White Ravens: India

35 books      

India (English) - 1993 - 61
Subir, Roy (illus.)
Twenty-Four Short Stories
New Delhi: Children's Book Trust, 1991. 150 p.
ISBN 81-7011-622-8
short stories (India)
This collection of stories by twenty-four of India's most accomplished writers for children offers a wide variety of themes and settings. The narratives ae well-constructed, briskly paced. Some involve adventure or dangerous encounters, others family disputes or the resolution of an everyday-life problem. Common to all is a respect for life and human values such as justice, bravery and friendship. (10-14)

India (English) - 1994 - 71
Srivastav, Sigrun (text)
Guha, Tapas (illus.)
A Moment of Truth. True Stories from Around the World
Delhi: Ratna Sagar, 1991. 78 p.
ISBN 81-7070-113-0
Everyday Life/Child - Short Stories/interna- tional
In these fifteen short stories set in many different countries of the world, a protagonist has an encounter that changes his life or reveals to him or her a profound truth about life and human goodness. These are positive, inspiring stories which have a refreshing and uplifting effect on the reader. Richly detailed, multi-toned black-and-white sketches accompany the texts. (10-15)

India (English) - 1995 - 48
Kapur, Jusum (text)
Sumaty, N. (illus.)
Stories from Ladakh
New Delhi: Indus/HarperCollins, 1994. 112 p.
ISBN 81-7223-115-6
Ladakh/Folk tales - Greed - Love - Cleverness
This is a collection of nine long tales from a district in the northern-most province of India. While the names and places are distinctly Indian, the morals of the stories are universal. Alongside the human figures, talking animals play a notable role in most of the tales. While the good or evil character of the protagonists plays a certain role in the development of each tale, twists of fate, whim or chance luck sometimes lead to surprising outcomes. Some tales, such as that of the three brothers who inherit equal shares from their well- intentioned father, will call to mind the morals of well-known folk tales, while others help to illuminate Indian thinking and life. This is a well-written volume which will enrich any folk tale collection. (8+) ☆

India (English) - 1995 - 49
Mitra, Rathabali (text)
Harichandan, Deepak (illus.)
New Delhi: Children’s Book Trust, 1993. 64 p.
ISBN 81-7011-656-2
Andaman Islands - Nicobar Islands - Holiday
This book is essentially a non-fictional social geography of India's Bay Islands which stretch over 900 square kilometers in the Bay of Bengal between Burma and Indonesia, but the factual information is framed within a fictional story about an Indian family visiting the islands on holiday. The children's questions throughout the four-day ship journey and on the islands help them to learn about the many animals they encounter, the sea- and landscapes, the tropical rain forest, endangered species and even the historical background of an infamous prison which is now a National Monument commemorating the struggle for Indian independence. This travelogue reads very smoothly and entertainingly, allowing the reader to absorb a wealth of information. A number of pen-and-ink illustrations depict the Indian family's sightseeing stops. (8+) ☆ ☼
(Second Prize, Natural History category, WWF/CBF Competition)

India (English) - 1995 - 50
Stories from Premchand
New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House, 1986 (repr. 1994). 112 p.
(Madhuban Supplementary Readers)
ISBN 0-7069-8228-2
India/Hindi/Short Stories - Human nature
Munshi Prernchand (1880-1936), a school teacher, was one of India's most important Hindi writers in the 20th century, but his works have not been easily accessible in English. His over 300 short stories deal in particular with the common people and injustice. Though these ten tales are gathered in a supplemental educational reader for young adults and are followed up with several comprehension questions, the narrative style and content of the stories warrant their being made available more widely. Each one deals with a key event in the life of a child, of a family or among friends, by force of which a small kernel of life's wisdom - about friendship, love, rivalry, hypocrisy, or reconciliation - becomes clearer to those involved. Prernchand's style is descriptive, even somewhat flowery, and filled with lively dialogues; yet it is easy to follow and suitable for the intermediate reading level. (12+) ☆ ☼

India (English) - 1996 - 37
Jafa, Manorama (text)
Harichandan, Deepak (illus.)
Gandhi. The Man of Peace
Delhi: Ratna Sagar, 1995. 95 p.
ISBN 81-7070-194-5
Gandhi, Mahatma/Biography - Peace - War of Independence
A leading writer of children's books in India has carefully prepared this biography of India's and the world's most famous leader in a readable style, filling it with anecdotes and imagined scenes from Gandhi's life as a boy, a young lawyer in South Africa, and a political activist in the still British colony of India. Black-and-white sketches highlight important stations of his life. (10+) ☆ ☼

