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How the Onion Got Its Layers – An Excerpt

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.

 

Read below an excerpt from the book:

 

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?’
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.

Get your e-copy of How the Onion Got its Layers here 🙂

Get Your Young Ones Hooked onto these Books

This March, introduce your child to Hawaldar Hook, do fun activities with the Econuts, celebrate your natural hair and more with these new books:

Hook Books


Hey Diddle Diddle
Who’s There?
A Quiet Girl
My Daddy and the Well

 

 

 

It’s not a book, it’s a hook!

The Hook Books are early chapter books for very young readers, aged five and above (for being read to) and six and above (for reading independently). Written by award-winning and most-loved writers for children, and illustrated in exuberant colour by some of India’s best illustrators, these stories are set largely in non-urban settings. Hawaldar Hook is the mascot of the Hook Books.

My Daddy and the Well
As a child in Goa, Daddy used to jump in a well, to water the bananas. Years later, the bananas are gone. But the
pump is there, the well is there, Daddy is there … SPLASH!

Who’s There?
The cats are mewing in panic. Strange voices are calling from the attic. Who’s there??

A Quiet Girl
Puja smiles and smiles, and does not speak. She spends all her time with the foal, Takbak. But Takbak is going to be
sold! What will Pooja do without her best friend?

Hey Diddle Diddle
A horse may be able to jump over the moon. Can a cow do it? Hey diddle diddle.

 

Econuts Value Pack

This series of story-and-activity books features the adventures of Dewy, Woosh, Petals, Pebbles and Waggy, who call themselves the Econuts because they’re simply nuts about ecology and the environment! As the Econuts solve mysteries and find solutions to problems, the reader gets in on the action by solving puzzles and word games.

I Hate my Curly Hair

I tug till my head’s black and blue!
But nothing can tame
This wild, curly mane!

Curly haired girl does everything she can to straighten her stubborn curls-after all, everywhere she looks she sees heroines with smooth, silky hair. Then one day, a bigger bully comes along and everything changes! A humorous tale of self-acceptance. And of hair, lots and lots of glorious curly hair!

 

The Torchbearers

Like any bored eleven-year old with an imagination, Prem Tripathi makes fantastic wishes. And he has been bored a lot since his father dragged him to a monsoon-lashed Mumbai on some mysterious project. Prem wishes it would stop being so hot. He wishes for a genie, a dragon and some superpowers.

The one thing Prem doesn’t wish for is an adventure to bring back the fading gods. A prophecy from the lips of Brahma himself foretells that the gods’ only hope lies in those who will harness the mysterious power of the Vedas. Now, Prem encounters gods in danger of oblivion, demons seeking immortality, and humans caught in the cosmic crossfire. But, along the way, he also discovers who he truly is: a Torchbearer.

Can The Torchbearers save the Gods and humanity from a future devoid of love, hope, and faith?

 

The Girl Who Stole an Elephant

Chaya usually has an answer for everything. But stealing the Queen’s jewels, even for the best of reasons, is not something she can talk her way out of. So she makes her great escape on the back of a gorgeous, stolen elephant and leads her friends on a noisy, fraught, joyous adventure through the jungle where revolution is stirring and leeches lurk. Will stealing these jewels be the beginning or the end of everything for the intrepid gang?

The Best of Tenali

Vijayanagara, ruled by the benevolent King Krishnadevaraya, is home to the wittiest court jester alive, Tenali Raman. Join the charming Tenali, shrewd Rajguru, silly Tingary and Tenali’s pet cat Sundari on their many adventures that include chasing a flying machine that goes berserk, rewriting the Mahabharata and outwitting an evil puppeteer. Packed with stories of wit, wisdom and hilarious antics, this comic-book omnibus with ten rollicking Tenali tales is sure to take you on a journey that is the stuff of legends!

Perks of Being a Daydreamer!

Have you ever found yourself in worlds far away from the one in which you live? Well then, you and Daydreamer Dev have a lot in common.

The Absolutely True Adventures of Daydreamer Dev by Ken Spillman chronicles three of Dev’s fantastic adventures thought up by his colourful imagination. Dev’s flights of fancy land him in challenging environments all over the globe in iconic locations which challenge his skills and teach him about the vast world that awaits.

So you see, daydreaming can teach us a great many things about life! Here are some reasons why being a day dreamer is the best:

 

Anything is possible

In day dreams you are the writer of your story – anything is possible, no mountain is too high, no river too wide, no obstacle too big for you to face! Dev travels to the highest peak, the densest forest and the sandiest land in the world with no hesitation, and so can you – in day dreams or in your real life!

