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Books for Children

In our book review section you will find reviews of children’s books from all over the world. We also carry book excerpts, favorite reading lists by well-known writers and lists of great books for children. We review all genres of children’s books – the classics and the new, illustrated books, picture books…

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Of Daemons, Lords and ‘Dust’

Of Daemons, Lords and ‘Dust’

The Golden Compass Written by Philip Pullman Published by Alfred A. Knopf. 11 year old Gayatri Jayal, a student of Modern School Vasant Vihar and a fierce fan of Lyra Belacqua, wrties her impression of this half-civilised, half-wild young girl, who looks set to take the world of children’s books by storm. In a world in which there are millions of different worlds within just an inch of space, lives a girl called Lyra Belacqua. She is supposedly an orphan, who grew up and still lives Jordan College, the grandest and richest college in Oxford. In the particular world she lives in, people have only half their souls inside their bodies. The other half of the soul is an animal companion that can change its shape whenever it chooses. This part is known as a ‘daemon’, which is capable of talking. If a daemon gets killed, its human half dies immediately and vice versa.

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A Boisterous Bedtime Read

A Boisterous Bedtime Read

Mister Jeejeebhoy and the Birds Author: Anitha Balachandran Illustrator: Anitha Balachandran Publisher: Young Zubaan Books Author and illustrator Anitha Balachandran’s Mister Jeejeebhoy and the Birds, just published by Young Zubaan is a delight to the ears! Hey! But it’s a book! Exactly. A book that, as soon as I opened it’s luscious orange cover, immediately let loose a cacaphony of “bustling, hustling, crinkling, crackling, creaking” sounds, and much more. This delightful book follows two young girls, Diya and Tara, who come to live in their aunt Ninamasi’s house, and discover a world that is obviously on it’s own trip. For this reason perhaps, the neighbourhood kids don’t play with them. Outside, there’s the scrumptious world of Mister Jeejeebhoy’s sweet shop, where catastrophe is waiting round the corner. Can Diya and Tara save Mister JeeJeebhoy’s sweet shop? Do they finally make friends? Jump into this auditory delight, perfect for a bedtime read full of exaggerated sounds, and find out for yourself.

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Escape to Freedom

Horses to Vijayanagar Written by Monisha Mukundan Published by Scholastic India Pvt. Ltd. Fortune favours the brave – those who have the courage to ride into the mouth of danger for the pearl of happiness that awaits the deserving ones. And that’s exactly what this fascinating adventure is all about. Twelve-year-old Ferdinand and his little sister Manuela live with their elder brother Jose and his wife Esmeralda in a little village, in Goa. Work as hard as they might around the house, they are neither appreciated nor given enough to eat. It’s almost always a thin rice gruel that they get, while Jose and Esmeralda feast on fish curry.

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A Chest Full of Stories

Zigzag and Other Stories Written by Asha Nehemiah Illustrations by Atanu Roy Published by Scholastic India Pvt. Ltd. A queer-looking African bird, with shocking pink plumes on the head, a yellow beak and eyes the colour of Cola, Zigzag, is the main character of the title story in this collection of short stories. Somu leaves Zigzag, a talking bird, in the keeping of Dr. Krishnan while he is away. But this strange guest turns out to be a disappointment for the Krishnan family. Zigzag does nothing but sleep and snore all the time – even the neighbours complain about the noise.

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Strength from Within

Brave Hearts – Winners of the National Bravery Awards Published by Scholastic India Pvt. Ltd. This book has been aptly named after those Indian children whose acts of courage have helped saved lives. We carried a news item on the brave children who won the National Bravery Awards 2000. Curious to know about what motivates these brave souls? Read this book highlighting the deeds of each of the 14 children who received the National Bravery Awards in 1999. The Awards are conferred on children below the age of 16 every year by the Indian Council for Child Welfare. The awards are announced on Children’s Day on November 14, but the medals for bravery are presented on the eve of the Republic Day.

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Record Tidbits

Scholastic Book of World Records Published by Scholastic India Pvt. Ltd. World records almost always make interesting reading. And if there are vivid pictures to make it more interesting, the tidbits get digested faster. The Scholastic Book of World Records is such a book. It makes you want to pick it up and create a new global map based on the foundations of superlatives: the world’s largest and the smallest; the shortest and the longest; the fastest and the slowest?.. An excerpt from the book on the world’s largest moth:

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Puzzling it Out

Around The World in 80 Puzzles Written by Helene Hovanec Published by Scholastic India Pvt. Ltd. Take a trip around the world through the puzzles in this book. Fill in the blank with an alphabet or complete a crossword, write two words by writing just one alphabet or cross out some words and read the rest to find the right answer. A very exciting book for those of you who like solving puzzles. Around The World in 80 Puzzles is illustrated and the answers are given in the last few pages of the book.

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Sumptuous Delights

History, Mystery, Dal and Biryani Written by Subhadra Sen Gupta Illustrations by Tapas Guha Published by Scholastic India Pvt. Ltd. Don’t you sometimes wish you were on a time machine, able to go back and forth in time at will? Recently, while reading this book of 10 short stories by Subhadra Sen Gupta, curiously but appropriately named History, Mystery, Dal and Biryani, I felt like I was on one. A time machine that took me back by a few hundred years, to an India teeming with life and colourful characters; to a past of princely states, imperious noblemen, adventure and history.

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