BEING GANDHI by Paro Anand – Shipra just shared this lovely review in the group! Reading level- 9+ but to imbibe the essence of the book -12+
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. the only thing that didn’t quite impress me was the book cover, anyways, the story makes up for everything.
Sharing books recommended by Shipra on Feelings and how to deal with them. In her words:
Feelings are fantastic, we just need to recognise them and learn how to express them socially. And of course, there are books to hold our hands & guide us through.
a) The Fantastic Book of Feelings: A Guide to Being Happy, Sad and Everything In-Between! by MARCIA WILLIAMS
This is a brilliant book for ages 5-9 yrs. The stories are written in a comic strip style. It discusses feelings like – being sad, lonely, jealous, hate, shy, angry, anxious. The characters in every story share their top tips to manage the feeling. It shares the top ten tips for keeping our feelings fit. A perfect guide to help us understand why we get certain feelings, recognise them, which will eventually help to make better choices.
Again a wonderful book for ages 6 and above. The book deals with the topic in an organised manner, explaining what is frustration and what all situations leave a child developing feelings of frustration. This particular book is a hands-on guide for coping strategies. It breaks down the problems into bits and pieces and provides simple solutions to step away from the negative feelings. The highlight of the book is the reading and writing activities that are given at the end that can help one think more about how to manage when you’re feeling frustrated. It also has detailed pointers for teachers, parents and carers to support and encourage the child to learn to cope better.
BABIES & TODDLERS
Melissa & Doug Poke-A-Dot: First Words – Minoti’s Yashaswi was giggling away as he poked this book. In her words,
This is such an entertaining book. Every page has a big picture like apple, chair, shoes etc. basically familiar things which a baby sees around in the house and there is this button which when poked creates a ‘click’ sound
Chris Ferrie books – Shipra recommends these books for curious babies, parents who wish to introduce non fiction at an early stage.
My First Little Librarian: Boxset of 24 Best Board Books for Kids (by the book tree) – Prerna Agarwal Pathak recommends this. It also comes in a boxset of 12.
LET’S INVESTIGATE WITH NATE for 4 years+ Quoting Amardeep,
I found this series “Let’s investigate with Nate”, and what a brilliant find it has been. Take magic school bus, jazz it up, fill it up with humour and many more adventures – You’ll get this series. Each concept is explained very simply through an adventure, and many many questions. The illustrations are absolutely brilliant, and help the child to understand the topic. Most importantly, the entire book is so fun that Neil and I felt like we were on the adventure with all of them. If you are looking to explain these slightly complicated topics of water cycle and life cycle to your children, I highly recommend this series. Appropriate for ages 4+
BE A VIRUS WARRIOR: A KID’S GUIDE TO KEEPING SAFE – an important book to explain the importance of protecting ourselves from germs.
My Little Sister Doris – by award winning Liz Pichon for 3-7 years: This is Asha’s current fave book on “getting used to the new baby” kind of books! It’s hilarious with the most outstanding illustrations. Brilliantly portrayed with the sweetest message in the funniest way :). Asha grabbed it from the Scholastic India Sale and has been gifting it since!
Khushboo Shah shared a review of both. In her words:
My heart: It is such a simply written book with minimal words which normalizes the various emotions we feel. Our heart will feel different things at different times (it will not always be hunky dory and that is really OK!). We must learn to acknowledge our feelings (whether sad or happy) and accept them. The most powerful lines in the book which resonated with me were “My heart is a shadow, a light, and a guide. Closed or open… I get to decide”. After reading the book, it felt a little familiar.
The Tree in Me: This one I had to read a couple of times to get the meaning. It tells that each one of us has strength and capabilities within each of us with which we can withstand any obstacle. It is spiritual in the sense that it helps us connect with nature (the tree, the sky, the sun, the wind). We are all one with nature and hence our souls are all interlinked. “The tree in me is strong. It bends, and has roots that go deep … down to where other roots reach up toward their own trunk-branch-crown and sky too.” These lines reminded me of “Avatar” movie and “Avatar: The Last Airbender” series which also propounds the same theory. I think the more I read it, the more insights I will get from this.
I thought that my almost 3 yr old son Daksh will not be taken by these books as much as me. But he loves them and has read them several times (at-least twice daily) since they arrived. The illustrations are beautiful. The author uses the illustrations and the colour combination perfectly to drive home the message. And I love the fact that heart is yellow (not pink/red) and the tree is pink/orange.
My Shadow is Pink – for 4-8 years. Priyanka shared the most outstanding review of this book:
This story revolves around a boy who has ‘a pink shadow’ as opposed to his dad, brothers, male friends who have a blue one. Anything that falls in the box of ‘not for boys’ like pink toys, princesses, dresses, all of that intrigues him and he has the feeling of Self when he is surrounded by these things. His dad tries to console him stating ‘this is just a phase’, but is it one at all? He feels so aloof as he enters his school, on the first day since his pink shadow gets noticed by all his classmates and the room doesn’t quite befriend him. He is shattered and torn apart as he comes back home and just then his father stands up for him and gives him the courage to own himself and to know that ‘its not just a shadow. Its his inner- most you’. (Folks, I have goosebumps writing this already!). This beautiful story stands up for so many virtues, most of all to always stand up for who you are, no matter what your background is, no matter what color you like, no matter what is the color of your shadow. There is beauty in being different.
Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us by award winning Lauren Castillo. Recommended Age- 5-8years. Sharing Shipra’s review:
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 & 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 & 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.
Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle for 4-8 years. Sujata and her son love this book. She recommends it for foodies, especially people who are into all things pancakes!
The Long Way Home (Colour Fiction) by the acclaimed Corrinne Averiss for 5-8 years recommended by author & publisher Dr. D. Quoting him: “Delightful illustrations with a wonderful and tender message about keeping memories alive.”
Duck for President – Amardeep has suggested this for a query to explain the voting process to a 3.5 yo. “At this age, the child will only be able to understand the concept of voting and choosing a candidate from many, a candidate who stands for your rights. “Duck for President” is the perfect book to introduce this concept. It has the duck going around asking for votes too.”
Children Story Book – Stories With 2 Ends – Decision Based Alternative Story Path – Set of 3 books – Miracle world, The Underwater World, Toom And the Dragon – Achira suggested The Underwater World for the above query, “…a fun way to explain the meaning of having the right to choose your own leader is something you can try. The book that comes to my which we have is The story with two ends- Sathe underwater world. It is a story where the octopus who is the leader falls sick and he asks the fellow sea animals to choose a temporary leader till he recovers. How choosing these right person is important and makes a difference in their lives is explained quite beautifully.”
Junie B. Jones series for 6-9 years
Dan Gutman books for 6-10 years. Amee Shah’s son’s favourite author!
I Have SPD: Let Me Tell You About Me – recommended by Sunita Tagra on a query.
WHATEVER AFTER SERIES by Sarah Mlynowski for 8-12 years
Andrew Clements’ school stories – Aneesha Myles Shewani got the bookset for her 7th grader.
A Boy Called Hope – Medhansh – our rockstar reviewer, recommends this for 9-12 years
NIMONA GRAPHIC NOVEL award winning!!! by Noelle Stevenson for 13-17 years and this was ordered by Asha for her teen daughter, Aarini aka #the14yearold
The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures is Noelle’s second book for 14-17 years.
NEW RELEASES IN OCTOBER 2021
Tom Percival has two books up for release in October 2021.
Erika and the Angermare (Dream Defenders) for 7-9 years
Silas and the Marvellous Misfits: A Marcus Rashford Book Club Choice (Dream Defenders) for 7-11 years
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