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A Women’s Day reading list for boys and girls

It isn’t always easy to be a woman. As our little girls grow up, we’d love to have them mentored by some of the strong women, with strong voices who aren’t always brought to the limelight. There is so much the women before us have done to bring us where we are – and it’s important we teach our girls – and boys – that women are as strong as men….if not stronger.
Here is a list of books for children to celebrate women, this Women’s Day
The Girl Who Chose by Devdutt Pattnaik

‘You are bound by rules, but not I. I am free to choose.’
Two thousand years ago, the poet-sage Valmiki wrote the Ramayana. It is the tale of Ram, the sun-prince of Ayodhya, who is obliged to follow family rules and so makes no choices.

India’s favourite mythologist brings you this charmingly illustrated retelling of the Ramayana that is sure to empower and entertain a new generation readers.

The Daughter from a Wishing Tree
The Daughter from a Wishing Tree by Sudha Murty 

The women in Indian mythology might be fewer in number, but their stories of strength and mystery in the pages of ancient texts and epics are many. They slayed demons and protected their devotees fiercely. From Parvati to Ashokasundari and from Bhamati to Mandodari, this collection features enchanting and fearless women who frequently led wars on behalf of the gods, were the backbone of their families and makers of their own destinies.

I Need to Pee
I Need to Pee by Neha Singh

 

Rahi simply loves slurping refreshing drinks, and so she always needs to pee. But boy, does she hate public loos! Travel with the cheeky Rahi and read all about her yucky, icky, sticky adventures in this quirky and vibrant book about the ever-relevant worry of having a safe and clean toilet experience.

Manya Learns To Roar by Shruthi Rao

Manya badly, badly wants to be Shere Khan in her school play. The Jungle Book is her favourite film and she knows all the lines. She’s sure she’ll be a superb Shere Khan.

But not everyone thinks so. Her classmate Rajat is always making fun of her stammer. Her English teacher thinks its risky to let her get on stage and her principal seems to agree.

The more anxious Manya gets, the worse her stammer becomes. Will Manya lose her dream role? Can she overcome her fears and learn to roar?

The arrival of rice and the children


Following the trail of the best-selling Grandma’s Bag of Stories, India’s favourite author 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!

 

It was a pleasant afternoon in March. Ajji and Ajja were glued to the television. The worry on their faces deepened as they heard increasingly distressing news about the coronavirus situation. Ajja turned to Ajji, ‘The virus started in China, but look at what has happened. It has spread all over the world, becoming a pandemic!’ The anchor on the television announced, ‘The government is asking people to isolate themselves and follow social distancing protocols. All schools will be closed until further notice.’ Ajji’s thoughts turned to her grandchildren in Bangalore and Mumbai. The sound of an autorickshaw coming to a stop outside the house interrupted her thoughts and the bell rang. Ding-dong! Ajji opened the door and saw Kamlu, Ajja’s sister, and her granddaughter Aditi. Ajji was delighted and surprised to see them. ‘Come inside,’ she said. Kamlu Ajji smiled as she took the bags out of the autorickshaw. ‘Why didn’t you tell us you were coming?’ asked Ajji. ‘We would have picked you up from the railway station. Kamlu Ajji and Aditi entered the house. ‘Kamlu, why did you make this trip with the deadly virus around?’ Ajja demanded, concerned. ‘Oh, I didn’t know coronavirus had reached here too. Isn’t it time for the cart festival now? I haven’t seen it in so long! Aditi has her holidays now and her mother is working from home, so it is hard to keep her engaged. I thought she might enjoy the festival and brought her with me. Besides, I wanted to give you a surprise!’ Nine-year-old Aditi stood shyly behind Kamlu Ajji. ‘Come, child. Sit,’ said Ajji, inviting her with love. They all went to sit in the living room, and just then, the phone rang.

Ajji picked it up. It was her daughter, Sumati, from Mumbai. ‘Amma,’ she said, ‘I am sending both the kids to you in Shiggaon.’ ‘I’d be happy to have Raghu and Meenu, but what happened?’ ‘With Covid-19 spreading like wildfire, the schools are closing down for some time and no one knows when they will reopen. Most people live in small apartments in Mumbai and it is almost impossible to keep children from going outside. Moreover, we are working from home and can’t tend to their needs all the time. So we thought about it and spoke to Subhadra to see if I could send Raghu and Meenu to her, and she said yes . . .’ ‘All the children can come here, Sumati!’ Ajji interrupted her. ‘I knew you would say that and that’s why I called. Subhadra has also agreed to send her children to Shiggaon to be with you. You have a large compound around the house and there’s plenty of fresh air and space to move around. This way, the kids can be with you all and not get bored since they will be able toplay with each other. Now, don’t hesitate to be frank. Tell me, will it be a problem for you to handle the four of them without sending them outside the house?’

Front Cover Grandparents' Bag of Stories
Granparents’ Bag of Stories

‘No, Sumati, that is not a problem at all! My worry is—how will they come here?’ ‘We will take care of that, Amma! Raghu and Meenu have already taken a flight from Mumbai to Bangalore today and are about to reach Subhadra’s home,’ said Sumati. ‘They can come to Shiggaon tomorrow and stay for a few weeks.’ Ajja, who had been listening to Ajji’s side of the call, took the phone from her and spoke to Sumati, ‘Don’t worry, child. Kamlu and her granddaughter Aditi are also here. Send the children.’ Almost immediately, there was another call from Bangalore. Subhadra was on the line. She said the same thing. ‘My parents have already taken Anand with them, but Krishna and Anoushka want to see you and stay in Shiggaon. I have spoken to Sumati already and the four children will reach your home tomorrow. Our office manager has offered to drive them from Bangalore to Shiggaon, but he will come back immediately because there is a lot of work to be taken care of before things get worse, as is expected,’ said Subhadra.Ajji ended the call and looked at Ajja. ‘I am happy to hear that our grandchildren are coming, but I am concerned about the coronavirus situation. Will you call the temple and check if the cart festival is still going ahead as planned?’

Ajja nodded and dialled the temple’s number. While calling, he remarked, ‘It is unlikely that they’ll go ahead with the festival. We had a committee meeting yesterday and I suggested that we skip the cart festival this year, but others rejected my opinion. They felt that we shouldn’t worry because the coronavirus hasn’t reached us yet. I disagreed. Conducting the festival will be akin to giving coronavirus an invitation to come here.’ Kamlu Ajji’s face fell. ‘Instead of surprising you, I am the one who is surprised and disappointed. I think I will go back after a few days.’ Kamlu Ajji and Ajji were close friends. Ajji was pleased that her friend was with her. ‘You are not going anywhere,’ she said emphatically. ‘Cart festival or not, you are staying here with us.’ Ajja turned out to be right. The festival had been cancelled. Kamlu Ajji turned to Ajji and announced, ‘I am going to take charge of your kitchen. I love cooking. You can rest for a few days.’ Ajja added, ‘If the situation with respect to the coronavirus gets worse and a lockdown is announced, then we should not bring any outside help for the workaround the house. Let’s share the work. ‘Yes, I agree. We can’t call anyone,’ said Ajji. ‘Once the children arrive tomorrow, I will assign household chores to all of them. They will also help us.’

Ajji went to the storeroom to check if she needed to get more groceries. Ajja followed her and remarked, ‘Some places have already announced lockdowns. If we have a lockdown here too, there will be many people who will not get enough food. We must help and lend a hand when the time comes. Please order extra rations and keep them in the storeroom. We may need them to feed other people.’ Ajji began to make a grocery list, and Ajja dialled the number of the local grocery shop for a home delivery. Meanwhile, Aditi sat nearby, reading a book. She was happy to hear that four of her cousins were coming. The next evening, Raghu, Meenu, Krishna and Anoushka arrived with great excitement. They loved visiting their grandparents’ large and spacious home where they were pampered and allowed their freedom. The office manager dropped the kids and promptly left.

As soon as they entered the house, Aditi squealed and joined them immediately. Anoushka had grown tall. Ajji announced, ‘Anoushka, you are the tallest of the girls now!’ The children had brought their schoolbooks, and many bottles of sanitizer and handwash refill packs. They seemed happy to be away from their parents with no classes or teachers to worry about. They told their grandparents how sanitizers were being used everywhere in their schools before they had closed and in their apartment blocks in Mumbai and Bangalore, including even the lift. ‘Have things become that difficult there?’ Ajji asked, concerned. ‘Yes,’ said Raghu. ‘The government is taking many precautions and has become quite strict.’ ‘Children, what would you like to eat for dinner?’ ‘Something light, Ajji, as we had heavy snacks a short time ago,’ said Krishna. ‘Then I’ll make some special rice today—perhaps methi rice,’ said Kamlu Ajji. ‘It is easy to digest, delicious and good for supper.’ The children agreed and Kamlu Ajji headed to the kitchen.

