Monday, October 07, 2013

Duckbill hOle Books

Duckbill hOle Books
Ages 5-8

The little book-lover in these parts discovered the world of chapter books last year. He began his journey with books for the younger reader by Dick-King Smith, Micheal Morpurgo, Chris Riddell, Louis Sachar, Anne Fine, Lois Lowry, Judy Blume, Roald Dahl and Andrew Clements. There were also the Cam Jensen, Nate the Great and Flat Stanley series. Closer home, we found a gap. There was no equivalent of these early chapter books in Indian children’s literature - the first chapter book the child read ran up to 125 pages and was intended for a much older age group.

The hOle series introduced by Duckbill fits snugly into this gap (hole?). The books are illustrated. The font size is large. At around 70 pages, the books are not intimidating. Perfect for those taking their first steps in the world of chapter books.

Like all Duckbill books, the books are very well-produced. And, they come with a hole – “I can use my finger as a book hanger,” the resident six year-old grinned.

Maya Saves the Day
By Meera Nair
Illustrated by Priya Kuriyan

Right from the word go, it was clear that Meera Nair knows her craft. As I read, I realized she has managed to get into the head of a kid.

The book has three different stories, all featuring Maya and her adventures. The first one has Maya deal with an escaped tiger while her parents are out. In the second one, Maya’s bumbling parents manage to get lost and it is up to Maya to find them. The last story has Maya throw a tantrum for a puppy after she sees the 5C girl’s pet. How does Maya get puppies and how many? It is impossible not to root for Maya, and hard not to hate the chowkidar.

I was wowed by Priya Kuriyan’s illustrations. The only crib I have is that the lengths of the three stories vary too much. I felt a bit disoriented by that, although the resident 6 year-old loved the book unconditionally and had no such complaints.

The Monster Hunters
By Parinita Shetty
Illustrated by Pooja Pottenkulam

If Meera Nair has got into the head of a child, Parinita Shetty is a child. It’s going to be very hard to convince me otherwise.

Abhay and his friend Nitya decide to go looking for monsters in their friends’ rooms. One room has a mountain of books; another has a mound of rocks with faces painted on them. Abhay and Nitya don’t encounter any monsters, but they do come across some formidable creatures, even a rat!

All the characters are quirky, even the peripheral ones. Everyone in Abhay’s family is full of spunk. Abhay’s father with his theories on the moon landing has got to be my favourite. Hilarious! Pooja Pottenkulam has added to the fun ride with her wacky visuals.

The plot lunges forward at breakneck speed, there is never any let-up in the pace. The excitement level is on a continuous high, except for the ending. I must say I can’t think of an alternate ending myself. Maybe I just didn’t want the book to end!

The Vampire Boy
By Sharanya Deepak
Illustrated by Vinayak Varma

I love the premise of a vampire who hates blood and craves bread. And no, it is not scary at all. Kris, the vampire boy, is polite and a stickler for time and yet, he is hated by humans. All is well when Kris catches the chicken thief. Guess what he gets as reward?

Trouble with Magic
By Asha Nehemiah
Illustrated by Priyankar Gupta

Each of the hOle books has a very distinct voice. This one is classic Asha Nehemiah.

What do you get when you throw together Veena’s wild ideas and Aunt Malu’s herbal potions? Trouble with Magic! Veena untangles the knots and the twosome end up on a Caribbean cruise.

Two hOle books that are hot off the press – 'Bonkers' and 'Timmi in Tangles'.

By Natasha Sharma
Illustrated by Deepti Sunder

Armaan does everything he can to get a dog, in the hope it will protect him from the school bully. Pandemonium ensues after he gets a puppy; Armaan has to cope with the two Ts - Teething and Toilet training. True to his name, Bonkers indulges in madcap activities. The dog-lover at home has been giggling away at Bonkers’ antics.

Timmi in Tangles
By Shals Mahajan
Illustrated by Shreya Sen

Timmi is feisty and imaginative. She doesn’t see the need to go to school (she is a Raja, after all). Timmi wants to get wet in the rain, and she loves idlis. She has to deal with a witch, idli-amma who gobbles up all her idlis, and people with preconceived notions about “good girls”.

Shreya Sen’s exuberant illustrations are just right for Shal Mahajan’s spirited characters.

[Image source]

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails