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Ready for June Readathon?

While we are still getting past the uncertain times and the young ones are spending the summer break indoors, we have come to their rescue with our interesting June book collection. With a tinge of laughter, a touch of magic, a series of adventures, and a sea full of learning, our books promise to offer entertainment, comfort, and knowledge.

Here’s a curated list for June readathon!

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My First Library of Learning: Box set
My First Library Learning || .
Ages: 0 to 3 years

Foster a habit of reading in your little ones with this box set of 10 gorgeously designed and thoughtfully created board books. These books equip toddlers and preschoolers with essential reading, language, visual, motor and imagination skills. This bright, handy, easy-to-read and fun library contains books on English alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes, things at home, fruits and vegetables, seasons and opposites, transport, animals and insects.

 

Dealing with Feelings Box Set 2

Sonia Mehta

Dealing with Feelings || Sonia Mehta
Ages: 5+ years

Foggy Forest is inhabited by many fun little animals. These quirky creatures are always there for one another—helping each other overcome jealousy, boredom, sadness and confusion. Together, they deal with all the different feelings one might have every day. This special box set edition brings together six exciting titles to start a conversation with kids about their feelings and emotions.

 

Big Mistake
Big Mistake
Ages: 16+ years

Insecurities and assurances, conflict and solidarity, fearfulness and courage—the personal histories, stories and #ownvoices in this anthology cover a lot of ground in just a few pages. Let them spark conversations on love, identity, disability, family, body positivity, ambition and other tough stuff. After all, no matter how old we get, growing up can feel like one big mistake.

 

Nida Finds a Way

Samina Mishra

Nida Finds A Way || Samina Mishra
Ages: 7 to 9 years

Whenever Nida wants to do something new, Abba is scared for her and says NONONO. But Nida needs to learn and do new things—so the only way is for her to persuade Abba. Can Nida find a way?

 

A Pinch of Magic

Asha Nehemiah

A Pinch of Magic || Asha Nehemiah
Ages: 7 to 9 years

Veena’s aunt Malu is in trouble. Her pinching spoon is broken. She must get a new spoon or close down her herbal medicine business. But the only person who makes pinching spoons has disappeared. Can Veena help her aunt?

 

Unmasked

Paro Anand

Unmasked || Paro Anand
Ages: 11+ years

The year 2020 will forever be reported as the time when we all fell down. But it was also the year we all got back up and were forced to come together in a way we had never imagined before. In this timely masterpiece, Paro Anand writes of despair, courage and hope. Through eighteen short stories from the pandemic, Anand introduces us to characters who feel familiar and their stories intimate.

From a mother and son looking to make ends meet as the lockdown brutally affects their lives to a housewife who’s a victim of domestic abuse, from young keyboard wizards keen on making a difference to a home delivery executive who becomes an unlikely hero, this book unmasks the layers of the year that changed us all.

 

My Little Book of Krishna
My Little Book of Krishna || .
Ages: 3+ years

Naughty little Krishna’s search for butter leads to an unexpected adventure. With charming illustrations and simple language, this short tale about Krishna will entertain and delight. It is a perfect way to familiarize the little ones with India’s rich cultural fabric. It’s a must have to introduce a god from popular Hindu mythology and impart valuable life lessons.

 

My Little Book of Lakshmi
My Little Book of Lakshmi || .
Ages: 3+ years

Lovely Lakshmi comes to Earth once a year. Will she have a good time here?
With the beautifully illustrated pages, this short tale about Lakshmi offers a fun and enjoyable read about timeless myths and festivals for modern kids.

 

My Little Book of Ganesha
My Little Book of Ganesha || .
Ages: 3+ years

Clever Ganesha’s got something on his mind, but what that is you’ll have to read on to find.
This short tale about Ganesha has fascinating illustrations and lucid language, making it suitable for bedtime reading and parent-child association. It’s dotted with interesting facts as well as an interactive activities.

**

The queen of Jhansi lashes out at the British

The rani embraced Damodar at the gates of the palace, with the British officers and soldiers looking on.

Then she turned to face Major Ellis. Her expression was grim, almost forbidding.

‘May I know the reason for your visit, Major Ellis?’ Her tone was casual, but her eyes were stormy.

