Monday, October 23, 2006

Welcome to Saffrontree

Hi all! Welcome to Saffron Tree. This blog is a
culmination of my passion for children's literature. I have two daughters - a four yr old and a four month old! I know there are lots of book blogs that focus on mainstream American children's books, but I haven't been able to find any that focus primarily on children's books by Indian, Indian American and South East Asian authors. The goal for this blog, to start with, is to provide book reviews and recommendations of titles with a South Asian, particularly Indian flavor.

The first book that I would like to review is a title that is really close to my heart. Having spent close to 22 years of my life in India, and having done most of my schooling there, I was thrilled to find this picture book titled, Going to School In India in the 4-8 yr old category.
Going to School In India
by Lisa Heydlauff, Nitin Upadyhe, Global Fund for Children (Organization)

Going to School In India is a delightful, non-fiction book designed with brightly colored illustrations and photographs that capture the real life stories of how children get to school in India. There are twelve inspiring stories about children attending schools in different settings - in city schools, under mango trees, mountain fields, desert tents, etc. that serve as classrooms, and depictions of how children make their journey to and fro climbing on to bamboo bridges, boats, cable cars, school buses, rickshaws to get to their schools. The book's center is a colorful foldout with pictures of lunchtime goodies.

At bedtime the last few weeks, we've been looking at this book and its pictures. I talk to my daughter about the experiences of children depicted in the book, and it's a sheer joy being able to share this book with her.The lunchtime pictures also helped me talk to her about the kind of foods children take to school with them - Dal (lentils), Roti(the indain bread - wheat tortillas) and other rice and vegtable dishes that are healthy and tasty. Hopefully, the pictures will serve as an inspiration to get my 4 yr old to enjoy a variety of Indian foods going forward!

The only negative aspect about this book is that it looks a little cluttered and busy in terms of how the information and pictures are organized, and the font colors on some pages a little difficult to read - but you get used to it after a few reads. The book is a celebration of children and the different kinds of schools they attend in India - colorful and eye-catching, and heart warming in many ways, just like all the other sounds and sights of India that one can relate to when it is about India.


Krithika said...

Very nice site. Came here thru' Indira's blog. Love all the book links that you have provided. I am mother of 5 yr old twin boys.

Shilpa said...

This is a very interesting topic you have chosen. May be you can also write the precautions to be taken before and after child birth. The first hand experience will always be good for people like me. Thanks to you...

Praba Ram said...

Thanks so much Kirthika and Shilpa for your lovely comments. I am very excited to get started on this.

I would love to incorporate all your comments and feedback on this topic. I am such a newbie when it comes to blogging, and it is a work-in-progress. I hope to be able to learn, and provide some interesting pointers to children's books that inspire our family.

thanks again!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Prabha!

I have never seen blogs with this theme before. Yours is unique and going to be useful for parents of young children and in general to book lovers.

Both Vijay and I, we are also on the lookout for neat children’s books for our school library. 90 percent of the books we purchased for our school library are through Internet shopping. I am going to be a loyal visitor from now on and will like to follow your recommendations in selecting these books.

Congratulations again and best wishes!


Praba Ram said...

Indira -

Thank you so much! Great to see you here! It's a real honor, and I mean it from the heart!! Hopefully I can make it worthwhile for people who spend time visiting my blog.

I understand time management is a key to blogging, and I always wonder how fellow bloggers do it. I badly need some training on that. Would love to seek your inspiration and mentoring on that (if you have the time of course :-)), given your close to 2 yrs of experience on Mahanandi.

Hopefully, I can come up with pointers to interesting titles that will be useful for your school library as well. May be -going forward, we could also discuss if there's a way to send used children's books to your school children - (one of the best ways i can teach my children to share their resources!) - if you think that might be something you would consider- a little support for your literacy project from the blogging world!

Will keep you posted.


Rekha said...

Hi Prabha,
This is a very useful site and must say very different. I am a mom of 6 months old baby and I know the importance of your site. Thanks for putting your passion into this blog and sharing links to good books for children. Keep up the good work.

Anusha said...

A nice theme and unique concept!
Found this thru Mahanandi..As a mom to a book-loving 1yo, this will provide to be a valuable resource. Looking forward to your updates!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love the idea. When I see some Indian parents go crazy about teaching their kids 'only' English songs and even talk in English 'only', it does make me real sad. I don't have any kids but you have me all interested. Would be nice to hear what kids have to say about reading Indian books.

Praba Ram said...

Thank you for all your encouraging words and support. I will try and review 2 to 3 titles per week.
I would be thrilled to see you all here regularly, and I really look forward to getting to know you guys and some of you also have inspiring blogs of your own. I hope to be able to visit them as often as I can.


Anusha said...

Hey Prabha!
I tried to leave this comment on your latest post, but for some reason don't see a link...

Anyway, loved the review..I'll try to see if I can get this one...have forwarded your link to a friend of mine who is into children's books...and you piqued my curiosity...what is Z for? :)

Praba Ram said...

Hi @-

I am still learning this blogging stuff, and I think I goofed up by not including the comment option for my second post. I tried adding it after you mentioned it to me - didn't quite know how to get it! anyways - will be careful from next time. thanks for mentioning.

Z is for Zodiac! :-) pretty odd, isn't it? It was tough explaining to my little one. Wish the author had made it easier with something else...i guess his options were limited!

alright - bye and check out my halloween review this weekend - a spooky one! :-)


chandra said...

randomly browsing blogs i came across yours...good reading. come, lets meet at my place:

warm wishes


Anonymous said...

Hello Prabha:

Came here through Mahanandi. I am a big fan of children's books as well.

Have you seen this one?

I found it quite moving since it exactly described how I had always felt about my own mom's/grandmom's sari..apart from the fact that its absolute eye candy.

Praba Ram said...

Hi Janani -

Thank you for your comments and the link to My Mother's Saris. I will certainly check that one. I am waiting for Pooja Makhijani's Mama's Saris as well, which is similar in theme. I look forward to reviewing a lot of Indian titles. Keep visiting, and hope I can make it interesting for you.


Anonymous said...

Prabha, first let me congratulate you. Its a great theme and a much-needed one in the blogging world. I have a 4 year old boy who is learning sight-reading (Early Readers Series/Ladybird books).

I spend a lot of time in the stores here in Vizag (A.P) but never am able to find the "right" books to read to him. Your blog is God sent and would appreciate your reviews on children's books I can buy online.

I will also be recommending them to a couple of other mothers/friends/schools I know of who would like to stock their library with good collections for their children. Certainly will forward your link to them, Prabha.

Sailaja said...

I have never before in blogs with this theme. Yours is generally used to separate and small children, said parents and book lovers.

I would love to incorporate all your comments and feedback on this topic. I am such a newbie when it comes to blogging, and it is a work-in-progress. I hope to be able to learn, and provide some interesting pointers to children's books that inspire our family.

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