What's the best way to escape to the most beautiful and alluring parts of the world without worrying of travel fatigue or expenses? Through books and movies, of course. There is hardly any place, people or culture in the world that you cannot discover through books and movies. With all the free time you have in the vacations, think of all the distant lands you can visit, interesting characters you can meet and wild adventures you can undertake through movies and books. Here is a quick look at what you shouldn't be missing these holidays.


Come summer holidays and the children's section attached to the State Central Library in the city will be overflowing with young visitors. So much so that it is difficult to get a book of your choice unless you reserve it beforehand.

So what are the hot titles this year? Deputy Librarian P.K. Shobhana says that when it comes to children's literature, it is the same set of authors who are always on demand — “Enid Blyton and J.K. Rowling are the authors always on demand, and most of their books are always reserved. In the non-fiction section the most popular among children is undoubtedly Wings of Fire by former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.”

All time favourite titles also include the Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov, Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, R.K. Narayan's Swamy and Friends, Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Carlo Collodi's The Adventure of Pinocchio, Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book and Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.

Apart from these popular children's series', you can make use of the holidays to discover authors like George Orwell, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, T.S. Elliot, O. Henry, Jules Verne and Leo Tolstoy.

Those of you who haven't yet read Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru should definitely go for My Experiments With Truth and Discovery of India.

Meanwhile if you are looking for variety within the children's section try titles like Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Heidi by Johanna Spyri, The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, Charlotte's Web by E. B. White, Little House on the Prarie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anita Desai's The Village By the Sea, Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery and the whole collection by Ruskin Bond.

In Malayalam, you have the colourfully illustrated books published by the Kerala State Bala Sahitya Institute. Right from Sammanapetti, series of folk stories, to the mythology Ramayanam, there is a whole range of books in Malayalam offered by the Institute. “We have also published short stories for children by eminent writers like Zachariah and Madhavikutty. The Institute has published many books that appeal to the sensibilities of the children today, who are more exposed to global changes. Our books adapt to these changes while being rooted to the tradition,” said Bala Sahitya Institute director Rubin D' cruz. The books published by the Institute are available in all major libraries and leading bookshops. The Institute also has an outlet at its headquarters in the city.


Just like books, movies package the cool combo of fun, entertainment and education. How many of you know that there is a whole wide world of interesting and engaging movies outside the usual popular genre that we get to see in TV and theatres?

Where do you get to see these movies? Film appreciation camps and film clubs are good options to discover these out of the ordinary movies, popularly known as offbeat films. “There are many classical and neo-realistic films that children can learn and enjoy. Be it ‘The Bicycle Thief' or ‘Pather Panchalai', many of these classics also have children as their central character. We choose a collection of such films for our film workshops that we conduct to develop an interest in the nuances of film making and viewing among children,” said Kerala State Chalachitra Academy Chairman, K.R. Mohanan.

The Academy is organising three such camps in three different parts of the state during the summer holidays. Participants for the five-day camp have been selected by the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare. Apart from film screening, these residential camps also include discussions on films and classes by technicians and film experts.

Even if you cannot make it to these camps, you can always drop in at the Academy office in the city, where you choose from a large collection of movies and watch it right there. The Academy offers this facility for film buffs, both young and old, at a nominal rate.

Some of the films to look out for are “The Red Balloon”, “Little Fugitive”, “The 5000 fingers of Dr. T”, “Modern Times” (Chaplin), “The Secret Garden”, “Gandhi” and “Fly Away Home”.

Also try and discover some great non-English and non-Indian films like those by Akira Kurasowa of Japan or Majid Majidi of Iran. Go for films like “Dreams”, “The Most Beautiful”, “Children of Heaven” and “Colour of Paradise”.

It is also a good idea to watch movies based on novels. Ensure that you either read the novel before watching the films or vice versa. This will give you more insights on the plot, characters as well as the way the two mediums work. The Harry Potter series, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Mary Poppins” all fall under this category.

Many of the super hit films in Hindi and Malayalam are also adapted from English films. It would be interesting to see these original films to understand the difference in the milieu and treatment of the film as well as the deviations in the plot. Try movies like “To Kill a Mocking Bird” and “Mrs. Doubtfire” and figure out which Indian film they remind you of.

Keywords: young world


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