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Friendship, nature and adventures: August bookshelf for the young readers!

It’s a new month and we have new friends and new adventures lined up for the young minds!

Which ones would they like to begin with?

 

Friends Behind Walls

Friends Behind Walls || Harshikaa Udasi

 

Why won’t anyone let Inu and Putti be friends?

Putti is spending his summer vacation in Deolali and he thinks life is going to be fun with his new friend Inu. But with their parents FORBIDDING them from playing with each other, the two kids are flabbergasted. Flab-ber-gas-ted. Means shocked. Nothing to do with food and farts.

Join the two of them have decided to find out why.

 

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Ladakh Adventure

Ladakh Adventure || Deepak Dalal

 

On their visit to the Changthang plateau of Ladakh, Vikram and Aditya find themselves on the run along with Tsering, a young Tibetan boy they meet while camping on this grand yet barren frontier of India.

Determined to protect Tsering from the mysterious band of men chasing him, the three boys traverse the majestic land beyond the Himalayas in search of answers.

Join them to journey across journey across one of India’s most splendid destinations.

 

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Unearthed

 

Unearthed || Meghaa Gupta

Protesting against dams, protecting tigers, hugging trees, saving seeds, making room for elephants, battling mountains of waste, fighting air pollution, coping with soaring temperatures-India and its people have shared a remarkable relationship with the environment.

Full of trivia, tales of eco-heroes and humorous cartoons, this easy-to-read account uncovers the story of a past with the hope that we will rewrite India’s future.

 

 

 

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Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure

 

Awesome Friendly Adventure || Jeff Kinney

You’ve never seen the Wimpy Kid World like this before – an entirely new, awesome, friendly, truly fantastic fantasy quest from #1 international bestselling author Jeff Kinney!

From the imagination of Wimpy Kid’s Rowley Jefferson comes an adventure of epic proportions! Join Roland and his best friend, Garg the Barbarian, as they leave the safety of their village and embark on a quest to save Roland’s mum from the White Warlock. Will our heroes survive?

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Meet the king and queen of Ullas!

Have you wondered how the onion got so many layers? The story begins with the king and queen of the kingdom of Ullas, who really wanted a child.

Have a peek below!

 

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The kingdom of Ullas was very prosperous. The subjects were happy, the farmers had grown a bumper crop and the kingdom was surrounded by friendly allies. But the king and queen of Ullas were very sad. Their sadness seemed to envelop them wherever they went. This was because they really longed for a child and did not have one.

 

 

One day, they learnt of a place in the forests in the kingdom where, if you prayed hard and well, you were granted your wish.

They went there and for many days, prayed to the goddess of the forest for a long time. Finally, their prayers were heard and the goddess appeared before them in a flash of green light.

 

 

‘What do you wish for, my dear children?’ she asked.

The king and queen, overjoyed, bowed low and said, ‘We wish to have a child.’

‘So be it, you will soon have a little girl,’ said the goddess, shimmering in the greenery. ‘But remember, though she will be a loving child, she will have one flaw: She will love new clothes too much and it will make life difficult for you. Do you still want such a child?’

 

How the Onion Got its Layers || Sudha Murty

 

 

The king and queen looked at each other with their eyes full of hope and love. ‘Yes, we do,’ they said to the goddess. ‘We can’t think of anything else we want more in this world.’

The goddess smiled and vanished back among the trees.

 

 

 

 

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What will happen now? Will the king and queen be happy? And how will this lead to the onion’s many layers?

Your favourite storyteller, Sudha Murty, is back to tell you all this and more!

Story of a friendship

Nandita Basu’s evocative graphic novel traces the unlikely journey of a piano across the tumultuous twentieth journey from pre-war Leipzig, across the destruction of the First World War, to 1930s Chandernagore and Indian Independence. The Piano: Story Of A Friendship tells the story of a rare and indefinable friendship—one between a young musician and the medium of her creativity—of unexpected affinities, of bonds lost and regained. Read on to learn more about the actual friendship that inspired this delightful tale.

