Children can fill up the long, hot holidays with our curated list of books that promise endless fun, adventure and sheer reading pleasure. Compiled by Bidita Sen
In My Heart
Nandana Dev Sen
In My Heart is a child’s journey of discovering who she really is, and where she came from. This incisive work of fiction celebrates the myriad, magical ways in which different kinds of families are born. Mia has taken after her mother and father’s hearts, so she feels like them. But Mia soon learns about her birth mother, and goes on a long search, which takes her to many places, leading to some place even bigger.
Twice Upon a Time: A Tale of Two Princesses
It’s an engrossing tale of two girls. Keya is a princess and Nyla a tom boy. The two have just one wish — to be themselves. The story weaves a complex web of circumstances, which leads to princess Keya quit and Nyla take her place as a replacement. The two are enmeshed in a difficult situation, as their two worlds collide. The girls ruffle feathers, break vases and traditions. The rebels take it upon themselves to rescue puny princess and snivelling snobs in the course. This is a perfect princess diary for those who have always drooled over princess stories.
The Parrot and the Merchant
Ali Seidabadi, Marjan Vafaeian
Mah Jahan is a rich merchant woman and a collector of birds. She keeps them in cages. Once, while bringing back a gift for them, she learns a surprising lesson. This is an enchanting fable, expounding how hard it is to let go of someone you love, and give them freedom. Retold for modern-day readers, this classic tale by Rumi is brought to life by award-winning illustrator Marjan Vafaian.
The Jungle Radio
Curious little Gul hears some strange sounds coming from her radio and follows the musical clues to land up in a jungle. On her walk, she makes feathered friends who tweet, tap 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. Painted with illustrations, The Jungle Radio is a story about the language of birds — their songs and sounds — with a loud and clear call to listen to the world around us.
The Adventures of Biplob the Bumblebee
Biplop, the busy bumblebee, is an adventure junkie. When he isn’t collecting nectar, he is busy saving his garden with the help of his friends, farmer Balram and the flowers. Through quirky ideas and experiments, Biplop harvests water. The author teaches kids lessons on innovation, eco-friendly techniques, science and friendship.
One Lonely Tiger
The forest is rapidly shrinking. It has a forlorn tiger, living in solitude, with the company of his own shadow. All his fellow tigers have disappeared. Wilderness is caught in the war of occupancy between men and the wild, gasping for breath. One lonely tiger cries for readers’ attention to the threat of extinction and habitat loss. His pressing question: “Are our trees, wild animals, birds and insects safe amidst us?” rings in readers’ ears. The book sensitises young readers to the ecological crisis around us.
All of Me
Protagonist Castor is locked away in a basement, where he has been staying for five years, but not alone. A family has kept him company. His multiple personalities have emerged out of the dark. Pickwick the father figure, who often quotes from the Bible; Miss Trent, the governess who dreads germs; Skinner, the street urchin with a smart answer for everything, and an infant prodigy, comprises the unusual team of detectives who tries to solve the mystery of why Castor was imprisoned. The clues lead them to the the Kohinoor. Young Maharaja Duleep Singh has just arrived in England to present the diamond to Queen Victoria. Castor and the family try to unravel the link between the diamond, his imprisonment and the disappearance of his parents.
Shriman Badbu is the Hindi translated work of another of David Walliams’ charming books, Mr Stink, and four more stories in the Bilingual 2-in-1 series. David Walliams’ middle-grade novel, Mr Stink, will give readers the adrenalin rush as they join Chloe and Shriman Badbu on their adventures! It all starts when Chloe making friends with Mr Stink, the local tramp, who smells a bit. But when it looks like he might be driven out of town, Chloe decides to hide
Mr Stink in a garden shed. But, Chloe has to make sure no one finds the secret out.
Lucky, It’s Summer!
Lucky, the lovable Cocker Spaniel, is back with another book in the Lucky series, Lucky, It’s Summer. This time, it has a parrot and a tortoise for company to take children on a fun ride. The puppy of Adit and Zara has come to spend a few days at grandparents’ house. He meets Vincent, the parrot, and Sabby, the tortoise. Vincent learns to screech “Lucky! Lucky” and Sabby tends to disappear. The story is told through a dog’s eyes, which adds to its fun.