India (English) - 1996 - 38
Srikumar, A.K.
(<Place name>)
New Delhi: Children's Book Trust, 1994. 152 p.
ISBN 81-7011-720-8
Mother/Son - Self-identity - Friendship - Family origins - Detective story
When his father dies, a English schoolboy discovers the secret of his mother's identity which his father had tried to hide from him. Determined to learn the mystery of his parent's relationship and find his mother, he travels with his butler and a school friend to the Himalayas. Their many adventures before finding the remote village of Malana, home of Jack's reclusive mother, make for a suspenseful story and a framework for getting to know one area of India. At last reunited with his mother, their future together or apart is left open. The problems and challenges of bi-cultural families makes up part of this interesting story. (12+) ☆

India (English) - 1998 - 35
Agarwah, Deepa (text)
Guhathakurta, Ajanta (illus.)
The toy horse
New Delhi: Children's Book Trust, 1997. [16] p.
ISBN 81-7011-775-5
Toy - Imagination
This picture book describes a brief encounter between two small girls who covet each other's toys. Rami, a gypsy girl whose family makes a living by selling iron tools and decorative handsewn cloth horses by the roadside, decides to sew a horse of her own to play with. Hers is not as perfect as the others, but in her imagination she travels far on its back. One day another small girl insists on buying Rami's cute horse and no other. Rami tearfully agrees to sell it at her mother's insistence, but is rewarded then with the other girl's lovely modern doll in exchange. This is a charmingly illustrated story with universal appeal. (4+) ☆ ☼
(2nd prize, Read-aloud, Competition for Writers of Children's Books, CBT)

India (English) - 1998 - 36
Ghosh, Subir (text)
Bansal, Richa (text)
Chakraborty, Ashim Ranjan (illus.)
The dream machine
New Delhi: Children's Book Trust, 1997. 101 p.
ISBN 81-7011-778-X
Father/Son - Scientific invention - Conspiracy - Friendship - Adventure
The motherless fourteen-year old Shailesh returns home from his boarding school eager to enjoy summer holidays, only to find his workaholic scientist father completely preoccupied with an extraordinary breakthrough discovery - a machine which can convert dreams into visual images. And an international conspiracy of greedy scientists is hot on the tracks, hoping to claim the invention and the considerable rewards. Shailesh and his childhood girlfriend are suddenly caught up in a dramatic, dangerous adventure. This science fiction fantasy is a fast-paced narrative with two interesting youthful protagonists. (12+)
(2nd prize, Science Fiction, Competition for Writers of Children's Books, CBT)

India (English) - 1998 - 37
Sarabhai, Mrinalini (text)
Roy, Subir (illus.)
Stories of India
New Delhi: Children's Book Trust, 1996. 78 p.
ISBN 81-7011-753-4
India/Tales - Creation - Buddha - Mahabharata - Panchatantra - Love - Trial
This collection of eleven tales from the rich storytelling tradition of India's heroic epics and religious legends is written in an accessible, easyto- read style by one of India's foremost dancers and choreographers. Attractive watercolor illustrations throughout the book capture the highlights of the narratives. (5+) ☆

India (English) - 1999 - 33
Agarwal, Deepa (ed.)
Guha, Tapas (illus.)
There's another way! Stories of peace, love & friendship
New Delhi: Madhuban Educational Books/Vikas, 1998. 103 p.
(My great collection)
ISBN 81-259-0596-0
Everyday life - Tolerance - Peace
Ten well-known writers for children have contributed stories to this anthology that reveal the many ways in which an attitude of tolerance and goodwill can make a difference in human relationships. The child protagonists either learn a lesson about life or make a difference to others through their behavior. Well-drawn black-and-white illustrations capture highlights of the stories. (10+) ☆

India (English) - 1999 - 34
Dutta, Swapna
Stories for a winter night
New Delhi: Indus/HarperCollins, 1996. 83 p.
(Peacock for the young)
ISBN 81-7223-214-4
Everyday life - Honesty - Adventure - Friendship
These five anecdotal short stories are set in different areas of India, revealing different styles of life and often simple lessons about life that are gathered from memorable encounters in everyday life. Swapna Dutta creates dialogues and situations that come alive and make for easy reading pleasure. (10+) ☆

