Dec 292021
Reviews from Shipra and Sharav’s Treasure Trove (4-8 years)
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Note from Team Kids Book Café: Very often Shipra shares incredible book reviews in our facebook group. We’re curating the must haves in a post here for everyone’s benefit.

Book: Gilbert The Great

Written by: Jane Clarke

Illustrated by: Charles Fuge

Age recommendation: 4 – 8 years

A book about Gilbert the shark and his best friend Raymond the Remora. They share a beautiful bond and are almost inseparable until one day when Raymond goes way.
Gilbert was very sad, everyone tried to make him happy. But nothing could sooth the pain Gilbert was going through. And one fine day Gilbert goes out with mom to eat and finds another Remora Rita and became friends with her.
A heart warming tale of friendship, love and loss. This story teaches us how to come over the pain that we experience when our friends move away from us.
I reckon such books must be read to kids for their emotional development. If you are part of our facebook group you can see the inside pages here.
You can find all of Jane Clarke’s books here, and all of Charles Fuge’s here.

Book: Our Friend Hedgehog – The Story Of Us

Author: Lauren Castillo

Recommended Age: 5 – 8 years.

We spent our lazy Sunday afternoon reading a beautiful story of friendship – OUR FRIEND HEDGEHOG – THE STORY OF US by Caldecott Honour winner, LAUREN CASTILLO. A story filled with love, a story that felt like a cool breeze on a summer day or a ray of sunshine on a foggy winter day. Sounds comforting?!
Our Friend Hedgehog- a simple story of friendship between a hedgehog and little Mutty, who lived on a tiny island away from the forest, just the two of them. Life was good; hedgehog was content until a terrible storm with the meanest wind swept her little friend Mutty away.
Hedgehog was all heartbroken and sad and wept and wept. But she knew crying could not bring her only dearest friend back. She gathered herself up and began the quest to find Mutty in the mainland. On her journey, she met – an empathetic Mole, an intelligent Owl, a Beaver busy building his home of sticks, a hen and two chicks and the narrator, the little brown girl, Annika Mae Flores, who had recently shifted to her new house on the Tall Hill. All the characters in the forest came together to help hedgehog find her best friend; the journey made them all best friends.
The sadness of losing an old friend, the courage to open up to strangers, the happiness of strangers turning into friends, the chain of events that lead to finally finding Mutty (though not in the best condition due to the storm) are all so heartwarming. Lauren’s colourful illustrations add more warmth to this sweet story of friendship. The artwork will surely inspire children to make one of their own.
This chapter book, perfect for ages 5-8 years, not just celebrates the beauty of best friends but also encourages you to keep your heart & arms open for new bonding. It also acknowledges the power of kindness and the power of a community. The old friends are always special, but at the same time, you could write new stories with new friends.
While we were reading this together, both of us were quick to relate it to our worlds – Sharav imagined his friends and life at school while I couldn’t help but think only about KBC. How in life we meet new people, from being strangers to friends, helping each other and creating our own story.
Sometimes you make a friend and, it feels like you have known that friend your entire life.
p.s. I’ll give away a little secret that will make you love the story even more; little Mutty was Hedgehog’s stuffed dog friend. 🙂
Friends add colour to our life – keep making your life colourful! If you are part of our kbc fb group, you can see some of the inside pages here.

You can find all of Lauren Castillo’s books here.

Title: The Couch Potato

Author: Jory John & Pete Oswald

Age group: 4 – 8 years

The book “the fabulous friend machine” reminded me of another book that we have in our collection, a book that I had wanted to share with you all. It’s ‘THE COUCH POTATO’ from the creators of The Bad Seed, The Good Egg, and The Cool Bean, Jory John & Pete Oswald. [You can find all of Jory John’s books here and Pete Oswald’s here.
Lounging on a comfortable, cozy couch in front of a big screen watching your favourite shows with snacks by the side sounds perfect, huh?
“My favourite place to slouch is on the couch”. The Couch Potato’s favourite spot is on the couch; everything he needs is within his reach – TV remote, video games, furry bunny slippers and gadgets to feed snacks. He doesn’t need to move even an inch. The numerous screens on the wall in his room keep him entertained at all times – watching his favourite shows, playing video games and even connecting with his spuddies. A perfect life for Couch Potato! But, suddenly one day, PEWWWWWW, lights went off! And Couch Potato decides to take his dog, Tater, for a walk OUTSIDE. As he walked on the street in the neighbourhood, he realised everything was so vivid; the smell of fresh air, the chirping of birds, a picturesque park that seemed like a desktop background. The beauty of Nature, the stillness of the sky, pulled him away from the wired world.
This book is a reminder call for kids and adults to detach themselves from the electronic cords and reboot amidst Nature. A reminder to pause and breathe in the fresh air and explore the world. The illustrations by Pete Oswald breathes life into the story. This beautiful story laced with humour ends with a positive message of maintaining a balance between screen time & the outside world – a message so important now than ever.
This book is perfect for sparking a conversation with your kids regarding the perils of too much screen time, the joys of outdoor activities, the happiness of spending time with your family and friends playing indoor games, dancing & reading together.
If you’re a part of our kbc fb group, you can see some inside pages here.