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It keeps the imagination alive

Dev’s day dreams of places and people he hasn’t ever seen keeps his colourful imagination in practice. It is only through imagination that some of the greatest discoveries of our world have come about! Day dreams keep the imagination and dreams alive so that one day we can turn these dreams to reality!

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Teaches you about the world

Like Dev’s fantasies about the faraway places, day dreams allow us to imagine different places, people and cultures that exist beyond our own worlds! The world is large and diverse and daydreams allow us to enter worlds we dream to be in.

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You are never bored

When you daydream, no task is too boring and no afternoon too long – whether you’re sitting on a Kwality Carpet like Dev or spending a lazy afternoon in a park, you won’t be bored for long with your imagination there to help you!

There’s no time for moaning and groaning about being bored when all you have to do is imagine a great new adventure for yourself – just like Dev!

*

Daydreams give you hope and goals

The best part of daydreams is that they give you hope to make those dreams come true! They allow you to set goals for yourself, to imagine a world where you have achieved them, so you can achieve them in your own life!

Dev daydreams about winning a medal at the Olympics, swimming across oceans, flying solo around the world and maybe even crossing the Sahara. And one day he might do all these things in real life too!


So, the next time you hear parents or teachers complaining about your daydreaming ways, remind them that a world without day dreams would be far less exciting!

You can catch up with Dev in Ken Spillman’s The Absolutely True Adventures of Daydreamer Dev to join him in more fantastical adventures around the world.

Gift Your Child Some Mindfulness!

Whether you’re an adult in a hectic work environment, or a child, mindfulness positively impacts the lives of all who practice it! Recent studies on mindfulness claim that incorporating this spiritual technique into your young ones’ life at an early stage will lead to great benefits later in their life.

Trishla Jain’s The Mindfulness Picture Box Set  brings to life a beautiful conversation on living purposefully through four picture books, perfect for introducing modern spirituality to your young ones!

Here is why you should read the book and impart mindfulness in your and your children’s lives:

Helps you understand prayer and purpose

Sunrise, Moonrise introduces the different ways in which people all over our Earth pray and the positive purpose of prayer – a great way for children to become acquainted with the different cultures of the world and understand the art of prayer themselves!

Introduces spiritual techniques

In Om the Gnome and the Chanting Comb, readers are introduced to the age old practice of chanting ‘Om’ and meditating – a fun story on the benefits of meditation to feel lighter and freer within ourselves!

Reinforces self-importance and confidence

In Listen to the Whispers you are reminded that you are part of a vast universe of wonder and that universe is a part of you. It reminds us to never doubt our own importance in the world – as Trishla writes ‘You are so much more than you think you are’.

Reminds us to be thankful and grateful

In Tankful of Thankful, Baby Train’s journey around the world introduces the word ‘thank you’ in different languages – reminding us to give thanks for the small and big things! It introduces a beautiful conversation about living gratefully to your children!


The Mindfulness Picture Boxset explores the best of modern spirituality through beautiful illustrations and words to introduce mindfulness to the next generation. We think the boxset would make for a great bedside companion, don’t you?

Did You Know These Facts from the States of India?

Each region of India is full of diversity in culture, language, food, tradition – you name it! If you have ever been interested in stories and tales from the many states of India then Sonia Mehta’s Discover India: Folktales of India is the perfect book for you! Join Mishki, Pushka and Daadu Dolma in 10 short stories on their adventures around India and learn more about this great land!

If you are intrigued by the many cultures of India, here are 10 facts and tales from different states!

 

Tamil Nadu

Did you know that Tamil Nadu is the largest producer of banana, turmeric and tapioca in India!

It is home to some of India’s best flora and fauna – much like the palmyra tree branch that helps save Kaveri from the scary tiger in the story of ‘The Tiger Groom’

 

Kerala

Kerala is also known as the Land of Coconut trees!

This delicious coconut is the key ingredient for Kozhukatta – Kumaran from the story ‘The Forgetful Son-in-Law’ will never forget the name of his favourite dish ever again and now you can remember it too!

 

Assam

Assam is known for its Assamese golden silk called muga. This silk is as special and beautiful as the magical shawl that Varya possesses in the story ‘How Peacocks Came to Be’!

 

Mizoram

Mizoram is also known as ‘The Land of the Highlanders’. It gets its name from the hills that make up Mizoram’s geography. You can find out more about the hills and its folktales in the story ‘Brave Nuchhimi’.

 

West Bengal

Bengal is best known for its Durga Puja celebrations that take place every year where the whole community gathers to celebrate!