Major Ellis bowed, feeling unusually nervous. ‘I bring a message from Lord Dalhousie, Your Majesty.’

‘Follow me, then.’ The rani strode into the palace and the soldiers hurried to keep pace with her.

In the main audience chamber, she seated herself on the throne and gestured to Major Ellis to speak.

The major cleared his throat several times before he felt able to utter a word. But speak he did because he had to. ‘Your adopted son, Damodar Rao’s right to rule has been rejected. So, by the Doctrine of Lapse, this kingdom now belongs to the British.’

‘Main apni Jhansi nahi doongi!’

The queen’s voice rang out, firm and true. It echoed all around the royal audience chamber and even along the corridors beyond. The Jhansi officers and guards who heard it sprang to attention and stiffened their backs with pride, almost without realizing it.

‘What did she say?’ the British officer behind Major Ellis muttered to his companion.

The other officer, who understood Hindustani well, translated quickly: ‘She said, I will not yield my Jhansi.’

Major Ellis was clearly uncomfortable, more so when Rani Lakshmibai turned her gaze on him. He had never seen the young queen look so angry. Her face was flushed, her eyes glittered with rage and her fists, partly hidden by her pearl bracelets, were clenched so tightly in her lap that her knuckles shone white.

She sat, proud and erect, on her throne, silently demanding a response from him. He turned his eyes away, unable to justify the decision made by the British.

Front cover of Queen of Fire
Queen of Fire || Devika Rangachari

 

She went on, her fury unabated. ‘Is this how the British repay loyalty? Generations of Jhansi rulers have supported them—have supported every step they have taken in this country, whatever our private feelings on the matter. So tell me, Major Ellis, what have we got for our pains?’

‘Your Majesty,’ he replied, his voice low so that those around had to strain to hear it. ‘I am a friend of Jhansi and a true supporter of your cause. But my hands are tied. I have no other option than to follow the orders of my superiors.’

‘You witnessed the adoption ceremony!’ she lashed out. ‘And you carried the news of it to your superiors. If they now doubt its validity, then it is clear that they don’t trust their own people. Don’t trust you. Yet you bend to their will and follow their unjust orders?’

Her words rankled but he had to answer. ‘I am sorry, Your Majesty,’ he said steadily, ‘but the British will now take over the governance of Jhansi. You will receive a monthly pension and may stay on here at the palace. I need to lock up the treasury and the military stores. Your money and weapons belong to the British from here on. All your soldiers will be dismissed, except a few that may remain for your personal safety.’

All eyes were on the queen; it was as if the very chamber was holding its breath. Sounds drifted in from the soldiers amassed outside the building—the murmur of voices, the clearing of throats, the shifting of feet—harmless in themselves, but indicative of the British military might mere steps away. It gave the rani no option but to obey.

To Major Ellis, the rani’s silence was more ominous than her words.

Her face was white and her hands trembled slightly as she signalled to her elderly prime minister, Dewan Rao Bande, to hand over the keys to Major Ellis.

This was a terrible blow, indeed. The British had been sniffing around various kingdoms, hoping to pounce at the first sign of weakness, which is why it had been so crucial to adopt Damodar and have it ratified. And all had seemed to be well for a while. Now her anger was directed equally at the British and herself. How could she have let her guard down and been so complacent! She should have known that the British would not give up so easily. Yet anger would not get her anywhere, she quickly realized. She would have to think fast and on her feet. She would not give up, she vowed to herself. Somehow, she would get her throne back and ensure Damodar’s succession.

Right now, Jhansi was like an ant before an elephant. But ants could bite and she would make sure this one bit hard . . .

 

Did our universe… always exist??

It all started with a big cosmic blast. Or did it? Refresh your facts with this excerpt from Shruthi Rao’s How We Know What We Know  and immerse yourself in a world of fun facts about the world, its origins and all the awe-inspiring details of how everything works.

~

What is the Big Bang? The sound you hear when you burst a big balloon?

Umm, no. The Big Bang Theory is an attempt to explain what happened at the beginning of our universe.

Wait. Our universe had a beginning? Didn’t it always exist?

That’s what scientists thought too, till a few decades ago. But research and studies suggest that there was indeed a beginning. A point. Before that point, there was nothing. And after that point, the universe came into existence.

