Top 10 Children’s Books of 2016 – India

 

Writing for children is not an easy business.  There are various age groups, and the stories must suit to the ages.  The books have to step into their world and help their imaginations fly.  India in itself is no short of stories, epics and folklore. Modern children books have to challenge the stereotypes and open new doors. The books must be able to light the fire to thoughts and create healthy space which through which children learn and grow.

 

The Mahabharata – a child’s view

The list of top 10 children’s book is incomplete without the epic of Mahabharata. It is no less than Eliad or Odyssey or any other epics around the world. Samhita Arni does an excellent job by narrating the story of kingship, war, honours and revenge. However, she puts the most unorthodox way, i.e. through a child’s imagination.  Well the author herself is at her age of 11. The book did manage to sell over 50,000 copies in several other languages.

Read it For:
Well narrated epic which fits the children perfectly.
Don't Read it For:
The writer lacks the vision of a seasoned author.
What makes this book stand out?:
An epic so popular brought down to a level fit for growing children. A good way to keep the children informed about our roots and culture.

Granny’s Sar

One of the sweetest stories in the list of top books for children. Granny’s saree is flown away in the wind.  Granny and Annu go out looking for the saree which was flown away. They find people who used the saree to their advantage and the plot unwinds.  A beautiful publishing from Children’s book trust which fits the children of all ages.  The plot keeps the listeners or readers hungry for more.

Read it For:
Excellent narration and storytelling. Any children would feel interested.
Don't Read it For:
The story does not fit the likes of the adults, to be honest.
What makes this book stand out?:
The classic storytelling sequence of India, There was a granny …… her saree flown away ….. and the story moves on.

Malgudi Days

The list of top 10 children’s book is incomplete without the classic masterpiece Malgudi Days. The author R.K Narayan needs no introduction as he is counted among the best short story writers in India.  The book is a collection of 32 stories focusing on Swami and his friends from the fictitious town of Malgudi.  The town is reflected as an amalgamation of Bansavangudi and Malleswaram of Bangalore. However, the town is a memorabilia for adults and children.

Read it For:
R.K Narayan excellent flair for the pen and storytelling from classic India.
Don't Read it For:
Some stories might not reach up to children under age of 10.
What makes this book stand out?:
A classic collection of stories from one of the best short stories collected in India.

Jungle Book

Most children have loved the movie. The literary piece by Rudyard Kipling is equally commendable. This is the oldest book best books to read for children. However, the story has passed on from one generation to another. Children around the world are associated with the central character ‘Mowgli’ being brought up by animals. Yes, it can be regarded as the children’s version of another classic ‘Tarzan’. The protagonists are animals from the jungle like Bagheera, Balu, Ka, and of course Mowgli with their fight against ‘Sherkhan’.

Read it For:
A timeless classic which is a must read for children irrespective of the generation.
Don't Read it For:
A story for bit grown up kids.
What makes this book stand out?:
A book which can beat the timeline and carry on being read by children for decades.
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Girls of India series

Perhaps the best way to help the children grow interested in history is through storybooks. Girls of India series does efficiently serve the purpose.  The stories take the readers to Harappan civilisation. The stories are circled happy go lucky girls kept happy with playmates. The plot expands to a monk from China, a sinister situation and mysterious conversation.  The author is experienced with children book and captures the tone effortlessly.

Read it For:
A shadow of history over the attractive story for children which can keep them reading. History is reflected in the best-animated manner possible.
Don't Read it For:
Children can get bored with names, maps and kingdom extents.
What makes this book stand out?:
Excellent narration and compelling story. Frees the readers from boring ‘history’ subject.

Moreover, Land was Born

The story is retold by the author in the most colourful manner filled with artwork. The book is on Bhihala tribe from central India.  The attraction of the book is the expression of oral stories passed on from generation to generation.  The tribe believes that during the origin there was only water all around. However, the subjects, harassed and wet, pray to their gods who are lazy to manage a system for getting dry. The god has to go through various troubles before the wish is granted and it comes true.

Read it For:
Colourful artistic graphics and equally good storytelling.
Don't Read it For:
Children beyond eight years of age might not like it.
What makes this book stand out?:
An excellent addition to book recommendations for children. It is colourful, interesting and speaks about folklore.

The Rusty Series

A splendid addition to top 10 children books of 2016 from Ruskin Bond. The author and his excellence need no appreciation. The series is on a boy Rusty and his adventures brought under a single paperback edition.  The protagonist is a boy who lives with his grandparents in Dehradun.  Rusty ends up becoming a writer when he grows up.  Various stories from Rusty series is sorted and brought out as an omnibus. It gives the experience like never before.

Read it For:
Unadulterated children’s classic from Ruskin Bond with the best story collection.
Don't Read it For:
Though fit for all ages, children’s under five years will not find it appealing.
What makes this book stand out?:
The writing and stories of Ruskin Bond which has been an all-time favourite among the children.

Mayil will not be quiet

Mayil Ganeshan is 12 a year going on 13 years old. Her diary is where she gets the chance of saying all she wants. Mayil’s diary is first stepped to become a writer.  She had already started writing a novel, but she does not know where it will go.  However, her style is spontaneous, cute, and honest and is intimate.  However, Mayil is facing the confusion that one faces in adolescence and is confused with gender stereotyping focused in all aspects.  The first book in the list of top 10 children’s book which is written by two immensely talented writers.

Read it For:
A good children’s book even the adults would enjoy reading.
Don't Read it For:
Some issues discussed are beyond the reach of children below ten years.
What makes this book stand out?:
A beautifully narrated story of diary writing.

India at the Olympic Games

Revisiting the mood of Olympic 2012, the book is one of the informatory books on sports for children.  The book contains Anecdotes, timelines, milestones and trailblazers on the biggest and most discussed sporting event in the earth. A splendid reflection of sportsman spirit, friendship, respect and spirit of participation. A list of best books to read should include good informatory books like this one. Sports and games are part of most children’s life. The book is designed with illustrations and fun activities to encourage the children towards sports.

Read it For:
Information and knowledge in India during the 2012 Olympics.
Don't Read it For:
A subjective book and is not often as attractive as story books.
What makes this book stand out?:
Excellent information and activity-filled books to engage the readers.

Haroun and the Sea of stories

Another excellent must-read children’s book and a great addition to the top 10 books. Salman Rushdie flair has always produced great literary pieces for children.  The story is based on a storyteller whose ability to plot stories from the sea. However, mysterious forces are blocking his sea of inspiration which is blocking his ability to create splendid stories.  The storyteller decides to talk with the Water Genie’s superiors about the situation.

Read it For:
The fantasy and the enriched story makes this book a must-read.
Don't Read it For:
The writing is didactic and should have cared about creative writing on gender.
What makes this book stand out?:
A children’s tale but will be easily loved by adults.

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