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‘Meet the real Marcus Aurelius Fact and fiction always merge at a certain point, and then you begin to wonder what is real and which one is the story. Many years ago, I came across a rundown brown piano lying under a staircase in Vasant Kunj, Delhi. It was for sale. It stood with another old broken piano, which was black in colour, but my eye was caught by the more rickety one, I am not quite sure why. There was a large price tag even though the piano was quite broken. Yes, in India people sell even broken pianos for a lot of money.

 

The Piano || Nandita Basu

My negotiating skills are very poor, so I ended up emptying my bank account. I was eighteen then and the money I shelled out was everything I had earned from kind relatives who would give me money on my birthday or other occasions. Eighteen years’ worth of birthday− and gift−money, and some other money I had earned from odd jobs, went into buying this brown piano. I had no clue where I would get the money to repair it. I named my piano Marcus Aurelius. The reason was simple: I was influenced by the emperor Marcus Aurelius at the time. I would carry his book with me. So the choice of name was obvious. This brown broody piano seemed to have so many things to say, if only one knew how to speak to it. Right from the start, I felt that piano had a soul, just like you and I do. Sometimes, it seemed a bit dark but that’s probably because it had seen way too much. And that made me curious. I wanted to trace its history. The piano was made by a well−known German company called Julius Feurich (founded in 1851 in Leipzig, Germany). Pianos usually have a number embossed on the inside. Piano−makers put it in there to track down manufacturing details, especially the age of the piano. It wasn’t easy to find an address for the makers of Marcus because Leipzig had been behind the Iron Curtain for decades after World War II. In 2012, it had been sold to an Austrian piano manufacturer. Also, artisanal piano-making is rare these days, and almost all pianos are now made in factories. So to trace the Feurich-makers was a bit of work. But I finally did. I sent them an email with the embossed number and asked them if they had more details about this piano. I received a reply a few days later. I was told that the number indicated that Marcus was made around 1914. Unfortunately, there was no other information because the workshop had been bombed during World War II. They ended the mail by saying they were really happy I owned such a classic piano that still played, because it had a really fine sound. As bizarre as it may sound, musical instruments also need to be broken in, much like riding a horse. You might think playing a piano is just pressing notes so that you hear the sounds. It’s not exactly like that. For a pianist to get the right sound, there is a transfer of energy that happens between the player and the piano. It’s hard to explain unless you play yourself. But a lot happens between the instrument and the player. Marcus was unlike any other piano I had played. With Marcus, I was faced with rejection and disappointment. It was like Marcus didn’t want me to play it. Or maybe Marcus didn’t want to sing anymore. Whatever it was, for the first few years—yes, years!—I could never create the right sound on that piano. It was as if the more I tried to talk to Marcus, the more Marcus rejected me. And then one day, I am not sure why, I was playing a sonata by Mozart and like magic, the sound I had been struggling to find just burst out. Marcus had finally spoken. That was Marcus’s first hello to me, the start of our friendship. I still have Marcus, and Marcus needs another round of repairs soon, which is going to blow a hole in my pocket. But I would have it no other way. It’s like we were meant for each other.’

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5 times Karma had us laughing out loud

All his life, Karma has defended his village from monsters, creatures and forces of darkness. He’s not the bravest or the smartest kid, but he always tries to do what’s right.

Through his latest adventure of stopping one of his classmates, who has shown up to school as a zombie, there are many instances where Karma has us amused. Here are 5 times Karma had us laughing out loud in Evan Purcell’s newest addition to the Karma Tandin, Monster Hunter Series – Karma Meets a Zombie


“Last month, I’d stopped a shark monster from eating my classmates. She was the school librarian. She even wore a fake human head on top of her shark head. I’d scared her off thanks to my bravery (and dumb luck), but not before she (I think) ate one of my classmates.”

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“We stood in silence for a long time. What else could we say? It’s hard to make small talk with the undead. After a bit, we started walking.”