Just like in the story ‘The Brahmins Ghost’ where Basudeb’s community gives him a helping hand – people of Bengal come together to celebrate this grand festival!

 

Odisha

Odisha homes one of India’s most famous temples in Konark – the Sun Temple. The story of ‘Dharmapada’s Sacrifice’ tells of how the grand temple was built and was able to gain its world renowned glory!

 

Gujarat

Gujarat is also known as ‘The Land of Legends’. Gujarat’s history is full of great legends similar to the king and Rasiklal in the legendary tale of ‘All for the Best’.

 

Maharashtra

Maharashtra was home to the great empire of the Marathas – who led with generosity, kindness and valour – much like Janba’s generosity in ‘Janba’s Story’.

 

Punjab

The land of Punjab is known as Golden Harvests for the great farms and harvest that are produced here. Much like in the tale ‘The Clever Sparrow’, the farmers of Punjab work hard and toil for a healthy and hearty crop from their farms – just like Chidhi!

 

Madhya Pradesh

This state is known as the Heart of India because of it central location on India’s map!


These are some interesting facts about some of the great states of India! If you’d like to learn more about the folktales from some of these wonderful states, then join Mishki and Pushka on their travels around India in Sonia Mehta’s Discover India: Folktales of India.

 Discover more of our regional richness with more stories and folktales from across the country!

Here are 5 Things ‘My Value Collection’ offers

Nicky and Noni are just like you. They’re funny, they’re crazy-and like you, they love to have fun. But sometimes, just sometimes, they can be very naughty. That’s when they get into trouble.

Author Sonia Mehta’s series of books for children — My Book of Values, is all you need to make a preachy value education lesson fun for your child!

 

Here are 5 reasons why My Value Collection should be on your child’s reading list:

 

Like any kid, Nicky and Noni love to engage in fun. But as kids, they get into trouble too. Nicky and Noni know how to make learning good values cool.

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Each book is packed with a fun story and lots of activities like memory games,mazes and songs!

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Today’s child isn’t up to lectures and threats. This is the purpose of this series. It helps your child build a strong value system—all through relatable stories and fun activities.

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Each book in the series focuses on a specific set of values and lessons like loyalty,forgiveness, good manners,helping others, valuing money and valuing time to name a few.

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These books encourage the development of emotional intelligence in children at a young age.


Flip open Sonia Mehta’s My Value Collection and jump right into Nicky and Noni’s world!

 

Feeling the Exam Blues? Crack The Boards with the Help of this Guide

Mathematics is an integral part of our life but many think of it as a boring subject that has to be studied in school or college. In their latest boxset Improve Memory and Maths Skills, Aditi and Sudhir Singhal not only make mathematical principles fun and easy-to-learn but also show a different a side to this subject – a side that can help us improve our concentration skills and increase our attention span. The boxset also includes a manual that will help you memorize anything and explore the immense power of your memory.

Read to know more about how you can tackle the math monster:
Many teachers wonder what magic they can perform to make their kids like the subject. But the fact is it all depends on what you think about the subject and how you present it to students, both children and adults. If a teacher introduces a concept by saying ‘today we are going to start a new topic and it is very difficult. You need to pay attention, otherwise they won’t understand’, those students who find maths difficult automatically switch off, thinking they won’t be able to understand today’s topic. And the students who like the subject also tend to get a little stressed, which is not an ideal mindset for establishing a solid foundation. Instead, if a topic is introduced by saying, ‘Today we are going to learn something very interesting, which I feel you all will enjoy doing,’ and some activity or storytelling accompanies it, then everyone can get involved.

During interaction with students and teachers over the years, we[Aditi and Sudhir Singhal] have realized that whether one fears maths or loves it depends on how well a person understands it. If someone scores well in maths, they start liking it. But if they give wrong answers, they develop a fear of the subject, believing that maths is difficult.

The main factors that contribute to this fear are:

  • Clarity of concepts –When a concept is not clear, the child or adult makes mistakes repeatedly, losing confidence and eventually giving up.
  • Lack of practice – If someone understands the concept but doesn’t practice it enough, then he/she is not going to retain it for a longer time. Through practice, one is able to understand the patterns involved in the procedure and develops strong pathways in brain which are required to accomplish a particular task.
  • Wrong beliefs and messages – Every time a child hears a parent, older sibling, grandparent saying ‘Maths is very difficult’, it makes them think if their elders feared the subject, then it must indeed be very difficult to master, feeding their fear of the subject.
  • Not able to relate it with daily life situations – Most students are unclear about the significance of the topics covered during their maths class. Often, they do not see a connection between the topics taught and real-world problems.

