Book Title: Nimmi’s Crawful Camping Days
Author: Shabnam Minwalla
Cover Illustration: Tanvi Bhat
Publisher: Talking Cub – An imprint of Speaking Tiger Books
Age Group: 11 years+ (publisher recommendation is 9 years+)
Relatable tales on school events and friendships for tweens & teens in a hilarious narrative!
What could possibly happen when a group of 12-13-year-olds embark on a “crawful” (that’s crazy+awful in Nimmi’s dictionary) camping trip, meant to repair their bonds just before starting 7th grade? While we may imagine them simply having fun or getting into silly fights, this book takes us on a wild ride of bizarre events that will make you laugh with the turn of each page.
In the previous book of the Nimmi series, Nimmi’s Spectabulous Schooldays, we witnessed the hilarious and dramatic experiences of the 6th-grade class, which were not as “spectabulous” as Nimmi had hoped. The course had its fair share of cliques and troubles. Against this backdrop, the school principal, Mr Bakshi, sends the class to a team-building camp on the outskirts of Mumbai, hoping that the students will learn to work together.
Instead, Nimmi’s classmates are convinced that a serial killer is on the loose, and they fear potential vegetarian-hating cannibals roaming about. In this chaotic setting, Nimmi’s lumpy sleeping bag, wrapped in an Amazon Fresh plastic bag, takes on an unprecedented starring role. With the added challenges of hunger and a collapsing tent in the pouring rain, will Nimmi make it back home in one piece to tell the tale? You’ll have to read and find out!
Here’s what my 10-year-old (Miss. M) liked about the book:
- Nimmi’s hobby of creating new words such as “brustard” (a shade of muddy mustard) and “haxciting” (a combination of happy and exciting).
- M found Rohan’s edited letter to the Principal, in which he attempted to impress with his diction and convince him to allow the class to play football at the camp, absolutely hilarious and it made her laugh out loud! He used an online dictionary & spellcheck to substitute commonly used words with big words which turned out to be rather hilarious and cryptic.
e.g. “Football is good for team building and gangrene” while he actually meant to say football is good for team building and team spirit.
Or when he ended the letter by saying, “Yours straightforwardly, Rohan on behalf of the echelon”
instead of Yours truly, Rohan on behalf of the class.
- M found the groups in the class relatable and particularly liked Nimmi’s friends Kavya, Diya, Ashish and Kabir for being supportive friends.
- Extremely relatable and really funny.
Here are a few words about the book from my side:
- Shabnam Minwalla, the author, had me hooked from the very first page when she acknowledges that like many almost-teenagers, Nimmi tends to exaggerate at times. As a parent to an almost-teenager myself, I felt understood and appreciated by this relatable observation.
- I particularly enjoyed the use of hyphenated phrases throughout the book, such as, “All the cool kids and hoping-to-be-accepted-by-the-cool-crowd kids would vote for Sumit,” or the description of a “plastic-bag-rustling criminal”. These phrases added an extra layer of humour and creativity to the writing, making it even more enjoyable to read.
- I found all the characters in the book to be relatable – from Nimmi’s mother who believed in positive thinking and was a firm advocate of recycling, upcycling, and rebirth, to her sceptical father. Even Nimmi’s supportive friends and her bullies, Alisha and her team, were drawn from everyday situations, making them easy to relate to.
- If there’s one thing in the book that left me feeling concerned, it is the mention of dating. There’s a reference to 7th graders waxing their legs, wearing tight black dresses, and going on dates to Starbucks or class parties together, all while texting each other. This casual portrayal of dating among young t(w)eens feels premature and potentially inappropriate, especially considering the book’s target audience suggested as 9-year-olds and above. I felt this could be avoided given that it just occupied one page of the book.
In conclusion, this story with dramatic and tender moments can make for a great read for tweens and teens with its relatable tales on school events and friendships in a hilarious narrative.
Shabnam Minwalla is one of Aarini’s favourite authors and she highly recommends her books, especially the YA ones.
If you enjoyed this review and want to have a fun ride with Nimmi like me, you can grab this book from Amazon (kbc affiliate link)CLICK & BUY NOW!
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.