Books

Summer reading for kids

Fun between the pages There’s plenty of summer fun in books   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Once exam season ends, kids and teenagers are on the lookout for things to do in summer. For those who would love to curl up with a good book, here are a few options from leading publishers. For the scientifically minded there’s Birds in your Backyard (Red Panda), which walks you through the ways of becoming an amateur birdwatcher and naturalist. India’s Space Adventure (Red Panda) and India in Space (HarperCollins Children’s Books) have the same idea: plotting how India became a member of the space exploring nations club. Someone who wants more in depth information can check out Unlocking the Universe by Stephen and Lucy Hawking (Puffin).

There are picture books aplenty. Karadi Tales has some in prose and verse. Lalita Iyer’s Thatha’s Pumpkin (illustrations by Proiti Roy) is a funny tale about an amateur gardner who grows a whopper of a pumpkin. In Rats Bigger Than Cats, Maegan Dobson Sippy explores the secret lives of cats and rats in verse illustrated by Adrija Ghosh. As a tourist in Mumbai what would you do? Check out the vada pav, drive through the Worli Sea Link and get a photo at Haji Ali dargah. But what if the tourist in question sends shivers down the people’s spines? Lubaina Bandukwala’s Leopard in Mumbai tells you along with Allen Shaw’s illustrations. Then there’s Tracing Roots, by Mallika Ravikumar, which retells myths, legends and folktales about trees

Apart from Ruskin Bond’s ode to the earth’s natural wonders in Happy Birthday World filled with bright illustrations from Maya Ramaswamy, Red Panda has the Little Leaders collection. Each book in the series is about women who followed their dreams, despite the odds. Some of those featured are cricketer Mithali Raj, space scientist Sunita Williams and Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousufzei.

From picture books to non-fiction and fiction, there’s a wide variety on offer

From picture books to non-fiction and fiction, there’s a wide variety on offer  

If you want to read about more brave women, there’s Fearless: Stories of Amazing Women from Pakistan by Amneh Shaikh-Farooqui and illustrated by Aziza Ahmad (Puffin). Featuring 50 women like Fatima Jinnah, Asma Jahangir, Sheema Kermani, Nighat Dad, it includes scientists, lawyers, politicians, activists and artists who incite hope, inspire action and initiate dialogue.

The Song at the Heart of the River by Ishani Naidu and Kalyani Ganapathy (HarperCollins Children’s Books combines concepts from Vedanta and Ayurveda and offers universal messages about the need for moderation in our lives.

The Hook Books
  • A series by well known names like Paro Anand, Anushka Ravishankar, Jerry Pinto, these books from Puffin are for very young readers. Hawaldar Hook is the mascot for these books. In Jerry Pinto’s My Daddy and the Well, a father jumps in a well to water bananas. Years later, the bananas are gone. But the pump is there, the well is there, Daddy is there... Hansda Sowvendra Shekahr writes about strange voices from the attic in Who’s There. A Quiet Girl by Paro Anand features Puja whose best friend is the foal Takbak. Now that the foal is going to be sold, what will Puja, who does not speak, do? Anushka Ravishankar asks if the cow jumped over the moon in Hey Diddle Diddle.

Ever thought history was boring? The Swan Car of Nabha and Other Unusual Stories from History (HarperCollins Children’s Books) will change your mind. Filled with eccentric rulers and bizzare and hilarious stories from the past, the text is as quirky and crazy as the illustrations. Chitra Soundar tells Stories of Courage and Valour from India and the World. While the Indian names (Prahlad, Siddharta, Eklavya) are familiar, the others like Kerttu, Laurencia and Rostam are not.

What would characters from history have been like as young girls? Find out in this new series from Talking Cub. Anita Murthy and Tanushree Podder take you into the Teenage Diaries of Razia Sultan and Rani Laxmibai. Puffin brings the old favourite back in The Best of Tenali: Tales of Wit and Adventure. Ten rollicking stories combine history, wit, wisdom and adventure.

There’s no dearth of fiction, so those who don’t want any of the above don’t have to worry. In Mini’s Questions by Nandini Nayar (HarperCollins Children’s Books), Mini solves an important mystery just by asking the right questions. Missing school? School Stories by multiple authors ((HarperCollins Children’s Books) will keep you going till you go back. Flip the book and you get a bunch of Sports Stories.

In Gravepyres School for the Recently Deceased, poor Joseph Eapen Srinivas is trying to get back home instead of studying subjects like Decomposition, Seeing and Cloudforming. Does he make it back to the Land of the Living? Find out in Anita Roy’s first novel (Red Panda). Atlantis is a new trilogy by Sophia Khan and the first book, The Flight of the Arconaut, (Red Panda) introduces a new heroine in Nyx who has to unmask Brigadier Omar B Prendergarst, the man out to get the Cormorants.

From Puffin comes I Hate my Curly Hair by Divya Anand in which a little girl learns to accept her unruly curls. Harshika Udasi’s Friends Behind Walls explores why adults will not let Putti and Inu be friends. The two decide to solve this mystery.

So get yourself a jar of lemonade, some cookies and travel off to worlds unknown.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 6:34:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/a-range-of-new-books-for-kids-and-teenagers-this-summer/article31000390.ece

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