Our #kbcMembers are big on Indian Mythology and try to introduce mythology books early on. We have already curated a post on Indian Festivals for ages 2-12. Here are some highly recommended children’s books on Indian/Hindu Mythology that get ordered frequently. Each book title will take you to amazon.in via our affiliate link.
For 9 years onwards
The Gita For Children by Roopa Pai. Undoubtedly this is the most popular book recommended. It’s loved by both children and parents. Though it mentions 10+ years, we have many 8 year olds who have been reading this book. Many parents read out The Gita to their 6 year olds as well! #kbcMember Pallavi Kolhapure tells us,
This is a really good one. Though my daughter read it a bit early at 9 years, it still made an impact. It’s very simple and easy understand.
The Vedas and Upanishads for Children also by Roopa Pai also has been recommended many times by parents who have enjoyed The Gita.
Two-Epics-in-One (The Girl Who Chose and The Boys Who Fought): Flip Book by Devdutt Pattanaik. When we talk of Indian Mythology, Devdutt Pattanaik’s name comes up over and over again.
This Flip book is highly recommended by our founder, Asha, who is not into Indian Mythology at all! To quote her,
I’m haven’t read mythology. My exposure to the Ramayana and Mahabharat was through the TV series on Doordarshan when I was in school. But in the last 3 years, every time I attend the Jaipur Lit Fest, I make sure I attend all of Devdutt’s sessions. He is one of the most mermerising speakers in this country. And his sessions leave me full of intrigue. Because I have never read mythology, my 13 year old hasn’t shown any interest either. So I got this book for both of us: It is a very contemporary book with new age illustrations and narrations style that appeals to young and not so young! I just love the concept (The Girl Who Chose – which is Sita on the choices she made in the Ramayana + The Boys Who Fought – the Pandavas & Kauravas stories in the Mahabharata), the language is simple and very engaging for children, the chapters are short and there is so many different bits of trivia/stories that are unheard by most of us in the conventional narrations. Though the recommended age is 10 years+ I reckon younger children will easily take to it and get hooked!
The Boys Who Fought: The Mahabharata for Children
The Girl Who Chose: A New Way of Narrating the Ramayana
Sudha Murty’s books are bestsellers for a reason: They are written in the most easy to understand, yet engaging form of storytelling! Children of all ages as well as adults love her books. She has also written around 4 children’s books on mythology (Unusual Tales Series). They are apt for 9 years+ .
The Upside-Down King: Unusual Tales about Rama and Krishna
The Daughter from a Wishing Tree: Unusual Tales about Women in Mythology
The Serpent’s Revenge: Unusual Tales from the Mahabharata
The Man from the Egg: Unusual Tales about the Trinity
Aditi Ahuja and her daughter simply adore Sudha Murty’s books and have most of them. To quote her,
The Upside-Down King is one book where children can read unheard stories about Indian Mythology. It is divided into 2 sections, stories about Sooryavansha and Chandravansha which have been the two main lineages to which many popular kings like Rama and Krishna have belonged. My daughter was overwhelmed after reading the story of Raja Harishchandra and found Raja Shivi’s story very nice.
Scholastic Book of Hindu Gods and Goddesses by Deepa Agarwal. (6-12 years)
Ramayana for Children by Arshia Sattar (8 years+)
The Children’s Ramayana by Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury (7 years+)
The Mahabharata: a child’s view by Samhita Arni (7 years+)
Mahabharata for Children by Subradra Sen Gupta (6-10 years)
Mahabharata (in English) – this a list of various illustrated books by Om Books, Maple Press, Pegasus, Amar Chitra Katha. These are very popular and affordable for kids 6 years and above.
Mythological books for children – popular and affordable books from various publications – Om Books, Maple Press, Wonder House.
Mythology Gamified – Epically Ramayana Memory Matching Card Game for Kids Based on Ramayana, Art & Story by Devdutt Pattanaik. This has recently become an object of desire in our community!!
For 4 – 8 years
Shyam, Our Little Krishna: Read and Colour, by Devdutt Pattanaik Amardeep recommends this book for 4 yrs+. Quoting her:
I haven’t introduced mythology to my 4.5 year old except kahani purani and the om cut out books. Few months back, he got fascinated by Krishna, and asked for books on him. The few I bought had too much of killing and war for my liking. But, so far I’ve catered to every interest of his. It kept bothering me that I was deliberately keeping him away from mythology, maybe because I wasn’t too keen on it myself. Very hesitantly I ordered this book, because really how much can stories differ?! Mythology does involve killing, and that’s the reality. But, I was pleasantly surprised. This book has really been written for children – easy to understand words, minimal text, not much reference to killing (i found just the one in the the entire book). Neil enjoyed reading the short stories, and we finished the entire book in one go. The book is the perfect introduction to Krishna stories for young ones, but may not be ideal for those who are already heavily into mythology as the stories are incredibly shortened to suit kids. This worked perfectly for me though, since it omitted lots of stuff that isn’t suitable for young kids. Oh, every story also has a colouring page! How cool is that?
Hanuman: Read and Colour is the next book in the series! Quoting Prachi:
Ishani was hooked on to the book as soon as she returned from school on Friday and we have read this every day over the weekend! That too, the full book EVERY time with lots of breaks where the Missy shares her two cents about the events in Hanuman’s life that she has gathered from other books or how she wants to have him as a friend!
