Welcome to yet another recommendation-packed article! This is part of the #kbcAuthoRity series where we get authors (and their kids) to pick their bookish favourites (tough, really tough) and share them with you – the KBC community!
Here’s to raising readers together!
In this article, we have Nandita da Cunha, a children’s book author based in Mumbai, and her two daughters share their… wait for it… favourite books from Indian kidlit authors suitable for ages 4-7 years!
Psssst….some of us at KBC are still reading some of the books on this list!
Nandita dabbled in the corporate world before fully embracing what she loves – writing! One of her recent books, The Miracle on Sunderbaag Street , is on the Parag Honour List (2021). Way to go Nandita! Apart from that, she is also the author of two other amazing books, Just Like Papa (read review here) and The Magic of Maya .
Nandita has two more books that will be published in 2021. Wohoo!
Without further ado, here are recommendations from Nandita and her daughters. Take your pick!
Here’s a selection of picture books (for children between ages 4-7) by Indian authors, that are absolute favourites at home. These are the books my daughters (now 7 and 9) have read and re-read (and continue to do so…!)
A hilarious story about a tantrum throwing princess, who isn’t easy to please when traveling on Royal vacations. Sample this:
‘I want the same milk I have at home’ protested Princess Easy Pleasy. So for their spring vacation to China along went the cow.
The princess drives her parents and the Royal Packer crazy, as events build to an uproarious climax. The ending suggests that trying out new things could even be fun.
2. The Village with a Long Name
In the village of Thaiyum-thatha-thaiyum-thaha-taka-dhimi-chimmy-shimmy-pur, all streets also have extraordinarily long names. When a van carrying boxes of sweets loses its way, the village head decides to put up signboards. These are so long, they result in more mayhem!
This book by Asha Nehemiah makes for perfect for read aloud fun. We love the brilliant illustrations by Suvidha Mistry – don’t miss the postwoman bicycling to work with her infant!
There’s gentle humour and life packed in every detailed scene. Children will love the sounds and sights of the busy road.
Written by Anushka Ravishanker and illustrated by Pulak Biswas. A crocodile dares to enter a village and gets stuck in a ditch. Who can ‘catch it’ quick? Doctor Dutta with his tranquiliser? Or Bhayanak Singh the wrestler who turns into shivering jelly? Or young Meena, on her way to sell fish….
Or do they need to catch it at all?
The zany characters, lyrical lines and stunning illustrations make this a must-have. There’s a subtle message of conservation, but above all – it’s brilliant fun. Our fun doubled when we caught the play by Gillo Theatre; it keeps touring so keep a watch out if you liked the book.
5. Machher Jhol
Gopu’s father is unwell, and so Gopu decides to go to his grandmother’s house to get her to cook his father’s favourite fish curry. Can he manage by himself? (spoilers ahead…)
This is a beautifully narrated story, written by Richa Jha, made all the more poignant when we discover that Gopu is visually impaired. The illustrations by Sumanta Dey are a treat for the senses, as they bring alive the streets of Kolkata.
6. Nani’s Walk to the Park
This book is written and illustrated by Deepa Balsavar. When is a walk to the park, not just just a walk to the park?! As Venki walks with his Nani, he sees the neighbourhood streets in a completely different light. Lanes of Treasures (the Bazaar), Mischief (school) and Dreams (book sellers lane) open up before him.
Best of all, is the magical fold-out map at the end – a visual treat, filled with details that will keep children engrossed.
Curious Gul hears strange sounds from the radio one day. What follows is her adventure of discovery into the sounds of the Indian Jungle. From woodpeckers drumming to the bee-eater’s melodic duets, from the Kingfisher’s Blues, to the trumpeting Malabar Hornbill – this book, with its beautiful illustrations of birds, and birdsongs is sure to inspire children to listen in to the orchestra of nature around us.
It is written and illustrated by Devangana Dash.
This one is my younger daughter’s favourite! There’s ample opportunity to hoot, howl and chirrup chee together as you read aloud.
This is a beautiful story of Princess Parineeta, with hair like a long, black, river. The entire kingdom can’t wait for it to touch the ground when let down from the tallest tower – that’s when the King and Queen plan splendid celebrations. But Parineeta has plans of her own.
As she slips away, towards distant mountains–bit by bit, lock by lock, she shares her hair in unique ways, with the fisherfolk and animals she meets… until her head and heart are lighter and freer than ever before.
The gorgeous illustrations by Vandana Bist, bring out the warmth and simplicity in this story, written by Komilla Raote. The story leaves one with the message that it’s in giving that we receive…
Sundari (the daughter of a Mahout) and Lakshmi (a 500 kilo elephant calf) were born minutes apart. Sundari dreams of following in her father’s footsteps… but this isn’t possible for a girl! When trouble looms… can this pair of unusual ‘twins’ save the day?
We love how this book celebrates young girls and their dreams. The illustrations are warm and vibrant.
There’s a prince who hated food. A chef who accidentally discovered the magic of golden round crispy balls – Bondas. And a kingdom that went crazy eating Bondas.
But when the people of Bondapalli are in danger – who or what will come to their rescue?
That was a mind-blowing list! Don’t you agree?
Have you and your kids discovered any of these books? If yes, have you written a review on KBC yet? Sign up on the community site and simply ADD POST!
Are you an author (kidlit or otherwise) who has some pro tips and a handy list of book suggestions that parents could do with? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will feature your recommendations!
Let’s raise readers together!
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