Book: No Buddy Like A Book

Written by: Allan Wolf

Illustrated by: Brianne Farley

Age recommended: 4 – 7 years

There’s no better companion than a book. Books have answers to all our questions, whether big or small, silly or sensible. Books are stress-busters, the best teachers and the perfect escape from mundane life. We all would acknowledge that books have been our constant support during this pandemic. They have held our hands and walked us through the toughest of times with ease.
No buddy like a book”, is a book celebrating the power of books. It’s a journey showcasing how the books open doors to endless possibilities to discover and explore. The book needs no further introduction, quoting from the book, ‘but books are only smears of ink without the reader’s mind to give the letters meaning and to read between the lines.’ All one needs is wings of imagination to fly high with the book.
Oh, and how could I miss talking about the most captivating illustrations by Brianne Farley?! It will most certainly transport you to a magical world.
Reading is dreaming with open eyes. Keep reading. Keep soaring high. If you are a part of our kbc fb group, you can find some inside pages here.

You can find all of Allan Wolf’s books here and all of Brianne Farley’s here.

Book: Thank You, Omu!

Author: Oge Mora

Age group: 4 – 8 years

Thank you, Omu! is an award-winning book that helps generate gratitude and generosity most simply. Oge Mora‘s priceless book is one of those that hits the chord in the very first read, a book that promptly softens your heart and makes the soul smile.
It’s a book with a simplistic, heartwarming storyline. Omu prepares a scrumptious thick red stew in a big fat pot for her perfect meal. As the stew cooks, its irresistible aroma attracts everyone in the neighbourhood. Omu generously shares her meal with everyone. In the end, there is nothing but an empty pot. Will she still be able to have the best dinner of her life?! As she sits saddened, there’s a knock on the door. A little boy comes with a thank you note for Omu. How the community gathers to show gratitude for Omu’s magnanimity is particularly touching.
This book made me all nostalgic, for it revolves around the perfect ingredients – food & love.
It is often difficult for children to share things that they love. This story beautifully sensitises them to what joy selfless acts of kindness bring when showered with gratitude.
The book is charismatic, not only because of the story but eye-catching artwork.
And yes, it offers opportunities for several book-based activities too, like we drew a gratitude jar, wrote a thank you note and plan to do some paper collage craftwork over the weekend.
A dash of kindness can make this world a brighter place!
P.S. It’s a Caldecott honour & Coretta Scott winning book.
If you are a kbc fb group member, you’ll be able to see some of the inside pages here.

You can find all of Oge Mora’s books here.

Title: Being Gandhi

Author: Paro Anand

Illustrator: Priya Kurian

Age group: 9+ years

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi – Father of the Nation, a pioneer of India’s freedom struggle, who doesn’t know about him? From a kindergartener to an adult, everyone affectionately calls him – Bapu. There are a lot of books highlighting the glorious journey of Gandhi Ji: the journey from M.K. Gandhi to the ‘Father of the Nation.’ So, when I picked this book (from a book café that lets you choose a free book when you dine with them), I thought it would be just another ‘Gandhi’ book. But I had two good reasons to pick it- a) the author, Paro Anand (had read raving reviews of her books here at KBC) & b) pictures by my favourite illustrator, Priya Kurian.
I started reading it a week later with apprehensions and curiosity, and it was ‘unputdownable’. BEING GANDHI by Paro Anand is a refreshing new take on Gandhi. The protagonist, Chandrasekhar, a 13-year-old boy, finds the annual drill of essays, plays on Gandhi Jayanti uninteresting- “I don’t see the point of celebrating one man, one leader, year on year.” The young teen is baffled when his teacher throws an assignment – to behave like Gandhiji for a week, to follow his example in everyday life. He is left befuddled and has no idea how was he going to channelize the inner Gandhi.
While he’s engrossed in getting done with the assignment soon, life takes an unexpected ugly turn. The story has the backdrop of the 1984 riots, the assassination of then PM Indira Gandhi that left the entire country burning; people were recklessly killing people from the other community. Chandrashekhar’s best friend and neighbours who lived across the road are killed-the incidents leave him utterly shaken to the core. The sequence of events further brings out Gandhi in him. Without being preachy, the book takes us through how Chandra negotiates confusion, anger and fear and finds the courage and strength to stand up for what he knows is right.

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

The book discusses not the man or his life but his way of life that must remain relevant even today. It urges us to find Gandhi within and keep it alive. How Gandhian principles can take through the challenges of everyday life. So, pause and introspect! The book ends with Chandra’s list of Gandhi Quotes. And ones that I loved are –

“An eye for an eye will turn the whole world blind” and “the simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.”

I would recommend this for every reader to get a fresh perspective on Being Gandhi.
Here’s wishing everyone an ‘introspective’ Gandhi Jayanti!
P.s. reading level is 9+ but to imbibe the essence of the book is 12+
P.s.s. the only thing that didn’t quite impress me was the book cover, anyways, the story makes up for everything.

You can find all of Paro Anand’s books here and all of Priya Kurian’s here.

Special thanks to Amardeep, Divya, Aarini for helping with the curation and actual posting of this wonderful list!

[Note from Team Kids Book Café: For your convenience, affiliate links (MARKED IN PINK) to some of the book titles & images have been added to enable you to buy the books from AMAZON, should you wish to! A very small amount of money comes to when you purchase a book via the amazon affiliate link provided (at absolutely no extra cost to you!). Do let us know if you need information about other children’s books by writing to]

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