Scientists think that the universe came out of a singularity—an infinitely small, infinitely dense, infinitely hot point. What exactly is this, though? If the universe was born from this singularity, where did the singularity come from? Why did it appear?

We don’t know that. Yet.
But how do we know that this is what happened?
The story began about a 100 years ago, with Georges Lemaître of Belgium. Though he was an officer of the church, he was fascinated by physics and he studied Albert Einstein’s theories of space and time and gravitation. He concluded that if Einstein’s theories were right, it meant that the galaxies in the universe are moving away from each other. Lemaître said this proved that the universe is not just static and unmoving, as everybody previously thought. It was expanding.

cover How We Know What We Know
How We Know What We Know||Shruthi Rao

It was a theory, and though Lemaître had come up with it on the basis of an established theory, scientists needed other proof before they could accept it. But Lemaître didn’t have any data to support this idea.

Meanwhile, American astronomer Henrietta Leavitt came up with a way to calculate how far away stars are from Earth. Using her work, astronomer Edwin Hubble looked through his telescope and calculated the distances of various stars from Earth. He concluded that things in the universe were moving away from Earth. Not just that, things that were farther away from Earth were moving away faster than things close to Earth. This could only mean one thing. The universe is indeed expanding. Georges Lemaître was right.

Okay. The universe is expanding. But how does that prove there was a Big Bang?

If the universe is expanding, it must have expanded from some point. Think of the expanding universe as a movie. The galaxies are moving outwards, away from each other. Now run that movie backwards. You can imagine it as the galaxies rushing towards each other. So then, all the galaxies must meet at some point. At this point, all the matter of the universe must have been contained in a very small space, that is, the singularity.

The moment at which this singularity started expanding is the Big Bang.

But where was the proof?

Decades later, in 1965, two scientists, Arno Allan Penzias and Robert Woodrow Wilson, were trying to measure radio signals in the empty space between galaxies. They used a giant horn-shaped antenna, called the Holmdel Horn Antenna, in their observatory at Bell Labs in New Jersey, USA. But as they tried to take measurements, an annoying noise kept interfering, like static on a radio.

Where was this noise coming from?

They pointed the antenna towards New York City. No, it wasn’t city noise.

They took measurements of the noise all through the year. No, it didn’t change with the seasons.

Could the noise be from a nuclear test that had taken place a while ago? It couldn’t be. If it was, the noise should have decreased year by year.

Then what was it?

Perhaps it was just the pigeons roosting in the antenna? They chased away the pigeons, and scooped up and cleaned the droppings. But the noise still remained.

Then they learnt about the scientist Robert Dicke, a professor at Princeton University. Dicke had been thinking about the Big Bang. His opinion was that if the Big Bang was true, there should be some kind of matter remaining from the explosion. And most probably, he said, this would be a kind of low-level background radiation throughout the universe.

Dicke wanted to try and find it. But it turned out that it was exactly what Penzias and Wilson had already found! The hum they had encountered was this very radiation resulting from the Big Bang!

Penzias and Wilson got the Nobel Prize for this discovery, because it proved that the Big Bang Theory was true.

Researchers all over the world are still taking better measurements of this noise, and are finding more things to think about.

~

Exciting trivia awaits you in How We Know What We Know.

 

‘We need to see inclusion as a basic human right’ – Lavanya Karthik

We have adored Adil ever since we got our hands on the book. We chatted with Lavanya Karthik, the author of When Adil Speaks, about her creative process, favourite books, and more!

 

How did Adil come into being?

LK: Adil was a little glimmer of an idea in my head for a long while. I wanted to explore the idea of communication in a picture book. I wanted to address the idea of diversity, as well as look at the little things that make us all the same – fear of not being accepted, shyness, wanting to be heard and seen.  And I was fascinated by sign language. I realised I could do all of this in one book and, slowly and steadily, these ideas developed into ‘Adil’.

 

What was your creative process behind a children’s book on inclusivity?

Front cover of When adil speaks
When Adil Speaks||Lavanya Karthik

LK: While the central character is disabled, I did not want that to be the focus of the book. Rather, it is his personality that stands out – he is fun, popular, a great athlete. I wanted this book to be about communication, and finding ways to connect. And what better way to connect than through art!