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“Quick tip: if you’re surrounded by a screaming mob of people, don’t tell them to calm down. It does not work.”

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“But I couldn’t ignore a monster. That went against every belief I held dearly, every brain cell in my growing, twelve-year-old brain.”

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“I love Chimmi. He’s my closest friend. He’s always there for me. But he does not come up with good plans.”


Is this zombie really bad? Is he dangerous, or is he just under some horrible spell? Read Karma Meets a Zombie to find out!

Writing a book and where to start!

After every good book she reads, ten-year-old Wisha Wozzariter gets sad. She wished she had written that book instead! She wishes, more than anything else in the world, that she were a writer! One day, she meets a Bookworm, and takes many a wild ride on the Thought Express!

Here is an excerpt from that incident from Payal Kadadia’s book, Wisha Wozzariter!


Wisha Wozzariter loved reading. She read before school and after school. She read before lunch and after lunch. She read before dinner and after dinner. She would have read all day and all night if she could.

Wisha hated bad books, but she hated one thing even more: good ones. Good books always left her feeling she could do better if she were to write a book of her own. She’d put down a good book, sighing, ‘Now that’s a book I could have written.’

On her tenth birthday, Wisha read Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She hated it more than anything. There was no reason something this good should not have been written by her. She got to the last word on the last page, then sighed, ‘Now that’s a book I could have written!’

Wisha Wozzariter||Payal Kapadia

‘Why don’t you?’ said a green little worm, popping his head out of page no. 64.

‘Who are you?’ asked Wisha, startled.

‘Why, a Bookworm, who else?’ said the worm, sounding surprised. ‘I’ve heard you say the same thing after every good book. So why don’t you?’

‘Why don’t I—what?’ said Wisha.

‘Write a book, write a book,’ said the Bookworm in a sing-song voice, wriggling his way out on to the cover.

‘I wish I was a writer,’ sighed Wisha.

‘Well, you are Wisha Wozzariter,’ said the Bookworm.

‘So I am! But I don’t quite know where to begin.’

‘At the beginning, of course,’ said the Bookworm, rolling his eyes. ‘Got some time?’

‘Yee-es. Why, what do you suggest?’ asked Wisha.

‘A trip to the Marketplace of Ideas,’ said the Bookworm. ‘My treat.’

Wisha jumped up. ‘Sounds more exciting than wishing all day! How do we get there?’

‘Close your eyes and hold my hand tight,’ said the Bookworm. ‘We’re catching the Thought Express.’

‘When does it come in?’ asked Wisha.
‘Don’t know. Are your thoughts always on time?’ ‘Not really.’
‘Well, then, we might have a little wait ahead of

us,’ said the Bookworm. ‘It would help if you were to say your name to yourself a few times.’

So Wisha closed her eyes and said, ‘Wisha Wozzariter, Wisha Wozzariter, Wisha Wozzariter.’

The Thought Express was a little slow and a little late, but it came in, sure enough. And when it left for the Marketplace of Ideas, Wisha and the Bookworm were on it.


How do the two get along, and what adventures do they find themselves on? Read more about the book here to find out!

Meet Prem, an eleven-year old Torchbearer with an imagination!

Like any bored eleven-year-old with an imagination, Prem makes fantastic wishes. So when his father drags him to a monsoon-lashed Mumbai, Prem know it’s futile to dream of home. Instead, he wishes for a genie, a dragon and some superpowers. What he certainly doesn’t wish for is a quest to save some gods who are at the brink of extinction.

He finds that the gods’ last hope lies in the hands of those who channel the mysterious power of the Vedas. Caught in a cosmic crossfire, with a talking fish, some inventive monkeys and a few unexpected allies, Prem learns of his true identity-as a Torchbearer.

Here is an excerpt from this lovely book by A.B. Majmudar that talks about how Prem finds himself in Mumbai and all the wishes he makes.