India (English) - 2000 - 33
Chandran, Hira Nirodi (text)
Gaidhane, Shankar (illus.)
(<Proper name>)
Hyderabad: Gul Mohar/Orient Longman, 1998. 160 p.
ISBN 81-250-1423-3
Countryside - Drought - City life - Runaway - House servant
Eleven-year old Chikka lives with his older married brother and helps with the rice-farming most of the time, though he still likes to run off and play with his friend or listen to the old neighbor man's stories. But when a drought makes it difficult for the family of four to make ends meet, Chikka impestuously runs away to Bangalore. With luck he finds a post as kitchen helper in a kind family and will be able to send some money back to his family each month. This simple story of a poor uneducated school boy who dreams of a better life and is willing to work and take risks, has likeable characters and an evenly paced plot of adventure and variety. First published abroad in 1962, it still has a fresh feeling and a positive outlook on life. (10+) ☆

India (English) - 2000 - 34
Iyengar, Gita (text)
Biswas, Pulak (illus.)
Cheerful spirits
New Delhi: National Book Trust, 1998. 39 p.
(Nehru Bal Pustakalaya)
ISBN 81-237-2390-3
Moving house - Neighbor - Friendship - Ancestors - Time travel
When a boy and girl discover an old photograph album, a woman in one of the pictures begins to speak to them. As they turn each page new episodes in the lives of the boy's relatives come to life before their eyes. Suddenly they find themselves drawn into the photographs and following along with the children of past times, learning bits of India's social history. The attractive pen and wash illustrations capture highlights of their experiences. (10+)

Special Mention - India (English) - 2000 - 35
Ravishankar, Anushka (text)
Ramanathan, Rathna (illus.)
Anything but a grabooooooberry
Chennai: Tara Publ., 1998. [48] p.
ISBN 81-86211-43-8
Poetry/English - Daydream - Imagination - Nonsense
The green and red graphic illustrations of this book play with the words and ideas of a simple, melodic nonsense poem about »what I want to be.« Beehive is written letter for letter into a honey cone, the word elephant looks like one, the letters of the rocking chair move up and down. Both the poem and the highly imaginative play with shapes and forms are so enchanting that one wants go right back to the beginning. This recently founded publishing house is developing an ambitious program of well-designed books for all age groups. (4+)

Special Mention - India (English) - 2000 - 36
Sadykov, Turat (text)
Roy, Subir (illus.)
Singh, Varyam (transl.)
(<Proper name>)
New Delhi: Children's Book Trust, 1998. 32 p.
(Transl. from Kirghiz)
ISBN 81-7011-815-8
Folk tale/Kirghizia - Hero
Late in life an old, rich man became father to a child. Shortly before the birth of the child who would be named Manas a wandering doctor and seer who was passing by fed the mother meat from an ancient animal that destined the child to have extraordinary powers. Even as a child he used his incredible strength to perform useful, heroic deeds that are still told today. This attractively illustrated booklet contains three tales that reveal the customs and traditions of the pre-dominantly Muslim, worldly open mountainous country of Kirghizia, which became an autonomous republic after nearly 130 years of Russian rulership. (8+) ☆

Special Mention - India (English) - 2000 - 37
Saxena, Ira (text)
Gayen, Prithvishwar (illus.)
The virus trap
New Delhi: Children's Book Trust, 1998. 144 p.
ISBN 81-7011-797-6
School - Computer software - Hacker - Theft - Detective
Anshuman attends a special school well-equipped with modern computer facilities where he and his two friends spend so much time that they are considered »geeks«. Computering is also the special bond between Anshuman and his adopted uncle Deepak, a computer company executive who develops network software. When it becomes clear that someone is trying to steal or sabotage Deepak's new systems software, Anshuman and others become the target of attacks. While tracking down the culprits, he realizes that he needs to expose the thief with the help of a computer virus. This is fast-paced, action-filled mystery story that is filled with the details and jargon of the computer world. The manuscript won first prize in a writer's competition by the Indian IBBY section. (12+)