This book then evolved quite organically, as I imagined how the story of Adil and his friend would develop, and how they would figure out a way to ‘speak’ without words.  Comics seemed the obvious choice; whenever I visit schools or conduct workshops, I find that kids – from the quietest ones to the noisiest, from municipal schools and elite private institutions – love drawing comics. They dive right in, drawing themselves as superheroes, confronting demons, making great speeches. filling up pages and pages with art and ideas.  Then they would gather around, inspecting each other’s comics. What better way to make friends!

 

If you had to recommend a reading list on inclusivity for children (or adults!), which books would you add to it?

LK: This would really be a very, very long list! To narrow it down to a very short one,

Picture Books

  • I Didn’t Understand by Mini Shrinivasan
  • Guthli Has Wings by Kanak Shashi
  • My Travelin’ Eye by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

 

Middle Grade

  • El Deafo by Cece Bell
  • Caleb and Kit by Beth Vrabel
  • Simply Nanju by Zainab Suleiman

 

YA

  • Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
  • There Will be Lies by Nick Lake
  • Dear Rachel Maddow by Adrienne Kisner

 

Inclusivity and the idea of embracing difference is still a severely stunted conversation in the country. Do you think some level of sensitivity training should be mandatory, particularly for people working in educational institutions?

LK: I think we need to see inclusion as a basic human right and not as an act of benevolence. We need schools and playgrounds, systems and processes that can be accessed by everyone, and that acknowledge diversity, not enforce sameness. Sensitivity training is definitely important as a first step to enabling this.

 

Fun new reads for your shelves, this Children’s Day

Not that we need an occasion to buy books, but Children’s Day is the perfect time to add some fascinating and wonderful reads to your young readers’ shelves! From magical adventures in forests, to exciting stories about monarchs, and a glimpse into the constitution of India, we have you covered on all fronts.

 

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front cover of A Box of Stories
A Box of Stories||Ruskin Bond

 

A Box of Stories: A Collector’s Edition

by Ruskin Bond

 

A collector’s edition featuring the best of Ruskin Bond’s works

Featuring some of Ruskin Bond’s finest stories, poetry and selected non-fiction pieces, this special collector’s edition brings together the best works of India’s best-loved author for all his fans. Included in the collection are the two treasuries The Room of Many Colours and Uncles, Aunts and Elephants. Featuring illustrations and a rich cast of characters, this box set is a    perfect collection for fans of the master storyteller.

 

 

front cover The Magic of the Lost Temple
The Magic of the Lost Temple||Sudha Murty

The Magic Of The Lost Temple

by Sudha Murty

 

City girl Nooni is surprised at the pace of life in her grandparents’ village in Karnataka. But she quickly gets used to the gentle routine there and involves herself in a flurry of activities, including papad making, organizing picnics and learning to ride a cycle, with her new-found friends.

Things get exciting when Nooni stumbles upon an ancient fabled stepwell right in the middle of a forest.

Join the intrepid Nooni on an adventure of a lifetime in this much-awaited book by Sudha Murty that is heart-warming, charming and absolutely unputdownable.

 

front cover Moin and the Monster
Moin and The Monster||Anushka Ravishankar, Anitha Balachandran

 

 

Moin and the monster

by Anushka Ravishankar

Illustrated by Anitha Balachandran

 

One night, in the dim darkness of his room, Moin heard something shuffling and sniffling under his bed …’

It is a monster. Moin has to learn to live with the monster, which does nothing but eat bananas, sing silly songs and try out new hairstyles.

However, keeping the monster a secret from his parents and teachers is a tough task and finally Moin decides that the only thing to do is send the monster back where it came from…

 

 

front cover Book of Beasts
Book of Beasts||M Krishnan

 

 

Book of Beasts: An A to Z Rhyming Bestiary

by M Krishnan

 

The hispid hare is rather rare in fact, outside north-eastern east it lives nowhere and even there it is a most uncommon beast.
With scientific facts, quirky verse and gorgeous illustrations, this is a most unusual alphabet book!
A writer and an artist, M Krishnan was one of India’s best-known naturalists.