Ten Heads For Tanuj by Priya Narayanan (the story of Ravana with a twist!) – read mini review here! (6-8 years)
The entire Amma Tell Me About series by Bhakti Mathur is one of the most loved and recommended series in the 4-8 years category. It also comes in The Full Amma Tell Me: Ten Book Set which usually works out more economical. There is another interesting series called Amma Takes Me Places: A Box Set Edition which also is very popular!
The Amma Tell Me Krishna Trilogy
Amma Tell Me About Krishna!: Krishna Trilogy Part 1
Amma Tell Me How Krishna Fought the Demons!: Part 2 in the Krishna Trilogy
Amma, Tell Me How Krishna Defeated Kansa! (Amma Tell Me: Krishna Trilogy, Part 3)
The Amma Tell Me Hanuman Trilogy
Amma, Tell Me About Hanuman!: Hanuman Trilogy Part 1
Amma Tell Me How Hanuman Crossed the Ocean!: Part 2 in the Hanuman Trilogy!
Amma Tell Me about Hanuman’s Adventures in Lanka!: Part 3 in the Hanuman Trilogy
Fun in Devlok Omnibus – Another must have from Devdutt Pattanaik
The Mighty God Indian Mythology Large Print Series by Om Books (Hanuman, Krishna, Ganesha, Devis)
Ramayana Stories: Om Books International: – There are about more than 12 books in series. The books are 16 page-individual stories from the Ramayana. Titles include: Prince Rama in the Gurukul, The Breaking of the Bow, The Battle with Kumbhakarna, The Burning of Lanka, Luv and Kush. Beautifully illustrated, these books are extremely affordable and popular! The series comes in a bookset as well which is works out to be more economical – RAMAYANA STORIES (SET OF 12 BOOKS)
Sabah recommends this series:
Mahabharata Stories by Subhadra Sen Gupta, published by Om Books was our second introduction to the epic. A series of 12 books, each books tells a single story that is a part of the greater tale. If I had to compare them, each book in this series is equivalent to one chapter in the Mahabharta book by Shree Book Centre. The books have clean, modern illustrations, and the language reads finer. This would be a great self read for an advanced reader where one is not looking to extrapolate on the details. It did lack some of the depth and drama as the illustrative style is flat, so for a child that the story is being read to, the characters look a tad blank. The books are also shorter in length, perfect for the early reader, and it helps that they’re available for purchase as single books. They are also available as a set.
The Mahabharata: Children’s Illustrated Classics – this is a collector’s item and makes a lovely gift. It’s boxset of 10 books that are individual stories around different events. Idea for 6-7 years.
RELATED READING: Sabah’s list of books on Mahabharata that her 4 year old enjoys (for 4-7 years)
Mahabharata for Children by Pegasus
The Scholastic Book of Stories from Mythology
Illustrated Mahabharata for Children
The Mahabharata: Children’s Illustrated Classics
Ganesha: The Wonder Years (Campfire Graphic Novels) (44 pages). Sharadhi has shared a tiny read aloud by Stavya in the fb group.
Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth – another book loved by some of our parents.
Bhagavad Gita for Children by Sudha Gupta. Quoting Sweta Mundhra who highly recommends it:
Half of the book is Krishna stories told and illustrated beautifully and rest half is the Bhagavad Gita knowledge. I started for my 5.11 year old. It had verses on death and beautifully explained for a child and adult to understand.
For 0 – 4 years
Cut Out Board Books by Om Books – This is probably the most popular cutout board mythology series for toddlers. Includes Shiva, Hanuman, Saraswati, Durga, Ganesha, Krishna, Lakshmi, Kali. Almost all of our #kbcChildoos have at least one of these books. Read Priya’s review of Hanuman here.
Pop up Mythology Books by Om International – Authored by Amrita Verma, this pop up fun series with bright illustrations comes in 6 books (also as a boxset) including Ganesha, Hanuman, Krishna, Shiva, Durga, Lakshmi.
Gods and Godesses (3-6 years)
Powerful Hanuman by Anita Raina Thapan – another highly recommended book by many of our parents. All of Anita Raina Thapan’s mythology books by Tota Books are hugely popular with our 2-5 yos especially Little Hanuman and Shiva Loves to Dance.
My little book of Lakshmi (read review here) for 2.5-5 years. This is a brilliant series by Talking Cub.
KAHANI PURANI HINDI BOARD BOOK BY T4TALES is a blockbuster with our community. It’s an interactive book that toddlers and pre-schoolers adore and makes the best first book on mythology!
Mahabharata in Hindi for all age groups
Mahabharata Amar Chitra Katha in Hindi
Shout-out to our 13yo Intern-In-Residence (Aarini – The Chief Childoo) for posting this.
[Note from Team Kids Book Café: For your convenience, affiliate links (MARKED IN PINK) to some of the books have been added to enable you to buy the books from AMAZON, should you wish to! A very small amount of money comes to kidsbookcafe.com when you purchase a book via the amazon affiliate link provided (at no extra cost to you!). Do let us know if you need information about other children’s books by writing to email@example.com.]