Like any eleven-year old with an imagination, Prem Tripathi made fantastic wishes, especially when he was bored. And he had been bored a lot lately. His father, a professor of ancient Indian mythology, had decided to leave his university job in America to go work at an old research institute in Mumbai. After some sightseeing and a few nights spent at a nice hotel, they had come to a dilapidated old building where Professor Tripathi could bury himself in old Sanskrit manuscripts.

The research institute must have been abandoned for years. Prem and his father had gotten into a fight as soon as they had arrived at the institute. Prem didn’t understand why he had to be there instead of enjoying a typical summer vacation under the blue skies of Midwestern United States: riding bikes, whizzing down waterpark slides, going on roller coasters and playing football with his friends in thebackyard. Instead, his father had dragged him all the way to India, and not the exotic India of The Jungle Book.

The Torchbearers||A.B. Majmudar

‘I can’t believe I’m here, about to be devoured by cockroaches,’ Prem had grumbled to himself. ‘Or geckos.’

Professor Tripathi had smiled, ignoring Prem’s frustration. ‘You know, when you were a baby, you used to coo at the geckos. Kept you entertained for hours.’ Although Prem had been born in India, his father had left with him for America after Prem’s mother had passed away. They hadn’t been back since then.

Now, a few weeks since they landed in Mumbai, Prem had finished reading all the books he had brought with him. So he spent the morning avoiding his dad, who was probably involved in either dusting or research, and soon found himself bored, leaning against the chalky gray wall surrounding the institute, watching the monsoon clouds roll in. Seeing the blue sky suddenly covered in storm clouds made him scowl. ‘Just like my life,’ he mumbled.

Prem glowered up at the sky. The air seemed to hold its breath, and even the stray dogs stopped barking for a moment. Then, with a faint flash of lightning and a distant rumble of thunder, the first raindrop fell. Big, warm drops of water splattered into the dirt, disappearing instantly. Soon the drops darkened the ground, and puddles formed in the dust on either side of the road.

‘So this is the monsoon,’ Prem said to himself as he raced to stand under a large tree. His black hair was slick in minutes despite taking cover, his shirt soaked through. With a shrug that seemed to say, ‘What’s the point?’ Prem stepped out from under the tree. He cupped his hands and let the rainwater fill his hands. He released the water with a satisfying splat onto the soaked ground. He did it again. With every handful of water, he made a wish. Wish, splash. Wish, splash. At first, he wished it would stop being so hot. But then, he figured, why not wish big?

So, Prem wished for a letter by owl post, ideally from Hogwarts, but any decent wizarding school would do. Wish, splash. He wished for a tollbooth to take him to lands beyond. Wish, splash. Rabbit hole, splash. Genie, splash. Dragon, splash. Hot-air balloon, splash. Superpowers, splash. Anything that would break the string of boring days, splash. Anything that would lead to adventure, splash. The one thing that Prem was sure he hadn’t wished for was a tiny talking fish. But, of course, that’s exactly what he got.

He had just collected yet another handful of water when a tiny fish dropped into his hands. Wish, splash, fish.

It called out to Prem in a tiny voice, ‘Don’t drop me!’

Prem looked closely at his hands, stilled in a cup. He saw a golden fish, smaller than his fingernail, floating in his hand. He peered at the fish. It was shimmering, despite the cloudy skies, like a flame.


Who is this talking fish and what adventures will Prem find himself in after this moment? Get a copy of The Torchbearers to find out!

Veena’s disastrous ‘new ideas’ and why you must always refuse!

In Asha Nehamiah’s book, Trouble with Magic, Veena is full of bright ideas. She gets Aunt Malu to use her herbal magic to make something new and wonderful. But magic has its own rules, and soon Veena and her aunt are in big trouble!

Here is an excerpt that tells us why Aunt Malu is reluctant to try Veena’s new idea.


Aunt Malu should have refused to try out Veena’s new idea. Trying out her nine-year-old niece’s ideas always landed Aunt Malu in trouble.

Once, Veena suggested they get free season tickets to the circus. Aunt Malu agreed happily. When they
got there, Aunt Malu found that the free tickets were their payment for helping the lion tamer clean the lion cages.

