Book Title: Bipathu And A Very Big Dream
Author: Anita Nair
Illustrator: Parmita Mukherjee
Publication: Puffin Books
No. of pages: 216 pages
Age Group: 9-12 years
“Bipathu and a very big Dream” is a heartwarming and motivational story that follows the journey of a determined 9-year-old Muslim girl named Bipathu. Despite the prevalent notion in her village that football is not meant for girls, Bipathu nurtures an ambitious aspiration—to become a skilled football player. In a society where gender stereotypes are firmly entrenched, her path is riddled with challenges. Will she manage to shatter these deeply ingrained stereotypes? Can she find a supportive ally amidst the scepticism, or must she navigate this journey alone, breaking barriers and defying conventions? The story delves into Bipathu’s inspiring endeavours as she works tirelessly to improve and prove her capabilities as a football player.
Bipathu matures into a responsible young girl, shouldering the role of a caretaker for her elder brother, Saad, who faces the challenges of cerebral palsy. Additionally, she selflessly looks after her baby brother, Faesal Kutty, as her mother takes on employment to sustain the family. In the absence of their father, who passed away early, the siblings navigate the journey of growing up amid economic adversity.
At an age when carefree play should define a nine-year-old’s existence, Bipathu’s life stands in stark contrast. Despite shouldering significant responsibilities, she maintains a remarkably positive perspective on life and places her faith in the universe for assistance.
She exhibits remarkable courage in confronting bullies and genuinely cares for her friends and family. Whether it’s protecting her brother Saad from her cousin’s bullying or advocating for her friend Rahul against their classmate Sulieman’s unfair treatment, Bipathu consistently showcases her protective instincts. This caring nature extends even to her elderly friend Madama, who is visually challenged, as she continues to offer her kindness and unwavering support.
One of the book’s standout features is its incredibly relatable and vividly brought-to-life character sketches. In fact, even while depicting Sulieman as a bully, the narrative subtly suggests the possibility that his actions could be rooted in certain circumstances. This nuanced approach to his character leaves room for understanding and empathy, which I found to be quite impressive.
Each page of the book exudes an abundance of tenderness that has the power to evoke a warm and squishy feeling inside, just as Bipathu herself would say! It’s overwhelmingly beautiful. Also, while numerous books elicit feelings of sympathy or pity for characters with diverse abilities, this specific book captivates our hearts by enabling us to genuinely empathize with them. The author’s dedicated efforts in achieving this are evident and truly commendable.
In its entirety, this book presents a compelling narrative that skillfully weaves a heartwarming story with a sensitive and empathetic portrayal of individuals with diverse abilities. This combination makes it an excellent read, offering both enjoyment and meaningful representation.
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Disclaimer: We got this book as part of #kbcReviewerSquad and we feel happy and privileged to be part of it as we are free to have our opinions and give an honest review of the book.