Ajja switched on the television. Discussions about quarantine and social isolation continued on all news channels. The prime minister was going to address the nation shortly. Ajja looked outside the window. The evening was turning into night. He sighed, ‘Children, this is serious now and we all must stay inside the walls of the house. You can only go as far as the wall of the compound. We must not go out for any reason.’ In less than an hour, Kamlu Ajji had made an excellent dish of methi rice with cucumber raita. Proudly, Ajja said, ‘All these vegetables are from our vegetable garden. We use natural fertilizers and grow organic vegetables that taste much better than what you get outside.’ After dinner, the children helped Ajji in laying down five mattresses next to each other. Each of them chose the bed they wanted. Once it was done, Raghu turned to Ajji, ‘You have not completed your daily routine.’ Ajji smiled. She knew what he was referring to. ‘A story, Ajji,’ pleaded Anoushka. ‘A story a day keeps alldifficulties away . . .’Everyone chuckled. ‘Okay, I will tell you a story. It is a tale of what you ate for dinner—about rice. Rice is part of our daily diet and we can’t imagine living without rice or wheat today.’ The children gathered around both the Ajjis. Ajja sat on a chair nearby, watching the television. The prime minister announced, ‘A lockdown will be imposed starting midnight. Everyone must stay home for the next few weeks.’ It was evening and already dark outside. The children began listening to the story earnestly, just as the quarantine period was formally declared. Ajja muted the volume on the television, but continued watching. ‘Let us all listen to the story of how rice came to earth,’ said Ajji.

A tiny glimpse into Sudha Murty’s brand-new bag of stories!

Have you ever wondered why the dogs start barking in the middle of the night? Ajja and Ajji have a story for us that might just explain why this happens. Here is an excerpt:

 

pumpkin

The Language of the Dogs

It was a quiet and hot night. The children were sitting in the veranda under thefan, talking to each other.

A short distance away, Ajja and Kamlu Ajji were sitting on the stairs in comfortable silence, each lost in their own thoughts. They could hear the street dogs barking near the main gate of the house.

‘Why do the dogs bark at night?’ asked Kamlu Ajji. ‘It’s the same story in Bangalore too—they start barking in the middle of the night and go on for a really long time.’

‘They also have their own problems,’ said Ajja. ‘Usually, the dogs are fed leftover food from restaurants. But these days, no hotels are open during the lockdown and many are going hungry.’

Ajja turned and called out to Ajji who was still inside the house. ‘Do you have any food for the dogs?’ he yelled.

‘A few chapatis and some rice,’ she yelled back. ‘Bring them here!’
Ajji brought the food and biscuits and went with

Ajja and Kamlu Ajji to the main gate. The children watched from a distance. They looked on as two dogs appeared.

Grandparents' Bag of StoriesAjji put biscuits, rice and chapati in a bowl and kept water in another bowl just outside the gate. The two dogs looked at her and attacked the food greedily, gobbling it down in minutes. Then they drank the water, wagged their tails to thank her and ran away.

Slowly, the trio walked back and sat on the steps of the veranda. Ajji said, ‘I wish they could speak. Then I could make them their favourite food. After all, the earth also belongs to them.’

‘Your perspective is so different,’ said Ajja. ‘Humans can speak and that’s why we can do the things we want to and own material things like property and land.’

‘Poor animals. We are occupying their land just because they cannot communicate like us. Even if they had ownership of any piece of land before us, they can’t tell us.’

‘You are right,’ said Kamlu Ajji. ‘Now that humans are all indoors, lots of animals in India are coming out from the forests to the cities nearest to them because it was all their land a long, long time ago.’

Ajja added, ‘This world would have been a different place if we understood the chirping of birds and the language of animals.’

Ajji smiled and said, ‘I am thinking of Dheeraj now.’ ‘Who’s Dheeraj?’ asked Ajja.
‘Do you want to listen to a story?’
Ajja and Kamlu Ajji nodded their heads like children, eager to listen to what Ajji had to say.

