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The more (books), the May-rrier!

We know that our current times are not the most optimistic. But now more than ever, we believe that books can act as a source of hope and joy, howsoever small, and keep us going.

We have an assorted selection of books for you this May! These will keep your young ones occupied as they spend the summers indoors, inside the safety of their cozy homes.

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All-Time Favourites for Children

Ruskin Bond

Front cover of All-Time Favourites
All-Time Favourites for Children || Ruskin Bond, Kashmira Sarode (Illustrator)

Ages:  9+  years

All Time Favourites for Children celebrates Ruskin Bond’s writing with stories that are perennially loved and can now be enjoyed in a single collectible volume. Curated and selected by India’s most loved writer, this collection brings some of the evocative episodes from Ruskin’s life, iconic Rusty, eccentric Uncle Ken, ubiquitous grandmother, and many other charming, endearing characters in a single volume while also introducing us to a smattering of new ones that are sure to be firm favourites with young readers.

 

Ninja Nani and the Freaky Food Festival

Lavanya Karthik

Front cover of Ninja Nani and the Freaky Food Festival
Ninja Nani and the Freaky Food Festival || Lavanya Karthik

Ages: 10 to 14 years

It’s time for the annual festival and a special guest is expected to arrive in Gadbadnagar, but has a certain President gone too far? Has Nani finally met her match in the meanest, scariest and awfullest demon ever to crawl out of the Dark Forest? Will the Mayor’s mustache ever run for office?

Wait, there’s more!

Fake Mystery Heroes! Haunted falooda! Giant dogs–

And what’s that again about goats? You’re going to have to read it for yourself. 

 

Mirror, Mirror

Andaleeb Wajid

Front cover of Mirror, Mirror
Mirror, Mirror || Andaleeb Wajid

Ages: 10 to 14 years

Five years earlier, a friend’s nasty comment makes Ananya start hating her body. She decides to change into a new person-one who effortlessly fits into all kinds of clothes, who shuns food unless it’s salad, and who can never be called ‘Miss Piggy’-and to cut everything from her ‘old’ life, including her best friend, Raghu, for being the witness to her humiliation.

Ananya is on her way to becoming the Ananya of her dreams, but she’s still a work in progress.

One day, her parents announce that they’re expecting a baby (at their age!). To make matters worse, Raghu reappears in her life …

Andaleeb Wajid’s latest novel for young adults is a touching and funny story about a young girl’s journey to acceptance and self-love.

 

What’s the Big Secret?

Sonali Shenoy

Front cover of What's the Big Secret?
What’s the Big Secret? || Sonali Shenoy, Annushka Hardikar (Illustrator)

Ages: 9+ years

Eleven-year-old Aditya really wants to know about periods.

Ever since Rhea Didi began getting brown paper packages, there’s been something that no one is telling him. Mama turns red, Pa chokes on his coffee and Dadi has steam coming out of her ears! Thank goodness for his friends Naveen and Vinay-whom he can talk to.

But when Vinay brings an odd-looking napkin to school that soaks ink, Aditya is even more confused. Doesn’t his sister use a microtip pen?

All of this is only making little Aditya more determined to find out What is going on!

 

Dark Tales

Venita Coehlo

Front cover of Dark Tales
Dark Tales || Venita Coehlo

Ages: 9+ years

In this collection of eleven very dark and twisted tales, Venita Coelho lays bare the underbelly of contemporary India. Get ready to gasp and cringe in horror as you have the rug pulled out from under you! This is a book you won’t want to read after dark.

 

And That is Why

L. Somi Roy

And That is Why || L. Somi Roy, Sapha Yumnam (Illustrator)

Ages: 8+ years

Dear Reader, do you know
· why the deer does not eat rice?
· why man gets wrinkles and a stoop?
· why the cat buries its poop?
· why a doll is worshipped in a village called Kakching?

Discover twelve magical tales from Manipur, the mountain land in the north-east of India on the border with Myanmar. Passed down by learned scholars, balladeers and grandmothers over hundreds of years, these unknown myths and fables are enriched with beautifully rich paintings that will transport you to Manipur!

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The literature of love and longing: Books to sweep you away this Valentine’s Day!