With four lions inside them!

Another time, Veena had got her to try the Adopt-a-Pet plan. This was a wonderful plan that found homes for wounded animals. Aunt Malu couldn’t decide which of the pets she adopted gave her more trouble: the mynah with the broken wing, or the lame mongoose.

The mynah could copy the sounds of a telephone ringing, the doorbell buzzing and the pressure cooker whistling. So Aunt Malu kept rushing from kitchen to front door to telephone till she got so tired that she could barely stand.

And the mongoose wouldn’t stop stealing food from their neighbour’s kitchen.

The worst was the time Aunt Malu had agreed to make a pair of grass-cutting roller skates as a gift for Veena’s father, Mr Seshadri.

He was Aunt Malu’s older brother. He loved gardening and was very proud of his lawn. It was  the best lawn in the neighbourhood.

Veena had come up with the idea of fixing sharp blades on to a pair of skates. This meant that a person would be able to cut grass just by skating over it. It was an absolutely brilliant idea—if it worked.

There was great excitement when the gift was put together and wrapped. But the skates were a total failure!

To begin with, Mr Seshadri found it impossible to skate on the grass. He tripped and fell so many times that he was soon covered with cuts. He stopped trying to skate when he hit his forehead and was left with a bump which became the colour and size of one of his prize-winning brinjals!

When Veena tried them on, she found that she could manage to skate over the grass. But instead of cutting the grass, the skates pulled out huge bunches of it. This left big bald patches on Mr  Seshadri’s beautiful lawn. Mr Seshadri was not pleased.

That’s why Aunt Malu should have been more careful when Veena entered her workroom one morning and said, ‘I have an idea!’


Get a copy of Trouble with Magic to know if Aunt Malu made a mistake, and what Veena’s idea was!

We’ve been grounded for a peculiar crime

Sinister aliens are on the loose in Archit Taneja’s book, The Case of the Careless Aliens! Money is appearing mysteriously in unexpected places around the city. UFOs have been spotted in the sky. If aliens are trying to take over, they have been very careless indeed!

In this excerpt, we meet the SUPERLATIVE SUPERSLEUTHS, one of whom – unfortunately, at present, is grounded. But why?!


It’s been chilly and windy this weekend. That’s perfect weather to stay home, eat ice cream and popcorn, and laugh at crime shows on TV.

My plans went bust when Aarti called on Saturday afternoon. She said she’d been grounded and needed moral support. She pleaded on the phone for what seemed like a century in plead years.

‘You get grounded all the time! You’ve never whined about it before!’

‘I’ve been grounded for two weeks,’ she muttered in a cold voice.

Getting grounded for that long is unheard of. One would need to commit an unspeakable crime. It was especially hard to believe, since Aarti’s parents were super anti-punishment and all that sort of stuff.

‘What did you do, exactly?’

‘Er … I can’t tell you. It doesn’t matter, anyway,’ Aarti mumbled. She was barely audible now.

‘Are you really grounded? Friends aren’t allowed to visit when you’re grounded, right?’

She hung up.

That made me curious enough to want to go over. She was either making all this up to lure me to visit or she’d actually done something really crazy this time. Perhaps she was too embarrassed to talk about it. In either case, it sounded like fun!

I packed my bag with stuff for the weekend. I picked up a case file I had prepared a few months ago. It contained notes on the peculiarities of Aarti’s room. I slipped in a few empty sheets, just in case there was some sleuthing to do.

Aarti’s dad opened the door; he gave a half- hearted smile and asked me to come in. He returned to the dining table and sat opposite Aarti’s mum. They resumed what sounded like a serious conversation. I am used to getting a warm hug from both of them whenever I visit. The radio was playing old boring music instead of the regular upbeat stuff.

I wondered if something bad had happened. Maybe someone they knew got into an accident or something. But why would Aarti be grounded for that? I really doubt that she nicked the car and ran over someone; she’s never been fond of the idea of driving.