 

***

Amit and his wife Preeti were high-ranking officials in their kingdom. They were young, powerful and rich and lived in a mansion by a river. They frequently hosted official celebrations on their yacht or their beautiful large gardens, but made sure they invited only those people from the kingdom who were also rich or powerful, and not whom they considered less fortunate.

Ramu was a housekeeper who lived with them and served them for years. One day, he brought home a young boy of six years. The boy looked innocent and intelligent.

Ramu asked Preeti, ‘I met this boy in the village fair. He doesn’t have anyone to take care of him. I would like to help him. Can he live with me?’

Preeti glanced at the boy and said, ‘Sure, as long as he works for us and does not spoil the premises.’

And that is how Dheeraj began living in Preeti and Amit’s home.

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

One day, Amit hosted a dinner for an important minister. The evening began with a tour of the river on the yacht. Then the yacht docked on the riverside, and music began playing as the celebrations commenced in the beautiful gardens. There was a wide spread of delicacies being served. Dheeraj was assisting Ramu with his chores.

The dinner was in full swing when the barking of two dogs disturbed Amit and his guests. The dogs were right outside the main gate of the gardens. Amit gave instructions to Ramu to hush them and chase them away, but the dogs refused to move. The non-stop barking upset Amit and he said, ‘I wish someone could understand what they are saying so that we could respond appropriately and ask them to leave.’

Dheeraj was nearby and overheard Amit. Timidly, he approached the master of the house and said, ‘Sir, I can understand them.’

Some of the guests laughed while others passed sarcastic comments.

Preeti asked, ‘Tell me, boy, what are they saying?’

‘Madam, I will tell you if you promise me that you will not get upset when I share their words with you,’ said Dheeraj, looking worried.

‘They must be talking about food, boy! Anyway, hurry up and tell us,’ said Preeti firmly.

‘Madam, they are not talking about food.’

‘Get to the point, boy! I am losing patience with you,’ snapped Amit.

Nervously, Dheeraj continued, ‘Sir, there is a male dog and a female dog at the gate. The male dog said, “Look at life’s irony.”

“What do you mean?” said the female dog.

“This couple is used to being served by someone all the time. But a day will come when the master of this house will give an important person water to wash their hands and the lady will voluntarily run and bring a towel for him to wipe his hands.”

“Who are you talking about? Whom will this couple serve?”

“The male dog grinned and said, “This little boy.”

Both the dogs then had a hearty laugh,’ said Dheeraj, and fell silent.

The silence spread through the guests and it ruined their mood.

bird

Did you lose yourself in Ajja and Ajji’s world of stories? We did too! There is so much more in Grandparents’ Bag of Stories.

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.

 

 

~

 

 

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

 

Celebrate 70 years of the legendary Sudha Murty with these words of wisdom

There’s nothing like a book that touches your heart and stirs your soul. Coming across such books is often followed by a joyous realisation that we have, perhaps due to sheer serendipity, chanced upon a writer we would keep going back to.

Today, we are celebrating 70 years of Sudha Murty by revisiting some of our favourite quotes by the writer, whose words deeply resonate with us and to whose books we often turn to for comfort and wisdom.

 

Three Thousand Stitches || Sudha Murty

 

 

‘We all lose a few battles in our lives, but we can win the war.’
―Three Thousand Stitches: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives

 

 

 

 

 

The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk || Sudha Murty

 

 

‘I realized then that only diseases and not honesty and integrity are passed down to the next generation through genes.’

―The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk: Life Lessons from Here and There

 

 

 

 

How I Taught My Grandmother to Read and Other Stories || Sudha Murty

 

 

‘Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness.’
―How I Taught My Grandmother to Read and Other Stories

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wise and Otherwise || Sudha Murty

 

 

‘Life is an exam where the syllabus is unknown and question papers are not set. Nor are there model answer papers.’
―Wise and Otherwise

 

 

 

 

Grandma’s Bag of Stories || Sudha Murty

 

 

‘We should always have some aim in life which we must try to achieve while being of help to others.’
―Grandma’s Bag of Stories

 

 

 

House of Cards || Sudha Murty

 

 

‘Every woman values her freedom to choose— much more than her husband’s money or position.’;
― House of Cards

 

 

 

 

 

~

 

We have a feeling these quotes would make you wish you could delve further into the brilliance of Murty’s elegant prose. To discover more such gems by her, you can simply visit here.