Few holidays induce as vastly differing reactions as Valentine’s Day, or stir up such a storm of emotion. Whether you’re floating on the throes of first love, nursing a broken heart, enjoying the calm fulfillment of your own company, or simply prefer fictional romance to the messiness of the real thing, we have the book for you!

Our Ultimate Valentine’s Day Book List will give you the perfect book to celebrate love and friendship across the spectrum through the most passionate prose and lyrical longing.

Memory of Light
Memory of Light || Ruth Vanita

If there was place and time truly meant for romance, it was 18th-century Lucknow, a vibrant city full of musicians, poets and courtesans, of languorous lovers and lilting poetry. Amidst this milieu Memory of Light weaves the exquisite tale of the love between-two women courtesan Chapla Bai and young poet Nafis Bai as they exchange letters and conversations feeding each other the heady fruit of desire.

French Lover
French Lover || Nasrin Taslima

The greatest and most basic necessity for a healthy relationship is to be able to know and love oneself. French Lover is a young Bengali woman’s search for love and independence in a strange city. Stifled in an unhappy marriage, Nilanjana’s long road to self-discovery is initiated by Benoir Dupont, a blond, blue-eyed handsome Frenchman. In her passionate, sexually liberating relationship with Benoir, she finally begins to have an inkling of her own desires.

Undying Affinity
Undying Affinity || Sara Naveed

You’ll fall in love as much with the city of Lahore as with the book’s protagonist in this simple yet touching romance by Sara Naveed. Caught between her childhood friend, Haroon and handsome professor, Ahmar, little does beautiful, spoiled Zarish know that one individual can completely change her perspective towards life. Packed with romance, drama and tragedy, Undying Affinity will stay in your heart forever.

The Beauty of the Moment
The Beauty of the Moment || Tanaz Bhathena

There’s nothing quite as intense or as memorable as the pangs of first love and this delightful YA romance truly celebrates the thrilling ‘beauty of that moment’When sharp and driven ‘new girl’, Susan meets ‘bad boy ‘ Malcolm, sparks fly. The ways they drift apart and come back together are testaments to family, culture, and being true to who you are.

The Rabbit and the Squirrel
The Rabbit and the Squirrel || Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi

The critically acclaimed and delightfully illustrated fable for contemporary times  is perfect for lending a dash of elegant whimsy this Valentine’s Day.   Lit with longing, and tender questions of the heart, The Rabbit and the Squirrel is an ode to the enduring pleasures of friendship, traced through the poignant love story of the eponymous Rabbit and the Squirrel who against all odds are fated for togetherness.

The Penguin Book of Classical Indian Love Stories and Lyrics
The Penguin Book of Classical Indian Love Stories and Lyrics || Ruskin Bond

When modern vocabulary fails to evoke romance for you, this extraordinarily lyrical compilation of love stories and poems from the classical literature and folklore of India will come to the rescue. Curated by the master of nuanced emotions, Ruskin Bond and set in regions of great natural beauty where Kamadeva, the god of love, picks his victims with consummate ease, these stories and lyrics celebrate the myriad aspects of love.

An Extreme Love of Coffee
An Extreme Love of Coffee || Harish Bhat

If you think of love as life’s greatest adventure that hits you like a caffeine kick An Extreme Love of Coffee is your cup of (not)tea!  This faced paced mystery romance follows Rahul and Neha who embark upon a quest for treasure, after drinking a  cup of ‘magic’ coffee, discovering their passion for warm frothy concoctions and each other as they race from the plantations of Coorg to Japanese graveyards!

Half Torn Hearts
Half Torn Hearts || Novoneel Chakraborty

Sometimes Valentine’s Day is a time to reminisce and to dwell upon the fact that first cut is the deepest. Half Torn Hearts is both a thrilling suspense story and a  coming-of-age tale of three layered individuals coming to terms with their first loss, which bares the devil that we all possess but are scared of encountering and which eventually becomes the cause of our own ruins.

The God of Small Things
The God of Small Things || Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy’s modern classic is equal parts powerful family saga, forbidden love story, and piercing political drama. The seven-year-old twins Estha and Rahel see their world shaken irrevocably by the arrival of their beautiful young cousin, Sophie. With its exquisite prose , it makes for  an unusual, but lyrical Valentine’s Day pick.

