Sunday, January 19, 2014

Little Indians

Little Indians
By Pika Nani
Tulika Publishers
Ages 10+

Travel a few hundred kilometres in India, and the landscape, the language the people speak – all change. ‘Little Indians’ explores the many little Indias within this country, in a way that is sure to appeal to little Indians.

The book takes us on a journey through 15 states/union territories from the snow-covered peaks of Uttarakhand, to the gorges of Madhya Pradesh, the mangroves of the Andamans, the rues of Puducherry, the gullies of Delhi… We learn a little bit about the history of the region, its geography, read a few tidbits, get to know about achievers from the area, and then dive into a story.

Simple stories with an old-world charm, that give the flavor of a place. I found it refreshing to read stories in which the child protagonists are not the urban characters we usually encounter. In each of the stories, a bunch of kids with no resources to speak of bar their wits, solve a problem. The setting comes alive, whether it is Kille Raigad in Maharashtra, or the home of a weaver in a village in Tawang valley, Arunachal Pradesh. I liked how the stories weave in details that reveal a bit about the place and its people; like the one about bakeries and baguettes in Puducherry. It was a lovely trip down memory lane to places I have been to, and a wonderful introduction to places I am yet to visit. I must say I was perplexed by the choice of setting for the story on Andhra Pradesh, which has so much more to offer than its film industry.

Like Puffin’s fun India A to Z, this is a wonderful resource for kids, one that I hope will be used in schools. What more can one ask for? A part-2 with the other states we haven’t zoomed to in the first installment!

[Image source www.tulikabooks.com]

3 comments:

Choxbox said...

Sounds really good. Going on my wish list. Thanks Arundhati!

Pika Nani said...

Thank you so much Arundhati and Saffron Tree. Your review appeals to both the mind and the heart...just as the book intends to.

ranjani.sathish said...

Sounds very interesting Arundhati..going to pick it up soon !

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