Meet the king and queen of Ullas!

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

Have a peek below!

 

**

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

How the Onion Got its Layers || Sudha Murty

 

 

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

The goddess smiled and vanished back among the trees.

 

 

 

 

**

 

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

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

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!

Meet the Deities from Hindu Mythology

The Hindu mythology comprises of many deities who are worshipped in many forms across India. We all have heard stories about them and have been fascinated about by them. Award-winning author Sudha Murthy in her new book, The Man from the Egg brings together fascinating tales of the most powerful gods from the ancient world.
Here are a few of those deities:





How many of these deities did you know about?

The Birth of Parvati, An Excerpt from The Man from The Egg

Sudha Murthy in ‘The Man from the Egg’ weaves enchanting tales about the holy trinity in Hindu mythology. Consisting of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, the trinity is responsible for the survival of the human race and the world.
Here’s an excerpt chronicling the birth of goddess Parvati:
Taraka was a powerful and ambitious asura, and a devotee of Lord Brahma. One day he began a severe penance for Brahma, living on a mountain for a long period of time. pleased with Taraka’s devotion, the creator appeared before him.
‘O my lord!’ Taraka cried. ‘my life’s purpose has been fulfilled now that I have felt your presence.’
Brahma smiled. ‘tell me what your heart desires.’
‘I want to live forever,’ replied Taraka.
‘My dearest devotee, you know that such a boon is not possible. why don’t you ask me for something else?’
Taraka thought for some time. ‘I don’t want to die at the hands of just any man or god. if i must perish, I would rather it happened at the hands of the son of Shiva,’ he said, knowing full well that Shiva, grief-stricken by the loss of Dakshayani, was far from even the thought of marrying
again. So, the boon would actually make Taraka invincible and keep him safe from Yama, the god of death.
Brahma understood Taraka’s intention. nevertheless, he said, ‘So may it be.’
His penance now complete, Taraka descended from the mountain and returned to his abode. Over time, he created a powerful army headed by ten cruel generals. and then he went on a rampage, conquering kingdoms, abusing living beings on earth as well as the gods above. he terrorized them all so much that everyone began praying to Lord Vishnu.
Vishnu heard their pleas. ‘Shiva and parvati’s son will be the cause of taraka’s doom,’ he declared.
Himavat or Parvatraj, the king of the Himalayas, had a wife named Menaka. the queen really wanted a daughter who would grow up to become Shiva’s consort. when Menaka heard about Dakshayani, she instinctively knew that Shiva’s wife would be reborn as her daughter. She thus decided to go into deep meditation, convinced that destiny would soon take its course.
Menaka gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, whom she named Uma. as Uma was the daughter of Parvatraj, she was also known as Parvati, or Himani (from her father’s other name, Himavat), or Girija (meaning the daughter of the king of mountains), or Shailaja (meaning the daughter of the mountains).
Parvati was a charming child and unusually devoted to Shiva right from her birth. Even as an adult, she was always found either praying to Shiva or just talking about him. News of her beauty and intelligence spread far and wide. Though suitors came in hordes with the hope of winning her heart, Parvati could only think of Shiva and refused to entertain the
idea of marrying anyone else.
The devas were watching all this with great interest. they eagerly awaited the arrival of Parvati and Shiva’s son—the harbinger of Taraka’s death.
Shiva, on the other hand, deep in meditation atop the cold mount Kailash, remained unaware of what was going on. much to the concern of her parents, a determined Parvati made the arduous journey to Kailash and began serving Shiva. She took care of his surroundings, brought him fruits and made garlands for him every day. She wanted to be there the moment he opened his eyes so they could marry as soon as possible.
The gods sighed with relief and hoped that Shiva would soon awaken from his penance.
Days, months and years passed but Shiva showed no signs of emerging from his meditation. if he did not open his eyes, he would never see Parvati, which meant that he wouldn’t marry her or have a son. and if the current state of affairs continued, Taraka’s cruel reign would be the end of everybody.
Frustrated, the gods decided to take matters into their own hands. all the realms were in grave danger. they had to intervene and force Shiva to awaken, but who would take the risk? no one dared offer to be the one to disturb Shiva’s penance and become the target of his infamous temper.
Everyone knew that when he was extremely angry, his third eye would open and immediately spew a great fire that destroyed everything in its path. And yet the task needed to be done.
the gods decided to approach the diplomatic Lord Vishnu and beseech him to find a way to guarantee Shiva and Parvati’s marriage.
‘All right, let’s see how things turn out,’ Vishnu said with a mysterious smile.