The Secrets We Keep
The Secrets We Keep || Sudeep Nagarkar

This thrilling romance will have you hooked from start to finish following the story of  Rahul, an intelligence officer on a secret mission,  who falls in love with the major’s daughter, Akriti. But is anyone who they seem to be, or is Rahul about to face the biggest shock of his life? 

Eleven Ways to Love
Eleven Ways to Love || Sreshtha, Sangeeta, Nadika Nadja, Dhrubo Jyoti, Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan, Preeti Vangani, Shrayana Bhattacharya, Nidhi Goyal, Anushree Majumdar, Sharanya Manivannan, Maroosha Muzaffar, D

Love stories coach us to believe that love is selective, somehow, that it can be boxed in and easily defined. With a foreword by the luminary, Gulazar these eleven remarkable essays,  widen the frame of reference: transgender romance; body image issues; race relations; disability; polyamory; class differences; queer love; long distance; caste; loneliness; the single life; the bad boy syndrome . . . and so much more.

TILL THE LAST BREATH by [Durjoy Datta]
Till The Last Breath || Durjoy Datta

This deeply sensitive story explores love in the context of imminent death and  reminds us what it means to be alive. Two patients, a young brilliant girl fighting to stay alive, and a youthful drug addict who can’t wait to die come together in Room 509. Two reputed doctors, fighting their own demons from the past, are trying everything to keep these two patients alive. These last days in the hospital change the two patients, their doctors and all the other people around them in ways they had never imagined.

Singing in the Dark
Singing in the Dark || K. Satchidanandan, Nishi Chawla

If love is vulnerability, these strange times have made us even more vulnerable. This global anthology brings together the finest of poetic responses to the coronavirus pandemic. More than a hundred of the world’s most esteemed poets reflect upon a crisis that has dramatically altered our lives, and laid bare our vulnerabilities.

You Are All I Need
You Are All I Need || Ravinder Singh (Ed.)

This collection of touching stories selected by Ravinder Singh  is an ode to the myriad facets of love . This book will make you laugh, cry, think and feel, all at the same time with its eclectic collection of love stories that will warm the cockles of your heart!

Prem Purana
Prem Purana || Usha Narayanan

No one is untouched by love, not even devas and asuras, kings and nymphs. This collection of celestial love stories from Indian mythology celebrates the love of Ravana and Mandodari, Nala and Damayanto among many eithers. Tormented by passion, tortured by betrayal and wracked by the agony of separation, these stories deify love in its many splendorous forms.

With Love
With Love || TTT

The go-to portal for sweet, sharp, heart-wrenching stories brings this collection of letters that celebrates all the different forms of love and bonds we make, spanning the spectrum from family to our childhood homes , from  former loves and future husbands.  Deeply personal and intimate, these letters are a great choice to peruse on Valentine’s Day.

This Time Next Year
This Time Next Year || Sophie Cousens

A lovely  contemporary romance that will give you all the warm fuzzies. Quinn and Minnie are born on the same day, but their lives follow completely different trajectories even as fate conspires to bring them together. This moving, joyful love story, This Time Next Year explores the way fate leads us to the people we least expect–no matter what the odds.

The Time Traveler’s Wife || Audrey Niffenegger

This book is a hugely popular modern classic for a reason, its heartwarming, innovative and a moving depiction of the effects of time on love. Henry is a time traveler–cursed with a rare genetic anomaly that causes him to live his life on a shifting timeline, skipping back and forth through the years with no control. Despite the fact that Henry’s travels force them apart with no warning, and never knowing when they will be reunited, he and his wife Clare try to lead a life of normalcy based on an abiding and passionate love.

The Fault in Our Stars || John Green

One of the most popular and  moving love stories of our times, this brilliantly explores the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love. Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by [Becky Albertalli]
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda || Becky Albertalli

An  incredibly funny and poignant, coming-of-age, coming out story—wrapped in a geek romance! When an email falls into the wrong hands, sixteen year old and not-so-openly-gay Simon finds his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone without fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

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!

 

Boyhood dreams and nostalgia

Sixteen-year-old Ruskin, after having finally finished his school, is living with his stepfather and mother at the Old Station Canteen in Dehradun and planning to leave for England to embark upon his writing journey. But the prospect of saying goodbye to the warm, sunny shores of India looms large.

