-winning Stories from the 2015 Scholastic Writing Awards, Various
An anthology of the award-winning stories from the Scholastic Writing Awards.
Laugh OK Please, Shachii Manik & Dhanashri Ubhayakar
A truck full of jokes and riddles! Meet mechanics from Punjab, knock on strange doors and find dinosaurs
with jobs as you travel across the pages of this funny book.
Fabulous Folk Art: Art and Craft Activities from Across India, Benita Rao
Savour the richness and beauty of Indian art and learn about its origins with this beautifully designed book that blends traditional folk art with contemporary projects. A book for beginners and experts alike, this visual delight includes illustrated instructions and a step-by-step guide to 10 wonderful craft activities.
A crazy consignment of brand new jokes and riddles. Meet mechanics from Punjab, knock on strange doors and find dinosaurs with jobs as you travel across the pages of this funny book.
The Mystery of the Nizam’s Jewels, Anjali Raghbeer and Bubbles Sabharwal
The feisty Google Gang have tumbled headlong into yet another mystery … They now move to the Chowmahalla Palace in Hyderabad where they are determined to investigate the strange disappearance of the Nizam’s jewels
The Case of Disappearing Colour, Charuta Rao
All colour has left Amie’s city, Doombay, making its usually friendly people think in black and white and come to fists over petty differences. Worse still, it makes Amie’s mother ill. The only way to save her is to bring colour back. So Amie embarks on a quest to Hue Country, meeting along the way her allies Mitey the flea, Soma the ant and the rat Dveeja.
Adventure on Wheels, Prashant Pinge
Two thieves, three orphan kids, an accidental kidnapping, and a failed attempted robbery!
Bookasura: The Adventures of Bala and the Book – Eating Monster, Arundhati Venkatesh, illustrator Priya Kurian
A strange many-headed creature, Bookasura, makes an appearance when Bala is at his grandparents’ house. Bala keeps Bookasura at bay by supplying him with a steady stream of books. But Bala will soon run out of books. What then? Will Bookasura eat Bala up? Or will Bala be able to save himself? A deligtful chapter book about books and reading.
Zafar Anjum, Publisher, Kitaab
Adventure Stories of Great Writers, Dr Usha Bande
The idea of this book germinated when Dr. Usha Bande was reading the biographies of authors like Hemingway, Melville and R. L. Stevenson to teach a course. The thrill of adventures of these writers inspired her to read more such biographies, take out some exciting episodes from their lives and rewrite them for young readers. The result is a collection of real life stories that teach us how to survive and even enjoy life’s harrowing moments.