The Interesting Story of the Pandavas’ Forefather: ‘The Serpent’s Revenge’ — An Excerpt

The great war of Kurukshetra is synonymous with the epic ‘Mahabharata’, a war fought between brothers and sons — stories that have lived on through generations. But have you ever wondered about where it all began for the Pandavas?
Sudha Murty’s ‘The Serpent’s Revenge: Unusual Tales From the Mahabharata’ brings to life hidden gems from the pages of the ‘Mahabharata’ that are sure to leave your little one enthralled and asking for more.
Here’s a snippet from the book.
The Man Who Became a Woman
According to the Mahabharata, the lunar dynasty (also called Chandravansha or Somavansha) is one of the most prominent warrior houses in India. As the name suggests, it is believed that this dynasty descended from the moon.
A long time ago, there lived a man named Vaivasvata Manu, considered to be the first man on Earth, and his wife, Shraddha. The couple didn’t have a child for many years, so they decided to perform a yagna in the hope of pleasing the gods. However, Shraddha secretly hoped for a daughter, while Manu wanted a son. In time, their prayers were answered and a son was born to them, whom they named Sudyumna.
Years passed and Sudyumna grew up to be a fine young man. One day, he went hunting with his friends to the beautiful forest of Sharavana (the forest of reeds). No sooner had the all-male troupe entered an enchanted portion of the forest than they were magically transformed into young women. None of them had any idea how it had happened or what they were to do.
As the troupe began wandering deeper into the forest as women, Sudyumna decided to reinvent himself according to the body he now had, and called himself Ila. When Ila and her friends became desperate to leave their beautiful surroundings and return to their homes, Goddess Parvati appeared in front of them. ‘You and your friends have entered my garden,’ she said. ‘Look around you—this is no ordinary place. In fact, no men are allowed to come here. If they do, they turn into women immediately and permanently.’
Seeing Ila’s dismayed face, Parvati smiled. ‘I know you came here by accident,’ she said gently. ‘So I will bless you, child. May you lead a happy life irrespective of your gender. From this day on, you will be able to choose what you want to be—male or female—whenever you want.’
To everyone’s surprise, beautiful Ila chose to remain a girl, and embraced her new identity with her heart and soul. Meanwhile, Budha, the god of the planet Mercury and the son of the moon-god, Chandra, noticed Ila’s exquisite beauty and fell hopelessly in love with her. Ila reciprocated his feelings and the two were wed. In due course, Ila gave birth to a son called Pururava.
Time passed and Ila chose to revert to her male form, Sudyumna. He returned to his kingdom and ruled it wisely. As was expected of a king, Sudyumna got married and had many children of his own. He continued taking care of his subjects until he was old, after which he handed over the kingdom to his first son, Pururava, and retired to the forest to live out the remainder of his days.
Pururava, the grandson of Chandra, thus introduced the lunar dynasty. He ruled from his kingdom’s capital, Pratishthana (today’s Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh).
The great Pandavas of the Mahabharata are a part of this dynasty. King Yayati, one of the ancestors of the Pandavas, was succeeded by his youngest son, Puru. His dynasty came to be known as the Puru dynasty.
Another one of Puru’s descendants was Emperor Bharata, the son of King Dushyanta and Shakuntala. Bharata was such a great king that our country was named after him and called Bharat or Bharatvarsha.
King Kuru was born after twenty-five generations of the Puru dynasty, and gave rise to the Kuru dynasty. After fifteen more generations, the Pandavas and the Kauravas were born. In theory, both the Pandavas and the Kauravas are descendants of King Kuru, but the Pandavas, who were the sons of Pandu, chose to carry their father’s name and not the identity of the clan.
How fascinating is this story! Get a copy of this charming book for your little one and dive right into those corners of ‘Mahabharata’ you missed out on before!
And oh, while you’re at it, don’t forget to pre-order your copy of ‘The Man from the Egg: Unusual Tales about the Trinity’ by Sudha Murty. The second in this series of a Pandora’s box of stories is just about to open up!