 

 

 

front cover 10 Indian Monarchs
10 Indian Monarchs Whose Amazing Stories You May Not Know||Devika Rangachari

10 Indian Monarchs Whose Amazing Stories You May Not Know

by Devika Rangachari

 

This book tells the stories of ten Indian monarchs who find, at best, passing mention in the history textbooks we read, though their lives were exciting and their achievements considerable:
Ajatashatru
Bindusara
Rudradaman
Pulakeshin II
Jayapida
Didda
Ramapala
Abbakka
Chand Bibi
Ahilyabai Holkar

Historian and award-winning novelist, Devika Rangachari writes absorbing tales of the men and women who shaped lives and kingdoms in their times.

 

 

front cover of The Curious Case of the Sweet and Spicy Sweetshop
The Curious Case of The Sweet and Spicy Sweetshop||Nandini Nayar

The Curious Case of The Sweet and Spicy Sweetshop

by Nandini Nayar

 

Making and selling sweets day after day is the life of Vishnudas Mithaiwala, the owner of The Sweet and Spicy Sweetshop. However, when Laddoo appears at his doorstep one night, claiming to be his estranged sister Revati’s son, Vishnu’s life is thrown into confusion. More craziness ensues when Anu turns up, also insisting that she’s Revati’s child! With no idea how to discern the real Mithaiwala, life is full of chaos for Vishnu, as the two children compete to prove their identity.

And Laddoo, worried about his parents, who have suddenly disappeared, is thrown another curveball-he senses a ghostly presence in the house! When a plot to steal the Mithaiwala family’s valuable recipe book is hatched, Laddoo tries to use this new psychic ability to save the day.

 

front cover Akbar and The Tricky Traitor
Akbar and the Tricky Traitor||Natasha Sharma

 

 

Akbar and the Tricky Traitor

by Natasha Sharma

 

The mighty Mughal emperor Akbar is angry. Someone is leaking secrets of his court to his enemies. What’s worse, his enemies are now laughing at Akbar. Who can help the emperor   solve this mystery?

Mysteries you’ll never find in history books

 

 

 

front cover of Timmi in Tangles
Timmi in Tangles||Shals Mahajan

 

 

Timmi in Tangles

by Shals Mahajan

 

Timmi’s life is full of tangles. Her mother expects her to go to school even though she’s a raja; Idliamma eats up all her idlis and everyone thinks Timmi ate them … and why can’t people understand that if you have a giant for a friend you can lift the roof to let the rain in?

 

 

 

 

front cover of Simply Nanju
Simply Nanju||Zainab Sulaiman

 

Simply Nanju

by Zainab Sulaiman

 

Nothing worries Nanju too much; not the fact that he walks funny or that he’s known as the class copy cat or that the cleverest (and prettiest) girl in class barely knows he’s alive.

But when books start disappearing from the classroom, the needle of suspicion begins to point at Nanju. Aided by his beloved best friend, the fragile but brainy Mahesh, Nanju has to find out who the real thief is. Otherwise, his father might pack him off to Unni Mama’s all-boys Hostel from Hell, and Nanju might lose all that’s dear to him.

Set in a school for children who are differently abled, this funny, fast-paced whodunit will keep you guessing till the very end.

 

 

front cover Discover India
Discover India: The Complete Collection||Sonia Mehta

Discover India: The Complete Collection

by Sonia Mehta

 

The Discover India series will take you on a grand tour of every single one of our country’s states. Join the adorable Pushka and Mishki and the wise and witty Daadu Dolma as they traverse the length and breadth of India. Meet nawabs in Andhra Pradesh, roam the highways of Haryana, learn the history of Odisha, study the culture of Bihar, explore the snow-laden valleys of Uttarakhand and pick up a new dance in Sikkim.

 

 

 

 

The Jungle Radio

front cover The Jungle Radio
The Jungle Radio||Devangana Dash

by Devangana Dash

 

Come, listen to the sweet jungle orchestra, featuring the Woodpecker’s drums, the Hornbill’s trumpet and the Kingfisher’s blues

When curious little Gul hears some strange sounds coming from her radio, she follows the musical clues into . . . an Indian jungle! On her walk, she finds feathered friends who TWEET, TAPP and TALK. There are some who howl and hoot, and others who play the flute. With a KEE here and a KAW there, Gul discovers songs everywhere!