Following the trail of Looking for the RainbowTill the Clouds Roll By and Coming Round the Mountain, A Song of India is the story of Ruskin Bond’s last year in Dehra, the year that later became the basis for his  first novel, The Room on the Roof. It’s about love, friendship, dreaming, hoping and just being sixteen. Read on for nostalgic look at being young and in the throes of first love in 1950s India.

Raj was a couple of years older than me, studying for her BA exams. She wasn’t pretty, but she had a lively, expressive face and an athletic build. She was also her college’s badminton champion. Every evening, she practised on the court she had laid out in front of their house. There was just enough room for it, as a tall hedge separated their place from the rest of the compound. Sometimes I’d watched her playing with her friends. She moved about the court like a gazelle; and she had long arms, which enabled her to reach the shuttlecock from difficult angles. Barefooted, she darted backwards and forwards without seeming to tire. ‘Do you play badminton?’ she asked me after lunch that day. ‘Not after eating half a dozen puris,’ I said from the comfort of an easy chair in the veranda. ‘I’ve only played once or twice.’ ‘Come in the evening and play with me,’ she said.

A Song of India || Ruskin Bond

So that evening, I borrowed Ranbir’s racket and spent an exhausting hour chasing a shuttlecock all over the badminton court. Raj had me on the run from the start of the proceedings, and there was no let up. The score? I think it was 20–0, 20–1 or something like that, in her favour of course. I spent a lot of time picking up the shuttlecock and politely handing it back to her. She offered me a return match the next day, and I was foolish enough to accept. Another love game! And the same the day after. Was I a glutton for punishment, or was I falling in love?

Not head over heels in love, but something more gradual—the pleasure of being in her presence, of the occasional contact, of the sparkle in her eyes. It was a friendship with a girl, and for Raj it was just that—a friendship—while for me, it was something a little more intense. One day, quite by chance, a small sewing needle lodged itself in her heel when she was running barefoot down the veranda steps. I did my best to extract it, taking her foot in my hands and using a pair of tweezers. But I was no doctor, and the needle had made its way further into her foot. We left it alone, assuming it would work its way out. But it appeared to be travelling further up her leg. I had heard of people who had suddenly fallen dead through having needles embedded in various vital organs. Muscular contractions could send an accidentally stuck needle further up her body, working its way between the muscles for considerable distances, until it reached the heart . . .

When I mentioned this to Raj’s parents, they immediately took her to Civil Hospital and showed her to a surgeon. With the help of an X-ray, he located the needle (now in the region of her calf muscle), removed it surgically and sent her home with her foot in a bandage. No badminton for a week. Respite for me from all those love games. But true love it was, for every day I would find myself on a chair beside her, attempting to entertain her with my bedside chatter. I was much better at conversation than at badminton. And after some time, the conversations became quite personal. Raj told me that she wasn’t interested in marriage—she longed for a career in badminton or athletics—but that her parents were already on the lookout for a suitable young man for her. After all, she was nineteen going on twenty.

‘Too young to get married,’ I said, from my seventeen years of acquired wisdom. (I had completed seventeen that summer.) ‘Wait till you’re twenty-five. By then I’ll be twenty-two, rich and famous, and you can marry me and I’ll be your badminton and long-distance running coach!’

 —

 

A heartwarming addition to Ruskin Bond’s boyhood memoirs, A Song of India is a delightful celebration of the beginning of the country’s most loved writing journeys!

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!

Books to Read Together, this Father’s Day

Every day is father’s day but let’s be extra nice and make this a super special day for him! Shower him with lots of love and pampering. We believe one of the best gifts you can give your loved ones is quality time. How about a lovely evening at home (hello, social distancing!) with a good book to read?

We’ve put together a list of books for you to choose from and enjoy a cozy reading- eve along with your family! There’s something for everyone, even the little ones! Many of these books explore unique relationships with fathers, and all are topics your father might enjoy! Whatever your preference, we’re sure you’ll find something you love.


The Man Within My Head by Pico Iyer

Ever since he first read Graham Greene, Pico Iyer has been obsessed by the figure of the writer and by one of the great themes of Greene’s work: what it means to be an outsider. Wherever he has travelled-usually as an outsider himself-Iyer has found reminders of Greene’s life, observed scenes that might have been written by Greene, written stories that recall Greene. Yet, as Iyer recounts the history of his obsession, another phantom image begins to assert itself, one that Iyer had long banished from his inner life-that of his father.

