Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A glimpse into Asha Nehemiah's books for CBT

There once lived a man who was too large for regular sized clothes. But he desperately wanted new clothes so he could attend the wedding of the princess. After much frustrated searching, he hits upon some brilliant ideas... the fisherman's boats become his shoes, a woven basket makes a lovely hat and a colorful tent (aka 'shamiana') make up his 'Wedding Clothes'

Then there's a touching story of 'Granny's Sari' that got lost one day. And it was not any ordinary saree - it was Granny's favorite for it had the most beautiful pictures of bears and lions and squirrels on it. When Granny and grand-daughter Anu go looking for it what do they find? That the saree has helped a policeman nab a thief, it helped a neighbor pluck mangoes from a tree and finally ended up as new clothes for a poor fisherwoman's three children. What a special sari indeed!

What about the hilarious story of 'Mrs Woolly funny sweaters'. Mrs Woolly who knits in the mist and churns out absurd looking sweaters - one with two necks, another with no arms and yet another with four arms! How will Mrs Woolly and her daughter sell them? Well, a mother monkey carrying a baby monkey on its hip is a great candidate for the sweater with two necks. And a sitar is a customer for the armless one. A dog, for the sweater with four arms ..err legs. Ingenious right?

And who doesn't like 'Surprise Gifts'? Especially if they're a surprise for the sendee as well as the sender? When Farida aunty, a do-it-yourselfer made gifts for her brother's family, she sent apple jam, a hair clip, a lamp shade and a pen stand. How on earth did that become glue, a CD cleaner, a skirt and a hose pipe?

Asha Nehemiah the author of these stories (and more) is a much loved author in our house. Going by the number of times she's mentioned in the comments of other posts, she's a favorite with other ST-ers as well. The best part? These books (and others by CBT) cost Rs.18/-. That's what, 40 cents (USD)? Who says great books have to be expensive?


sathish said...

oh. Asha Nehemiah is a big fav in our home too. A quick word of appreciation to the illustrators of these books - they were absolutely awesome.
Some of these old CBT's were truly awesome.

sathish said...

there is another one about the moustache of a king.

I think it was also Asha Nehemiah.

Vibha said...

We are big fans of Asha Nehemiah too and have read, re-read and re-re-read most of her books.

Lovely post Poppins.

Meera Sriram said...

Both kids love her "Runaway wheel"! We also have Granny's Sari.
Mrs. Wooly sounds wonderful, will look out for these. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post Poppings. I hadn't heard of Asha until now. Could someone point where I can buy these books from please? Are they available online? I stay at Hyderabad and would appreciate also if someone could tell me if they know of a library that has awesome books for young kids. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Found her books on :)

Choxbox said...

Yay The Poppiness is back!!

Love Nehemiah! All of the ones you mentioned are much-loved. And yes, teh cost is unbeatable for the quality!

She also writes of older kids - for instance The Mystery of the Secret Hair Oil Formula. Also she has an essay in this collection of stories centred around wildlife - can’t remember the name exactly but it also has Zai Whitaker and Rsukin Bond. Very nice, highly reco-ed.

And I recently came across an anthology of poems on conflict by her and another kid-lit author. Looked good, plan to pick it up some time.

Choxbox said...

@sameera: All Book Selection Centre outlets (there is one in Badi Chawdi, one near YMCA, one in Chikkadpalli I think) have CBT books.

Sunita(Poppins) said...

@Satish: I agree with you on the illustrators. Truly incredible work. The Raja's Moustache we have yet to read. There's another one called The Runaway Wheel which I did not cover as it is a recent addition to our library
@Vibha: Oh same here. I think she is the first author that my daughter actually acknowledged. Thanks!
@Meera: Mrs Woolly was recommended by Chox and that was the first of the lot that we'd read.
@Sameera/Anon: Glad to hear that! And thanks to Chox you now know where to pick up these gems
@Chox: :-) Thanks for all that additional bits of information. Sometimes I can barely wait for my children to grow up and read all those delicious sounding books.

Artnavy said...

Granny's sari and Funny sweaters are both such lovely stories- have not read the rest...will look out.

welcome back poppy!!

traffic lawyers said...

It has an essay in this collection of stories centred around wildlife

Rachna Chhabria said...

The books sound great.

Saffron Tree there is an award for you all on my blog (for all the wonderful books you dig up for us.)

Sunita (Poppins) said...

@Art: Thanks, you inspired me to get back the other day!
@Traffic: Which book is this?
@Rachna: Thank you!

Praba Ram said...

Such a delightful cluster! Thanks, Sunita. On the same note, Ranjani's review of The Talking Cat, also by Asha, comes to mind. (I think it was part of a collection of short stories) So many authors creating such wonderful, contemporary picture books for little ones - may not be a bad idea to list the most sought after ones on our ST sidebar.

Uma said...

Read wedding clothes and Mrs Woolly's funny sweaters - both favourites of Pattu.
Discovered CBT recently and it has been a pleasant surprise...

rahul said...

its a very cool article/story. I love the story of king and princess it is that type of story .
i am waiting for the new post similar to it.
Office Space

Asha Nehemiah said...

Thank you for the reviews and comments. Thrilled to feature on your blog, Saffron Tree.

Poppins (Sunita) said...

@Praba: I did check that after you mentioned it ..sounds good!
@Uma: If not for chox, I don't think I'd have checked out CBT - it has been a pleasant surprise here as well
@Rahul: :-)
@Asha Nehemiah: Wow! Is it really you - well I showed my nearly 6 yo daughter your comment and she was thrilled! She LOVES your books.

rohini said...

both my granddaughters love asha nehemiahs books. the 3 year old literally recites the books as they have been read and reread so many times.

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