Brought to life by painterly illustrations, The Jungle Radio is a little story about the language of birds-their songs and sounds-with a loud and clear call to listen to the world around us.

 

 

front cover of We the Children of India
We, The Children Of India||Leila Seth

We, The Children Of India

by Leila Seth

Illustrated by Bindia Thapar

Former Chief Justice Leila Seth makes the words of the Preamble to the Constitution understandable to even the youngest reader. What is a democratic republic, why are we secular, what is sovereignty? Believing that it is never too early for young people to learn about the Constitution, she tackles these concepts and explains them in a manner everyone can grasp and enjoy. Accompanied by numerous photographs, captivating and inspiring illustrations by acclaimed illustrator Bindia Thapar, and delightful bits of trivia, We, the Children of India is essential reading for every young citizen.

 

 

 

The Incredible History of India’s Geography

front cover The Incredible History of India's Geography
The Incredible History Of India’s Geography||Sanjeev Sanyal

by Sanjeev Sanyal

 

Could you be related to a blonde Lithuanian?

Did you know that India is the only country that has both lions and tigers?

Who found out how tall Mt Everest is?

If you’ve ever wanted to know the answers to questions like these, this is the book for you. In here you will find various things you never expected, such as the fact that we still greet each other like the Harappans did and that people used to think India was full of one-eyed giants. And, sneakily, you’ll also know more about India’s history and geography by the end of it. Full of quirky pictures and crazy trivia, this book takes you on a fantastic journey through the incredible history of India’s geography.

 

 

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Pack your young reader’s day with this varied collection!

 

Exciting November reads to kindle young minds and spirits

It’s a new month, and we all know what that means. A whole new reading list with brand new books!! These fun new reads are a ride through friendship, inclusivity and even entrepreneurship. Fasten your seatbelts!

~

When Adil Speaks, Words Dance

Front cover of When adil speaks
When Adil Speaks, Words Dance||Lavanya Karthik

by Lavanya Karthik

 

Everyone wants to be friends with Adil. But how do you make friends with someone when you can’t hear the music their words dance to?

‘When Adil Speaks’ is a heart-warming tale of friendship and inclusivity, and of how sometimes, it takes more than words to start a conversation. Written and illustrated by award-winning author Lavanya Karthik, this is a sweet yet an evocative story of two friends, and their willingness to understand each other better.

 

 

Bim And The Town Of Falling Fruit

by Arjun Talwar

front cover bim and the town of falling fruit
Bim and the Town of Falling Fruit||Arjun Talwar

 

In Poondy, fruits are always falling on people’s heads-from the jackfruit, coconut and toddy trees-causing many injuries. So all the Poondizens wear fruit-helmets invented by the legendary Falwala. Bim loves Poondy, but one day, Miss Chitty, Bim’s mother, who drives a coffee-coloured taxi, decides to move away from Poondy. Bim’s last two weeks in his home town are full of strange and exciting adventures-from a bat attack to a bike theft- that can only happen here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Become A Junior Entrepreneur

front cover of become a junior entrepreneur
Become a Junior Entrepreneur||Vrunda Bansode

Vrunda Bansode

 

 

What do you want to be when you grow up? A doctor, an engineer, a chef, a musician, an IAS officer?

That’s a question adults never tire of asking kids.

It’s time to recognize a profession where people invent, innovate, sell, barter and build: entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are bringing education online, connecting families at the touch of a button and changing the way we live. ‘Become a Junior Entrepreneur’ accompanies the reader through every stage of turning a nascent dream into a commercially viable start-up.

 

 

 

Unfair

Rasil Ahuja

Front cover of Unfair
Unfair||Rasil Ahuja

 

Auditions are on for the seventh-grade annual play. Lina sets her heart and

sights on the lead role, but the drama teacher seems to think Lina isn’t the

right shade for the part. Will Miss Deepa derail Lina’s dream?

Meher finds math far more interesting than Macbeth. When her BFF Lina suddenly becomes distraught and withdrawn, Meher wonders why Lina would shut her out.

Something’s just not adding up. Will this friendship fade or will Meher find a solution to this problem and score #friendshipgoals?

