Thursday, March 12, 2015

Petu Pumpkin Tooth Troubles

Petu Pumpkin Tooth Troubles
Written by Arundhati Venkatesh
Illustrations Shilpa Ranade
Published by Duckbill
Age: 4-8 years

We have already met Petu Pumpkin a.k.a. Pushkin in Arundhati Venkatesh's earlier book, Petu Pumpkin Tiffin Thief. Petu, we know, is so named because of his love for food. His own tiffin would not be enough for him; he would eat his friends' tiffins too. These friends, Jatin, Sachin, Nithin, and Kiran, decided to play a trick on him to get him to stop stealing their tiffins, and of course, it worked! By the end of the year, the five were firm friends. Here they are back with a new adventure.

It is the second grade, and Jatin has (a bit foolhardily, of course) challenged the fourth graders to a football match. Kiran calls an urgent meeting of the Gap Club, of which the foursome are the only members. Pushkin (Petu) has been unable to gain an entry to the Gap Club. Reason - he has yet to lose any of his teeth. But there is hope. One of his teeth is shaking. How soon can it fall? Is there anything that can be done for it to fall? Maybe eat hard things?

But I digress. The urgent meeting of the Gap Club members is because there is a serious problem. They are sure to lose against the fourth graders because they do not have a proper football with which to practice. So what can be done? How is it tied up with Petu's aspirations of becoming a member of the Gap Club? And how is the gap in Petu's teeth destined to finally lead to their win?

Arundhati Venkatesh, who has gone from strength to strength with four published books already under her belt, doesn't fail to entertain in this second one with Duckbill books, a publishing house that has given us wonderful children's books in the past few years, with fresh voices, and original stories set in India. This is one of their hOle books series, perfect for younger readers.

I have read both the Petu Pumpkin books to my children at the special needs school I volunteer at, and they have given a unanimous thumbs-up to both of them. Worth a mention are the illustrations by Shilpa Ranade, which bring forth the playfulness of the text wonderfully well.

Here's hoping for more books from this author, also a member here at Saffrontree.

Image courtesy Duckbill books.

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