To remove the fear of maths, we need to shift our focus from remembering procedures or formulae to understanding them with proper reasoning. First of all, maths should not be treated as just a subject you need to study to get marks in exams. Rather, the emphasis should be on knowing the beauty and importance of maths in daily life. In the present education system, upto eight standard, maths curriculum is focused on calculation skills involving mainly long procedures and formulae. That’s why, with time, students start losing interest in it as they think calculations can easily be done using calculators and mobiles. The remedy for this is for school-level maths to be more related to day-to-day situations. The emphasis should be more on developing mathematical thinking and problem solving skills of a child rather than just working on calculations. Apart from teaching the procedures to solve a particular problem, understanding of why we are using that procedure should also be taught. In short, we need to add the why along with the how to solve a given task or problem.

 

Students can improve their maths skills by practicing the following strategies:

  • Solve challenging puzzles, playing Sudoku, or playing chess. This will help exercise the brain and develop thinking skills.
  • Practice maths regularly, doing at least 3 questions daily.
  • Instead of using calculators, try to do calculations mentally.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions.
  • Use Vedic math to make your calculations fast and easy.
  • Try to relate maths problem with day-to-day situations.

 

Aditi Singhal is an international memory trainer, author, motivational speaker, counsellor and Vedic Math expert. Sudhir Singhal is a dynamic trainer, author, motivational speaker and counsellor. Both of them hold the Guinness World Record for conducting the largest mathematics class. Their latest boxset Improve Memory and Maths Skills contains the best tips and tricks and is meant for all age-groups students, teachers, and parents. Guaranteed to improve your mathematics and memory skills, these books are must-reads for competitive exams, maths enthusiasts and puzzle aficionados.

Get cracking the boards season by getting your hands on this boxset.

Lessons on Friendship and Courage from ‘The Incredible Adventures of Mr. Cheeks’

The Incredible Adventures of Mr. Cheeks by Tazmeen Amna, is an exciting journey of three friends seeking to break away from the set roles enforced by the village of Hastings on each of its residents. Mr. Cheeks, a fabulous tap-dancing Chihuahua; Mr. Grey, a tabby cat who loves painting; and Hopper, a rabbit who sings the most melodious songs; wish to portray their talents at the Annual Carnival of Hastings. However, the roles of each animal at the carnival is rigidly divided which poses a problem for the three friends.

The book maps the struggles which they face together highlighting their cherished friendship. Here we give you a few instances of friendship and courage shared by them:


  1. Despite their different appearances, Mr. Cheeks, a Chihuahua “dogue” and Mr. Grey, a big tabby cat; were great friends. Although they were dubbed as an unusual pair of friends, their friendship grew beyond their physical differences and they set an example for others.

 

“And this was unheard of! Even in Hastings! But the two made it work like a charm.”

 

  1. Since Hopper, the rabbit was anxious about not being able to fit into the new community of Hastings and about the skills that he possessed which were thought to be a little odd for a rabbit; Mr. Cheeks and Mr. Grey helped him get comfortable and welcomed him into their circle. They also encouraged him to be confident about his unique talent.

 

“Hopper smiled. Maybe there was room for a different rabbit in Hastings after all!”

 

  1. When Mr. Grey decided to put up and exhibition of his paintings, his comrades, Mr. Cheeks and Hopper volunteered to help and support him in this endeavour. The trio worked together to make the exhibition a success.

 

“The trio took a moment to admire their work. The sun shone bright upon them, as though expressing joy, making the colours of the garden seem more vibrant and the pictures more lifelike.”

 

  1. After coming back defeated from the Carnival Management Bureau of Hastings, Mr. Cheeks had lost all hopes of tap-dancing and his friend Hopper singing at the carnival. But Mr. Grey, seeing how sad his friend was, came up with a bright plan to help his friends showcase their talents!

 

“It is now my life’s mission to make sure you both get the opportunity you deserve”

 

  1. By going beyond their stereotypical roles of what a dog, cat and a rabbit ought to do; Mr. Grey, Mr. Cheeks and Hopper also inspired other animals of Hastings to follow their hearts and not be tied down by those constructs.

 

“Finally, change had arrived in Hastings.”

 


Follow this exciting journey in The Incredible Adventures of Mr Cheeks, where three friends face the challenge of following their heart -even when it isn’t the easiest thing to do.

To Eat or Not to Eat- N for Nourish Sets the Record Straight

In N for Nourish, celebrity nutritionist Pooja Makhija demystifies the misleading theories about food that float around in a market driven by commercial interests of corporate giants. Her book draws attention to the inherent relationship our bodies have with food so that what we eat determines the quality of life we enjoy.

