We are happy to welcome Rachna Dhir Maneesh as a guest reviewer to Saffron Tree. Based in Bangalore, Rachna who helps her community volunteering for several nonprofit initiatives is a book evangelist at heart (a title bestowed upon her by a friend of hers). We are truly honored and excited that she happens to be long-time reader and supporter of our blog.
Thank you, Rachna and all our guest reviewers for taking the time to introduce us to some great children's books that may otherwise skip our radar!
Title: Postcards from Ura
Text and Photgraphs: Savita Rao
Age-group: 6 plus
In this day and age many of us are bound to feel nostalgia when the word “pen pal”might be removed from the dictionary to make way for“unfriend” and the like. SO, it is no surprise that I plan to gift “postcards from ura” to my friends, and not my children’s friends. This book by Savita Rao took me back in time and also to a place I dream of visiting.
While my 12 year old daughter and I have really liked all the other books in Tulika’s “where I live series” in the past , Postcards has a really unique appeal for younger readers and even younger listeners.
In the author, Savita Rao’s words, “Bhutan is a very happy place” and that is reflected in her observations made through the eyes of a young child in age appropriate language and beautiful photographs. Through exchange of postcards, we get to know a little about our neigbouring country, that is so close geographically, yet different in many ways.
The protagonist, class 5 student Dorji, is so believable that my son wants to meet him, when “he comes to Bengaluru next year with his class”! Innocent “I do not like this because I have to stay after school to write”, childlike “How can you take one hour to go to school? You must be walking like my grandma” and so honest, “Bumthang is not funny. Bengaluru is a funny name”.
The author has chosen her topics for sharing through Doji with the Bangalore child Toto extremely carefully. Simple things like juniper trees, houses, every day events in a small village, school uniforms, food, and such present quite a contrast to how our children in urban areas are living today.
Teachers are sure to jump at the opportunity of using this book to encourage their students to write about the places where they live for readers in far away lands. I can’t wait to read how they choose to describe idli or cheese –wouldn’t it be a fun exercise in creative writing?