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Red Lipstick by Laxmi

Struggling with existential questions, Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, eminent transgender activist, awakens to her true self: She is Laxmi, a hijra. In this fascinating narrative Laxmi unravels her heart to tell the stories of the men-creators, preservers, lovers, benefactors, and abusers-in her life. Racy, unapologetic, dark and exceptionally honest, these stories open a window to a brave new world.

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An Obedient Father by Akhil Sharma

Ram Karan, a corrupt official in the Delhi school system, lives in one of the city’s slums with his widowed daughter and his eight-year-old granddaughter. Bumbling, contradictory, sad, Ram is a man corroded by a guilty secret. An Obedient Father takes the reader to an India that is both far away and real – into the mind of a character as tormented, funny, and ambiguous as one of Dostoevsky’s anti-heroes.

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Pregnant King by Devdutt Pattanaik

Among the many hundreds of characters who inhabit the Mahabharata, perhaps the world’s greatest epic and certainly one of the oldest, is Yuvanashva, a childless king, who accidentally drinks a magic potion meant to make his queens pregnant and gives birth to a son. This extraordinary novel is his story.

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We That Are Young by Preti Taneja

Jivan Singh, bastard son, returns to Delhi after fifteen years of exile to find a city on fire with protests and in the grip of drought. On the same day, Devraj, father of Jivan’s childhood playmates, founder of India’s most important company, announces his retirement, demanding daughterly love in exchange for shares. Sita, his youngest child, refuses to play, turning her back on the marriage he has arranged. Her sisters Gargi and Radha must take over the Company and cement their father’s legacy. As they struggle to make their names, a family and an empire begin to unravel.

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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens? Yuval Noah Harari challenges everything we know about being human in the perfect read for these unprecedented times.

Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it: us.

In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we’re going.

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Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles

We all have an Ikigai. It’s the place where your needs, desires, ambitions, and satisfaction meet. Finding your ikigai is easier than you might think. This book will help you work out what your own ikigai really is, and equip you to change your life. You have a purpose in this world: your skills, your interests, your desires and your history have made you the perfect candidate for something. All you have to do is find it.

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Feel Better In 5: Your Daily Plan to Feel Great for Life by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee

Feel Better in 5 is the first daily 5-minute plan that is easy to maintain, easy-to-follow and requires only the smallest amount of willpower. Drawing on Dr Rangan Chatterjee’s twenty years of experience and real-life case studies from his GP practice, Feel Better in 5 is your daily plan for a happier, healthier you at no extra cost.

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The Body by Bill Bryson 

Bill Bryson sets off to explore the human body, how it functions and its remarkable ability to heal itself. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories The Body: A Guide for Occupants is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make up.

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The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger

This book is about the relentless curiosity that has driven Iger for forty-five years, since the day he started as the lowliest studio grunt at ABC. It’s also about thoughtfulness and respect, and a decency-over-dollars approach that has become the bedrock of every project and partnership Iger pursues, from a deep friendship with Steve Jobs in his final years to an abiding love of the Star Wars mythology.

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For the little ones:

Looking for the Rainbow by Ruskin Bond

At age eight, Ruskin escapes his jail-like boarding school in the hills and goes to live with his father in Delhi. His time in the capital is filled with books, visits to the cinema, music and walks and conversations with his father—a dream life for a curious and wildly imaginative boy, which turns tragic all too soon.

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In My Heart by Nandana Dev Sen

A very special story to be read with loved ones, In My Heart takes us on a child’s journey of discovering who she really is and where she comes from. Warmly illustrated and deeply felt, this is a fearless and tender celebration of the magical ways in which different kinds of families are born.

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Pops by Balaji Venkataramanan

My name is V. Arun. I am seven years old. My father’s name is Venkatesh. He is very good. He never gets mad at me. He buys me a lot of toys and chocolates… I love My father. That’s a big bluff. Arun has never met his dad. He has only seen his photograph in the wedding album. And he hates him. Then one day, his father comes back.

