Mar 202019
Review: The Boy Who Swallowed a Nail
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*Part of Amazon’s Children’s Bookshelf (recommended books)

Book: The Boy who Swallowed a Nail

Author: Lalita Iyer

Type: Paperback

Ages: 6-10 years

When Gulzar Sahab says that, “Lalita Iyer’s stories carry a very palpable fragrance of the soil” about a book, one is tempted to read it.

This is written on behalf of my daughter Ankita (age: 9 yrs), we both just finished reading this book. So, in her words with a little help from me.

The boy who swallowed a nail and other stories by Lalita Iyer, is a book which I and my daughter had discovered on Amazon while looking for some other book. We liked the title and description and decided to buy it. This book is a memorabilia from Lalita Iyer’s own childhood.

This is a collection of stories which mainly revolves around her strange family, which she says is weird and funny in more than one ways. Appa, her father is a happy go lucky man who is kind and generous but wants to try his hands at different quick money making vocations, which usually leave him high and dry in the end. He makes strange friends from time to time who are really sticky individuals and take advantage of his generosity. They make life interesting for the family and give the kids a chance to laugh but usually leave Appa with losses and life lessons.

Amma (or the author’s mother), on the other hand is a responsible teacher cum homemaker cum mother and is always thinking practically. Even on a vacation, her main worry is washing and drying clothes. Somewhere while reading the book, one can correlate one’s own childhood with the author’s.

Lalita has siblings. A brother and sister who are twins. While her sister Indu (Chonu) is timid, her brother Sriram (Cheenu) has some really interesting childhood escapades which are shared in the book in the form of stories.

This quirky family’s account of travel to Dhanolti, the story of a man who couldn’t stop farting, Paatumami’s story and the story about the challenges of being a teacher’s daughter studying in the same school where one’s mom is also teaching are sure to connect the reader to his or her own childhood.

We waited and waited to read the title story, ‘The Boy Who Swallowed a Nail’ and like the best one is always saved for the last. Yes, this is the last story in the book. It’s really funny.

This book is recommended for any age group but kids who are 6 – 8 years old will enjoy it a lot.

Other children’s books by the same author include Grandpa Tales , Grandma Tales and The Girl Who Ironed Her Hair and other stories.

If you liked this review and would like to buy this book from Amazon (kbc affiliate link),


Reader Comments

  1. aditi, aditi! i think this is my fav review of ankita’s so far!! the coincidence is i carried this book to jaipur lit fest to read at the airports since i didn’t have direct flights! i somehow didn’t manage to finish it but now i will take it up again after reading ankita’s review! big hugs to both of you! more power to our indian authors!

  2. I am soon going to read this. Ankita’s review for this book generated my excitement. And I always love to read stories which I can relate to my childhood and life. Thank you Aditi for the review. 👍


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