Aarti’s grandparents were over. They were there quite often since they lived in the apartment right across

from Aarti’s. Grandma was watching a documentary on TV. She hates those and shrugs whenever I am anywhere close to the TV remote because she knows I’m into anything that involves learning.

It all seemed very unusual.

Aarti’s mum asked me to make sure that she didn’t have too much fun and that I talk to her about being a good child. Grandma nodded in approval. Of all people, they chose me to put sense in her head. Aarti’s really done for this time. I’m so excited!

‘Your family is acting weird,’ I said.

Aarti sat calmly on her bed. Her room was scattered with newspapers. She separated the pages containing comics and puzzles from each day’s paper, and threw away the rest.

‘Tell me. Why are you grounded?’


Why do you think Aarti is grounded? Get a copy of The Case of the Careless Aliens to find out!

Books to keep the little ones busy with, this July!

What’s the best way to keep your child entertained and busy this July? Summer plans might have got cancelled, but you can still send your child on an adventure! Choose from this list of books from authors like Sudha Murty, Ruskin Bond, Ira Trivedi and many more.

Stay safe, healthy and inspired with this list.

How the Onion Got Its Layers

How the Onion Got its Layers || Sudha Murty

Have you noticed how the onion has so many layers? And have you seen your mother’s eyes water when she cuts an onion? Here is a remarkable story to tell you why.
India’s favourite storyteller brings alive this timeless tale with her inimitable wit and simplicity. Dotted with charming illustrations, this gorgeous chapter book is the ideal introduction for beginners to the world of Sudha Murty.

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My Genius Lunch Box

My Genius Lunchbox || Uma Raghuraman

Written by Uma Raghuraman-a masterchef of a mom, a super popular food blogger and Instagrammer-My Genius Lunch Box is every parent’s go-to book for fifty fun, nutritious and simple vegetarian recipes that can be made on a school day.

Featuring stunning photographs styled and shot by the author herself, this book is divided into six sections: one for each weekday and a bonus section that includes recipes for bite-sized snacks!

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The Piano

The Piano||Nandita Basu

This is the story of a friendship between a young girl and her piano. The piano was made many decades before the girl was born. And it travelled from leipzig, Germany, through war-torn France and England come to Calcutta during the independence struggle. Finally the girl and the piano found one another, until circumstances separated them… This is a story of love and loss, of unexpected bonds and loneliness, and above all, it is a celebration of the power of music.

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Skill Builder Phonics Level 1-4

These books contain simple and easy-to-do activities, crosswords and puzzles to help young learners hone their reading, writing, vocabulary and spelling skills through play. By engaging in fun and challenging tasks, your child will learn and master language concepts that are also applicable in a wide range of everyday contexts. The series is suitable for children
aged 6+ (Level 1) to 9+ (Level 4).

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Song of India

Song of India|| Ruskin Bond

Sixteen-year-old Ruskin, after having finally finished his school, is living with his stepfather and mother at the Old Station Canteen in Dehradun. Struggling to begin his writing journey, he tries to make a passage to England to chase his true calling. But as he prepares for his long voyage, the prospect of saying goodbye to the warm, sunny shores of India looms large.

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Om the Yoga Dog

Om the Yoga Dog|| Ira Trivedi

It’s fun yoga time with Om the Yoga Dog, Prana the Frog and Moksha the Elephant! Learn and master essential asanas like Roaring Lion and Tummy Sandwich, pranayama techniques like Anulom Vilom and meditation exercises like Yoga Nidra.

Packed with easy-to-follow instructions and step-by-step illustrations, this calming book helps your child develop flexibility, strength, inner peace and mindfulness.

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Peppa Pig: Peppa Loves Yoga

Peppa Loves Yoga||Peppa Pig

It is a very busy day at Peppa and George’s playgroup, but they have a very special visitor coming in the afternoon. Miss rabbit is going to teach the children how to calm down and relax with yoga. The children love learning all the different positions… And the parents love picking up their calm children!