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My Daddy and theWell by Jerry Pinto

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! The hook books are for very small readers, aged five and above (for being read to) and six and above (for reading independently). written by some of the best-known writers for children, and illustrated in exuberant colour by some of India’s most-loved illustrators. Hawaldar hook is the endearing mascot of the hook books.

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Puffin Classics: Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster

A trustee of the John Grier orphanage has offered to send Judy Abbott to college. The only requirements are that she must write to him every month and that she can never know who he is. Judy’s life at college is a whirlwind of friends, classes, parties and a growing friendship with the handsome Jervis Pendleton. With so much happening in her life, Judy can scarcely stop writing to ‘Daddy-Long-Legs’, or wondering who her mysterious benefactor is…

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Puffin Classics: Heidi by Johanna Spyri

Little Heidi goes to live with her grandfather in his lonely hut high in the Alps and she quickly learns to love her new life. But her strict aunt decides to send her away again to live in the town. Heidi cannot bear being away from the mountains and is determined to return to the happiness of life with her grandfather.

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Where’s Home, Daddy Bear? by Nicola O’Byrne

From the creator of open very carefully, Nicola o’byrne, comes a tender, touching story that voices all the worries a child has about change, and celebrates the loving bond between father and daughter. Making her debut to the Walker list, bestselling author Nicola O’Byrne tells a heartfelt, emotionally true tale inspired by her own experience. Particularly pertinent for children who may be going through some kind of change – whether that be moving to a new house, a new school, or a new country.

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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A novel that explores the tragedy of racism in the 1930s and the dramatics of the ‘Great Depression’, Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ is a tale that infuses humour and sorrow into a touching story that lives on eternally in the minds of the readers. Set in a town that has its roots in a history of prejudice, violence and hypocrisy, the story follows the lives of Scout and Jem Finch as they come of age and experience the discrimination that floods their society. They watch their father (a lawyer) struggle for the justice of a black man who is charged with the rape of a white girl.

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Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

Young Willie Beech is evacuated to the country as Britain stands on the brink of the Second World War. A sad, deprived child, he slowly begins to flourish under the care of old Tom Oakley – but his new-found happiness is shattered by a summons from his mother back in London.


Let us know which book you pick!

Remembering some words from India’s most loved storyteller

We recently celebrated our most loved storyteller, Ruskin Bond’s 86th birthday. And as much fun as we had rediscovering his stories and hearing his words again – we can never really get enough of his stories.

As we continue to flip through his words, we decided to do a our own little round-up of some of his most powerful words and quotes that have stayed with us through the years.

 

On Unequal Struggles

 

On Human Truths and Sentiments

On Sadness and Fleeting Happiness

 

On Discomfort and Struggles

 

On Dreams and Reality

 

On Friendships 

 

On Battles of Life

 

On Making Your Own Music

 

On Childhood and Adulthood

 

On Focusing and Spending on the Right Things

 


 

Whether writing for adults or for his young audience, Mr. Bond’s words have always had a resounding effect on us, no matter how many times we revisit his stories. Which of his stories are closest to your heart? Share with us in the comments below!

Meanwhile, you can join us in celebrating his work and life at our Kindle Store!

 

Six Untold Stories that Give Us a Glimpse into Ruskin Bond's Life

There is no doubt that Ruskin Bond is one of India’s most beloved writers. At least three generations have grown up reveling in the exquisite simplicity of his writing and aspiring to the carefree childhood among the hills, to the tales that he weaves with all the soft, natural magic of the mountains themselves.
All his stories, fiction and non-fiction, have such tantalizing hints of autobiography that many of us have often wondered as to the sources of his characters-those ordinary people with the very slight idiosyncrasies that he has elevated beyond the mundane to a magical place in his readers memories. And just like reading a Ruskin Bond book takes his readers go back to a place in their mind unique to their own reminiscence, The Beauty of All My Days is no ordinary chronological autobiography but a piecing together, a remembrance of things past, an aggregation of the incidents, friends, books and movies that have shaped him to become the person he is.
Read on for six untold stories that give us a glimpse into Ruskin Bond’s life


When his first moment of literary glory funded a party for a crew that sounds like the gang from A Room on the Roof

“And then I sold a story to The Illustrated Weekly of India, the country’s premier English magazine, editedby C.R. Mandy. It was a trifle, a school story or skit called ‘My Calling’, but it brought me fifty rupees, a princely fee in those far-off days (August 1951). I gave a party for my friends—Somi, Chottu, Haripal, Kishen, Ranbir and Co.—and declared myself to be a fully established writer, although it would be several months before I sold another story!”