 

 

 

 

 

Grandparents’ Bag Of Stories

front cover of Grandparents' Bag of Stories
Grandparents’ Bag of Stories||Sudha Murty

Sudha Murty

 

From stitching masks, sharing household chores, preparing food for workers to losing themselves in timeless tales, the lockdown turns into a memorable time for the children as they enter the enchanting world of goddesses, kings, princesses, serpents, magical beanstalks, thieves, kingdoms and palaces, among others. Following the trail of the best-selling ‘Grandma’s Bag of Stories’, Sudha Murty brings to you this collection of immortal tales that she fondly created during the lockdown period for readers to seek comfort and find the magic in sharing and caring for others. Wonderfully woven in her inimitable style, this book is unputdownable and perfect for every child’s bookshelf!

 

 

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It’s time to add these wonderful reads to your young readers’ bookshelves!

 

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!

Three James Patterson Titles your Little Ones Shouldn't Miss

James Patterson has created more enduring fictional characters than any other novelist writing today and has sold over 350 million books worldwide and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers.
From Hero to Zero is his latest book, in which Rafe visits the incredible city of London with his class. Out of all of his adventures, this trip could prove to be Rafe’s most embarrassing yet, undoing everything good he has going for him back home!
Here are three titles in The Middle School series by him that your little ones must read.
From Hero To Zero

 
After a mostly-successful stint at Hills Valley Middle School, Rafe is excited to visit the incredible city of London with his class. But it’s no surprise that Rafe’s bad luck follows him across the pond, putting him in one crazy situation after another – all under the watchful eye of his bad-tempered principal.
The Nerdiest, Wimpiest and Dorkiest

 
Comedian Jamie Grimm can’t help feeling like he’s reached the top – he has his own smash hit TV show and he’s won a national funny-kid competition. But now he’s taking his fame and fortune to international levels by competing in the upcoming world kid comic contest! Will Jamie prove that he’s the funniest kid on earth – or does he stand (or sit!) to lose his crown?
Dog Diaries

 

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! I’ve been waiting for ages to tell my story, and now it’s finally happening! Being Rafe’s dog isn’t always easy, but it is always EXCITING! I’ve got so much to tell you about:
-How I protect the yard from birds, raccoons, squirrels, raccoons, mail carriers…and did I mention RACCOONS?
-Sniffing pooch posteriors for the latest canine news.
-And the terrifying monster hiding in the hall closet: the vacuum cleaner!

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Your Puffin Reads this Autumn

This autumn, we have a list of books full of adventure for your little ones! You can send them to solve a mystery with Feluda and Topshe or to meet the ghosts from Ruskin Bond’s world. They can hang with the two most popular avatars of Lord Vishnu or read Sonia Mehta’s fun series on how to deal with feelings!
Here is the list of Puffin Reads to choose from:

Feluda Omnibus by Satyajit Ray


Including three unputdownable mysteries by master storyteller Satyajit Ray, this omnibus edition is the perfect introduction to the greatest exploits of Feluda and his sidekick, Topshe. Traversing fascinating landscapes and electrifying escapades, this collection is an absolute classic and a must-have for fans of detective fiction.

The Upside-down King by Sudha Murty


The tales in this collection surround the two most popular avatars of Lord Vishnu-Rama and Krishna-and their lineage. Countless stories about the two abound, yet most are simply disappearing from the hearts and minds of the present generation. Bestselling author Sudha Murty takes you on an arresting tour, all the while telling you of the days when demons and gods walked alongside humans, animals could talk and gods granted the most glorious boons to common people.

Wind on the Haunted Hill by Ruskin Bond


A gritty, hair-raising story about friendship, courage and survival from India’s favourite teller of tales, this stunning edition is an absolute must-have to introduce young readers to the magic of Ruskin Bond’s craft.
 

Dealing with Feelings Series by Sonia Mehta


Sonia Mehta is a children’s writer who believes that sparking off a child’s imagination opens up a world of adventure. Here is a list of books by her, that your little one will enjoy (and learn from)!

  1. Being Happy Is Fun
  2. It’s not nice to be jealous
  3. It’s okay to be confused
  4. Being Sad isn’t any fun
  5. Being Bored isn’t fun
  6. Being Silly is Silly

 

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