Take a look at Indian books for youngsters on meals, artwork, journey, even enterprise – extra life-style
It has been a while since children’s books made the transition from fairy tales to stories about divorce, diversity, and loss. There are books, often story based, that will help your child understand gender reassignment, losing a grandparent, and the concept of adoption.
There has been another turning point in the street recently – books written by Indians to provide the Indian child with a developing special interest, whether it be related to food or the arts, travel, heritage or commerce. Here are five unusual releases:
Breakfast in India (2019) features morning meals from 14 states in the country – from Pink Noon Chai, Lavasa and Harissa in Kashmir to Siddu in Himachal Pradesh, Misal Pav in Maharashtra and Luchi and Aloo Tarkari in West Bengal.
“We saw a lack of inclusive content for children in India and decided to create and publish books on various aspects of the country’s culture and heritage,” said Sneha Sundaram, founder of Kutuki Publishers in Bengaluru, founded in 2019.
The book, aimed at children aged three to six, tells a story. The protagonist, a young boy, wonders what his friends across India have for breakfast. Then the colors and flavors of the individual dishes are described. Siddu, it tells the reader, is a type of bread that can be sweet or savory, made from wheat and spices and eaten with ghee. Puttu Kadala are rice dumplings that are eaten with a black chana sauce. The midday chai is salted and colored pink by adding baking powder.
Breakfast in India is part of Kutuki’s Heritage series. An earlier publication, also in 2019, looked at the many New Years celebrations celebrated by various communities in India.
Ambica Gulati’s travel books explore some of the great wonders of the world.
From the Great Wall of China to India’s Taj Mahal and the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, writer Ambica Gulati has written a series of six travel books aimed at children aged three to ten. All six were published in 2019 as cut books exploring the memorial inside.
The books are part of a series called Monuments of the World published by Om Books International. There is one on the American Statue of Liberty, another on the pyramids of Egypt, and a small edition on the Eiffel Tower in France. In each, a family explores an iconic piece of built heritage in their own country.
Details are offered in the form of conversations between family members, summarized in short, simple sentences. “I think our children need to be exposed to a variety of topics and content that are both fun and educational,” said Gulati. “This travel series, with great illustrations, aims to do just that.”
A brush of Indian art by Mamta Nainy offers simple annotations on styles that range from ancient cave art to tribal shapes to modernist masters like MF Husain, accompanied by sketches like that of Husain above.
A Brush of Indian Art (2018) by Mamta Nainy provides an overview of art in India, ranging from the ancient cave paintings of Bhimbetka and Ajanta and Ellora to works by modernist masters such as MF Husain and SH Raza, as well as contemporary artists such as Bharti and Kher Subodh Gupta. There is a chapter on folk and tribal art forms such as Madhubani, Gond, Pattachitra, and Kalamkari.
The content is chatty and divided into small boxes. Reproductions of the artworks are accompanied by detailed descriptions and references to online resources as well as museums and galleries where young readers can search for more works from a genre or era.
“It really is a book for readers of all ages, although it is primarily aimed at children,” said Nainy. “Most children don’t know about our rich visual arts heritage or about Indian artists and their inspiring life stories. I felt an imperative to free the thought process of children by exposing them to these stories and providing a full and comprehensive idea of art in general. It was also important to show them how each art form or idea changes and evolves over time. This encouraged them to come up with ideas, explore them visually, and bring their dreams, imaginations and stories to life, ”added Nainy.
US-based global consulting firm McKinsey & Company uploads content for children on its website. McKinsey for Kids: Hungry Fish, Amazed Farmers, and What Happened Next, uploaded in October, uses images, animations, and slides to explain how a fish farming project has changed lives in Latin America. It provides information about fish species, what they eat, life cycles, and what it took to revive a dying fish farming project. The case study shows how important research, optimal use of resources and efficient management are in running a company.