The elusive woman who features in different forms in so many of his stories

“Maplewood. I take Sushila and her cousin down to the stream. We’ll picnic near running water, I tell them. Down comes the rain! It comes rushing down the hill—running water everywhere! We run for it, run for home. Get home drenched. Sushila, beautiful with her hair dripping and her blouse clinging to her slender figure.”

The first venue for his literary output seems a combination of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own and Gerald Durrell’s My Family And other Animals!

“My first real writing room was that tiny room on the roof, a barsati on top of a rambling old building in Dehradun, which had once been the Gresham Hotel and later the Station Canteen and was now occupied by various tenants, among them my mother and stepfather and my three small brothers and sister, not forgetting an Alsatian and a dachshund.”

The hotel from hell that he inhabited as a broke teenager en route to London

“Ah! Lamington Road . . . Sometimes I see you again in my dreams, or rather my nightmares, for youand your seedy little hotel were indeed a nightmare for a pimply seventeen-year-old without friends ormoney. They gave me a small bare room with a rickety chair and table and a bed made of wooden slatscovered with a lumpy mattress. There was no window, not even a skylight. The toilet served several rooms. This wouldn’t have mattered, but within an hour of taking up residence I was making frequent trips to the lavatory.”

The great escape from school that is referenced in the evocative story The Playing Fields of Shimla’

“‘I think it was Brian, searching for a cricket ball, who discovered the tunnel…The great escape! It hadn’t taken us anywhere, really, but to be outside the school instead of inside, made a lot of difference to us from a psychological viewpoint. That feeling of being hemmed in was no longer there. We returned to our dormitories the conventional way—through the open school gate—but we had broken bounds, and that made us feel special.’”

A steady diet of MGM musicals

“I was paid about £12, a useful amount, and I had planned to spend it on clothes, but just then a number of big musical shows were running in London’s theatres, and all my spare money went on seeing them. Paint Your Wagon, Guys and Dolls, Pal Joey and others. And having grown up on a rich fare of Hollywood musicals, I couldn’t resist going to see these stage performances; but they did eat into my income.”

There, but for the grace of God, go I, his fear at almost having become one of the ‘lost boys’

“There were many Fishers and Spreads ‘left behind’ across the country, left to fend for themselves, forthere was no godfather or fairy godmother on hand to support them. And they come to mind while I am writing this memoir because they remind me of how close I came to being one of them. I was luckyin that I had a small talent, a talent with words.”


Each chapter of this memoir is a remembrance of times past, an attempt to resurrect a person or a period or an episode, a reflection on the unpredictability of life. For more posts like this, follow Penguin India on Facebook!

Ranji the Music Maker, a story every child must read!

India’s favourite storyteller, the man endowed with endless imagination, Ruskin Bond is known for writing tales about the simple pleasures of life and everlasting friendship. Here is a list of  gorgeous chapter books by him including his latest offering, Ranji the Music Maker.  These stories promise to leave your child delighted and happy.

The Cherry Tree

Rakesh plants a cherry seedling in his garden and watches it grow. As seasons go by, the small tree survives heavy monsoon showers, a hungry goat that eats most of the leaves and a grass cutter who splits it into two with one sweep. At last, on his ninth birthday, Rakesh is rewarded with a miraculous sight-the first pink blossoms of his precious cherry tree!

Getting Granny’s Glasses

Mani’s Granny is seventy and can barely see through her old, scratched glasses. With only a hundred and fifty rupees in their pockets and a thirst for adventure, Mani and Granny set off to buy a new pair. On the way, they get drenched in the rain, run into mules and encounter a terrible landslide. Will Granny ever be able to reach the town and get herself a new pair of glasses?

Earthquake

What do you do when there’s an earthquake?’ asks Rakesh. Everyone in the Burman household has their own ideas, but when the tremors begin and things start to quake and crumble, they are all taken by surprise. Amidst the destruction, Rakesh’s family stays strong. But will they survive the onslaught of yet another earthquake?

