Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Living Next Door to Alice


Title : Living Next Door to Alise

Author : Anita Nair

Publisher : Puffin India



Siddharth is a nine-year old boy who prefers reading a book in his room to running around in the park or climbing trees - the activities which his parents consider are done by normal boys of his age and not being afraid of red ants is definitely one of them.


One day after having a long argument with Siddharth, the 'parental unit'(Siddharth's ingenious way of referring his parents to) sent him out in the garden in order to make him behave like a regular boy. While he was sitting at the far edge of the garden under a tree wondering why his parents want him to undo the evolution human beings have achieved in descending down from climbing the trees to the ground, he heard somebody speak to him in a soft voice. When he looked around, he was shocked to see a baby elephant talking to him. She introduced herself as Aishwarya but made it very clear that she likes to be called Alise instead. Siddharth and Alise found a friend in each other. And it turned out that Alise is extremely intelligent, well-read and has excellent vocabulary.


Together the two friends undertook many adventures. Once Alise wanted to go to school wearing the same patterned cloth as was Siddharth's school uniform and requested Siddharth to tie one bow around her bristles - 'Make a nice big bow. I am rather particular about bows'. After creating a lot of commotion in the school in a single day, Alise decided that school was a waste of time and that she was better off teaching herself from her books. On another occasion Siddharth wanted to take Alise along with him to a party in the neighbourhood and Alise got tempted by all the mountains of ladoos and jangeries, vadas and idlis. And in no time these same beautiful mountains vanished and in Alise's words, she felt 'replete'. But Alise is not just a fun loving elephant, she is brave and very compassionate too. The two friends resolve to work together against the Bearded Bandit who was terrorizing the elephants in the vicinity and how they accomplish their objective is an interesting read.


We enjoyed reading this book thoroughly and many times were laughing out loud especially where Alise displays her adroitness at picking and using new words and her suggestions to Siddharth such as 'you should add this word to your vocabulary, you know…' Anita Nair is definitely among those authors who excel in expressing the inner feelings and emotions of a person beautifully. She has clearly written a fun book full of adventures and thrills and has not tried to unnecessarily load it with education part anywhere. The conversations between Siddharth and his parents look very genuine and candid with some shades of irreverence for the parents and his disagreeing inner voice is also divulged in the narrative.

10 comments:

sathish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sathish said...

"you should add this word to your vocabulary, you know…" - that is really funny. It reminded me of my smartypants days after school.

Vibha said...

isn't it Sathish? I am sure Sooraj will like this book, Raghav enjoyed it thoroughly.

Tamanna Mathur said...

Have been reading your reviews,we like them a lot. Came across a children's book 'The Lion Who Wanted to Sing.' Would be lovely if you would review it for your readers.

Vibha said...

We are glad you like the reviews on ST. 'The Lion who Wanted to Sing' looks nice from the briefs that I read online.

Tamanna Mathur said...

Hello Vibha, I too came across the books online, after reading the reviews I googled them and was led to a site called flipkart in India.

sandhya said...

Picked this book from the library yesterday, Vibha. Will get back after reading it.

Vibha said...

Waiting for your comment Sandhya...

Vibha said...

Waiting for your comment Sandhya...

vaishali said...

Hi, Where do you get these books by Indian authors in US? I just found this blog and it is a treasure. But it will not be possible tobuy all these books. It would be great to have resouce to find these books.

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