‘You will never not need food. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks—these will be part of your life for the rest of your life. When you’re feeling sick, food can heal you. When you’re feeling tired, food can pick you right back up. By eating right and eating well, food will always be your BFF.’ writes Pooja.

 

Here are 6 food myths from her new nutrition book for children above the age of 10, N for Nourish, that are finally being busted-

 

Myth 1: Dieting and fasting help you lose weight

Skipping meals counters your weight-loss plans as it puts your body in a state of panic and consequently, change gears to crisis management mode. Expecting lack of nourishment in the future, the body begins to store fat to supply energy over a longer period.

‘[Pooja Makhija] finds that a lot of older children skip breakfast or have just a small meal because they think that it will make them lose weight. In fact, skipping breakfast or any meal increases fat storage and decreases fat burning. And leads to weight gain. In other words, the more you starve, the more weight you gain.’

 Myth 2: If you feel hungry, you are hungry

Hunger and thirst trigger off similar signals in the brain and this can make us feel hungry when, actually, the body needs water to rehydrate.

‘There is a special centre in your brain that tells you how hungry you are. Similarly, there’s another part of your brain that tells you how thirsty you are. But, here’s the catch: both the thirst and hunger centres are located very close to each other. In fact, they are so close to each other that they are almost like neighbours. This becomes a problem when you are dehydrated as your confused brain cannot make up its mind about whether you are hungry or thirsty. And in this chaos, it makes you feel like eating when you should be drinking.’

Myth 3: All carbs are made equal

Complex carbs are better for your health than simple carbs.

‘When you eat simple, sugary carbs, your body does not have to do much to     convert the sugar in the food into blood sugar. Your sugar levels shoot up, which is why you suddenly feel energized. But it is also why you feel tired later—because your levels crash as quickly as they rise. But complex carbs, with all their fibre and starch, take more time to be converted into energy. And even though it takes longer, the glucose also stays in your body longer, to give you just the right amount of energy you need with none of the side effects.’

Myth 4: Fats make you fat    

An age-old vendetta against Fats is laid to rest here as Pooja Makhija clarifies    how Fats, in the right proportion, form an essential component of a balanced diet.

‘Your body needs fat. Fat is what protects your organs, including your brain. About 60–70 per cent of your brain is made up of fat. In other words, if your brain cells don’t have enough fat, they will not be able to do their job.’

Myth 5: Choose Sugar-free foods for weight loss

Artificial sweeteners imitate the taste of sugar and play on the fragile sensibilities of weight watchers. They dupe consumers into thinking that sugar-free means less calories, which tends to increase consumption and eventually lead to weight gain. This, in addition to the various side effects, makes these a bad gimmick to fall prey to.

 

‘One of the worst offenders is HFCS or High Fructose Corn Syrup. HFCS has many horrible side effects including the possible development of heart disease, cancer, cholesterol and diabetes, as you may get older. And, to top it all, it leads to quick weight gain.’

Myth 6: Only exercise can burn calories

 

Eating at regular intervals offers fuel to the body in the form of calories which it burns to aid digestion. The external exercise we do is additional to this ongoing process.

 

‘Digestion, like eating, breathing or even sleeping, burns calories. So, if you eat every two hours, you can burn calories even without running, jumping, playing or exercising. It’s almost like going to the gym!


Keeping the fun in food alive, N for Nourish shines a light on the hidden devils of the food world. Perfect for kids ages 10+ .Get your child a copy today!

Beautiful Lines From Sudha Murty’s New Book for Children!

“A long, long time ago, seawater was sweet and drinkable. How it became salty is a remarkable story.”

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 to the world of Sudha Murty.

Here are some quotes from the book:


‘But by then the sea was full of salt, which had all dissolved into water. And the sea remained salty for ever after that.’

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The night passed – with the dwarves dancing and Sridhar feeding the fire with fresh wood when it looked like it was dying.

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He decided not to go to his brother’s house. Instead, he went to the beautiful town near the sea, and there, he built a house made money and never wanted for anything, thanks to the magic fan.

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‘Suddenly, storm clouds gathered and rain started pouring down. Sridhar spotted a flicker light in the distance and ran towards it.’

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‘The salt spilled into the sea. It rained salt sacks for many, many days, till the dwarves heard about it and used their magic to make the fan stop.’

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‘That night, when everyone was asleep, she made Keshav creep into the room where the fan was kept and steal it.’


How the Sea Became Salty  is the ideal introduction for beginners to the world of Sudha Murty.