The Puffin Book of Holiday Stories
Ruskin Bond, Sudha Murty,
Paro Anand, among others
This collection of brave adventures, hilarious misadventures, stories of boisterous families and intimate friendships is sure to keep you entertained during your break. It features tales penned by some of the finest children’s authors, including Ruskin Bond, Sudha Murty, Paro Anand, Subhadra Sen Gupta, Nayanika Mahtani, Himanjali Sankar and more. A clever parrot called Carrot who makes quite the entrance at summer school; two arch-enemies who battle it out using delicious mango desserts; a mischievous group of boys who finally meet their match; and many others
will enthral kids in their peaceful holidays.
The book is about a little girl in the mountainside befriending a young, flute-playing cowherd. On his voyage from the UK to India, Ruskin Bond met a 12-year-old girl named Koki on-board the ship. She shared chocolates with him, as he didn’t have money for that. They never meet again, but the chirpy and compassionate girl emerges in his stories from time to time. She never ages. Bond has stopped time to keep Koki forever young. And if you live close to nature, to flowers, trees, birds and mountain streams, you will remain young, like Koki and Somi. “Over the years, I have written hundreds of stories. And whenever I write a story about children and the creatures of the forest, the years slip away and I am a boy again,” says Bond.
that he’s old enough, Shontu, Kakababu’s nephew, has finally been allowed to accompany Kakababu on these mysterious trips. And he cannot wait for the thrilling adventures to begin! In The Emperor’s Lost Head, Kakababu takes Shontu to Kashmir to find a hidden sulphur mine. Except that that’s a lie, and Shontu has no idea how to get his uncle to admit the truth. The King of the Emerald Isles finds uncle and nephew in an uncharted island in the Indian Ocean.Stubbornly secretive as always, Kakababu refuses to tell Shontu what has brought him to the dangerous island. Is he ready for the answers he might find?
So, how do we pray. It occurs in all forms. Meditation is also a form of prayer. In this picture book, readers can travel with sun and the moon as their guiding stars. The book is also an insight into how people from different cultures and faiths pray. It is meant to be a discourse for children on the true meaning of prayer and what it can do for us.
The Adventures of Kakababu
For the adventure-seekers, The Adventures of Kakababu is a compilation of the captivating journeys of the tireless archaeologist, Kakababu, and his nephew, Shontu. It is the English translation of Sunil Gangopadhyay’s brilliant Bengali classic. The secret mission in Afghanistan ends in a terrible accident forcing Raja Roychowdhury, fondly known as Kakababu, to resign as the director of the Archaeological Survey of India. He goes home to his second-hand books. But the desire to hunt down old, unsolved mysteries of the world refuses to leave him alone. Despite living with an amputated leg, Kakababu insists on taking biannual holidays to remote, little-known areas, and refuses to tell anyone what he does there.
Now that he’s old enough, Shontu, Kakababu’s nephew, has finally been allowed to accompany Kakababu on these mysterious trips. And he cannot wait for the thrilling adventures to begin! In The Emperor’s Lost Head, Kakababu takes Shontu to Kashmir to find a hidden sulphur mine. Except that that’s a lie, and Shontu has no idea how to get his uncle to admit the truth. The King of the Emerald Isles finds uncle and nephew in an uncharted island in the Indian Ocean. Stubbornly secretive as always, Kakababu refuses to tell Shontu what has brought him to the dangerous island. Is he ready for the answers he might find?
A Basketful of Animal Tales
The book is Sreelata Menon’s retelling of the stories of the Panchatantra. Cunning jackals, stupid crocodiles, lumbering elephants and clever mice — all enact scenes to make it a good read. Foolish fish and clever crows, quick-witted monkeys and dim-witted lions will enthrall children throughout their reading experience. It’s a feast of animal stories. The Panchatantra stories are ancient yet so contemporary that they have been retold again and again through the ages.