The Tree Lover

Rusty tells the story of his grandfather’s relationship with the trees around him, who’s convinced that they love him back with as much tenderness as he loves them.

The Day Grandfather Tickled a Tiger

Grandfather had brought home Timothy, the little tiger cub, from the forests of the Shiwaliks. Timothy grew up to be a friendly tiger, with a monkey and a mongrel for company. But some strange circumstances lead Grandfather to take Timothy away to a zoo. Will they ever meet again? This is a heart-warming story about love and friendship.

Dust on the Mountain

Bisnu finds how dangerous and lonely life can be for a boy who has to leave his home to earn money for his family. As he sets to work on the limestone quarries with the choking dust enveloping the beautiful mountain air, he longs for home more than ever.

Cricket for a Crocodile

Ranji’s team finds an unexpected opponent a nosy crocodile when they play a cricket match against the village boys. Annoyed at the swarms of boys crowding the riverbank and the alarming cricket balls plopping around his place of rest, Nakoo the crocodile decides to take his revenge.

White Mice

Ruskin is keen to teach his scatterbrained uncle a lesson. After all, he put him on the wrong train! Armed with gifts from his new friend, the stationmaster-yummy rasgullas and a pair of beautiful white mice-Ruskin devises the perfect payback.

Ranji the Music Maker


In the middle of his languid holiday, idle young Ranji stumbles upon assorted musical instruments in the storeroom-first a shrill flute, then a blaring little trumpet and, finally, a too-big drum that may have once sounded a battle march. He stages impromptu concerts down the road, not sparing his neighbours, nor the cats around his porch, nor the peace-loving inhabitants of the zoo! But all Ranji’s really seeking is a friend who’ll hear the magic in his din.

“An entire year without school! What more could an eight-year-old boy ask for?”: ‘Looking for the Rainbow’ — An Excerpt

Ruskin Bond ran away from his prison-like boarding school in the hills to go and live with his father in Delhi. In ‘Looking for the Rainbows’, Ruskin Bond regales in his past and revisits the beautiful days he spent with his father going to the cinema, singing songs, reading books and taking long walks.
Here’s a short glimpse from ‘Looking for the Rainbow’, holding Ruskin’s hand and going back to where it all started.
An entire year without school! What more could an eight-year-old boy ask for? Not what his parents would ask for, certainly; but after serving a two-year sentence in a fun-less convent school in the hills, I was more than happy to take a long, enforced break from gloomy classrooms, smelly dormitories, an overcrowded playing field and a diet of cabbage soup and boiled meat.
That was the sort of school I’d escaped from— or rather, been plucked out of by my father in the middle of the summer term.
It was 1942, the middle of World War II, and my parents too had been at war with each other. They had, in fact, separated, and my mother was about to marry again. My father was serving in the Royal Air Force, and was living on his own in an Air Force hutment in New Delhi, working in the Codes and Cyphers section at Air Headquarters. I was particularly close to my father, and I insisted on going to live with him rather than to a new and unknown home.
My mother took me out of the hill school near her home in Dehradun and put me on the train to Delhi.
My father was on the station platform in Delhi, looking very smart in his RAF uniform. He hugged me, took me by the hand and led me to the station restaurant, where we had a healthy breakfast. Even a railway breakfast was better than the fare we had at school!
We were joined by my uncle Fred, who was then the station superintendent at the Old Delhi station. He had a bungalow nearby. But my father’s quarters, or hutments as they were called, were at the other end of Delhi, on Humayun Road, where the new capital of India had been created.
We must remember that up until then, Calcutta had been the capital of British-ruled India, and Simla, the summer capital. Now the capital was New Delhi, still very new and still coming up, and Simla, of course, was much nearer.
The hutment was a bit of a surprise. It consisted of two brick-walled rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. And it was in the middle of nowhere.
Humayun Road, in those far-off days, was simply a lane running through a scrub forest. It had been cleared in places so that these wartime hutments could come up. But there were more jackals than people in the area. And snakes too.
As Ruskin prepared to spend some of the most wonderful days of his life with his father in ‘Looking for the Rainbow’, let’s gear up for the next part in the enchanting series where Ruskin’s life is about to take a drastic turn! Pre-order your copy of ‘Till the Clouds Roll by’ today!