Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I is for India by Prodeepta Das

This picture book is yet another visual treat, and a fun way to introduce the English alphabets and India to little children. The content is organized alphabetically, and has a picture and text combination on each page that captures some aspect of Indian life - culture, religion, day to day activities etc.mostly from Orissa, which is where the author hails from.

It starts with A is for Alphabets that Indian children learn - it has pictures of children writing letters from the Oriya language. Followed by B is for Bullock Cart that people in villages ride, C is for cinema, D is for Diwali that people celebrate etc. My daughter loves this book, and her favorite one is "J is for Jilebi" :-)I love the S is for Sadhu! For C is for cinema - the author has a picture of a theatre with the poster "ham apke hain kaun" - I told my daughter movies are also called Cinemas, and sort of jumped quickly to D! :-) Z was a little unique,and a little tricky to explain to a four yr old -email me if you would like to know what it is!:-)

The pictures are real life photos from India focusing mainly on children. The author, Prodeepta Das, has picked a few of the pictures specific to his state, which I thought was quite interesting. It set me thinking, and thought it might be interesting to have a picture book for every state - O is for Orissa, P is for Punjab, T is for Tamilnadu ( in some cases, we could have two books - k for instance! :-)) We could do a whole series, and I am pretty sure we can find sights unique to each state that can fall in the alphabetical order. I loved the fact that the author has depicted pictures from both rural and urban settings.

There were some that I don't think my daughter understood, but hopefully when she is a little bit older she will be able to get them. And I couldn't explain Sadhu very well to her - this was my definition for Sadhu - a man wearing an orange/saffron outfit is called a Sadhu in India (lol). Overall, a very refreshing book that offers neat descriptions cum pictures that some of us have grown up with in India, and it is fun to introduce those to our children!(What a sad irony - all the talk about India in a language foriegn to the land!) Last but not the least, the alphabets have evolved into something so refreshing and definitely makes so much more sense to have our children see alphabets come to life through India's landscape. Also, I thought the author was clever to say A is for Alphabets, and not something else - like the overused "A is for apples" ( and in this case they would grow in Himachal! :-)

This is an attractive book for little ones. The two books - Going to School in India and I is for India, which were holiday gifts for my 4 yr old were part of our family's celebrations this festival season - the two "D holidays" - dussera and diwali, of course!


Anonymous said...

A picture book for every state, that is indeed a great idea, Prabha. That would bring home a little bit closer, I think.

FH said...

A colorful interesting book, Prabha! I have a collection of Amar Chitra Katha comics for my older kids.They love it.

Praba Ram said...

Thank you guys for visiting!

Foodie's hope: I love your blog! Amar Chitra Katha certainly brings back fond memories of childhood!

Indira: Thanks for your support!


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