India (English) - 2001 - 31
Ghose, Vijaya (ed./select.)
The carpenter's apprentice
New Delhi : Katha, 1999. 131 p.
(A Rosalind Wilson book)
ISBN 81-85586-94-2
Short stories
This delectable book offers a fine collection of short stories by some of India's foremost writers. They first appeared during the late 80s in »Target «, a well-known and much-loved Indian children's magazine. Very short, the poignant narratives do not look for the spectacular but focus mostly on the joys and pains of everyday life: growing up, dignity of work, school performances, social inequity. They throw little spotlights on different lifes and experiences of Indian children. The volume pays homage to Rosalind Wilson, long-standing editor of »Target«, who has made an immense contribution to children's literature in India with her keen sense for talent and her discerning editorial skills. (8+) ☆

India (English) - 2001 - 32
Sen Gupta, Poile (text)
Biswas, Pulak (illus.)
Water flowers
Gurgaon : Scholastic India, 2000. [16] p.
ISBN 81-7655-010-8
Monsoon - Rain
In India the coming of monsoon – or the rainy season – is an event in itself. The author uses her imagination to tell little children what monsoon puddles were regarded as in a time not so long ago. The simple text and the dynamic watercolour illustrations work closely together. This charming picture book encourages the reader to discover beauty in very simple things. (4+)

India (English) - 2001 - 33
Sen Gupta, Subhadra (text)
Guha, Tapas (illus.)
History, mystery, dal and biryani : stories of the past
New York; New Delhi: Scholastic, 2000. 131 p.
ISBN 81-7655-024-8
This set of ten historical stories that take readers of today on a delightful journey into India's past – walking the sheets with ordinary people of those times and getting a close look at the life styles of children during those times. They prove that children of the past were not really very different from the children of today when it came to adventure, mystery, food, in fact a solid sense of good values! Charming black-and-white illustrations capture the highlights of these timeless narratives. (12+)

Special Mention - India (English) - 2001 - 34
Wolf, Gita (text)
Ravishankar, Anushka (text)
Sen, Orijit (illus.)
Trash! : on ragpicker children and recycling
Chennai : Tara Publ., 1999. 112 p.
ISBN 81-86211-04-7
Ragpicker child - Child labour - Environment
Despite its title, this book is a true gem in the Indian publishing landscape: attractive book design, intelligible lay-out with information-boxes, lucid and sound definitions, startling colour-illustrations using intriguing photo-collage techniques, and humorous treatment of serious issues. It tells the story of Velu, a young ragpicker and addresses the problems of child labour and environment. »Trash!« evolved from a series of workshops conducted with ragpicker children and was produced in collaboration with »Books for Change«, an initiative in publishing aiming at raising controversial issues, informing children about social realities and sharing ideas for a better world. (8+) ☆

India (English) - 2002 - 29
Agarwal, Deepa (text)
Roy, Atanu (illus.)
What's right, what's wrong
New Delhi : Save the Children, 2001. 44 p.
Children's rights – Education – Child labour – Poverty – Hunger – Violence
The six stories in this small booklet all describe the everday life of poor children in India, with each of the children fighting against a particular problem. The topics touched on range from a boy's struggle for better education, to a family's close escape from a devastating flood, and a girl's frustration and fear when her little baby sister is killed after birth, simply because she is a girl. Written in a simple language, the stories, aimed at readers from 8 to 14, clearly suggest how improvements may be achieved. Small boxes at the end of each story do not only contain additional facts and information about the particular problem embedded in the narrative, but also ask the reader to question the treatment of children in poor countries like India. (8+)

India (English) - 2002 - 30
Dutta, Arup Kumar (text)
Basu, Suddhasattwa (illus.)
The counterfeit treasure
New Delhi [et al.] : Scholastic, 2001. 172 p.
ISBN 81-7655-026-4
India/Meghalaya – Counterfeit money – Adventure – Village community – Trust
Travelling to Meghalaya (a beautiful Indian region near Bangladesh) with their father, twelve-year-old Paloma and her brother Arnab stumble into an exciting adventure. Soon after their arrival, they befriend Yuri, a local girl, and together they secretly start exploring a cave nearby. When they discover that a gang of counterfeit printers has hidden away their treasure there, events get out of control; still, the children are saved and return home as »heroes«. Arup Kumar Dutta not only tells a vivacious and gripping detective story, he also acquaints the readers with the life and different cultures in a rural region of India. The detailed landscape descriptions will certainly arouse the readers' interest in the country. (10+) ☆

Special Mention - India (English) - 2002 - 31
Wolf, Gita (text)
Rao, Sirish (text)
Ramanathan, Rathna (illus.)
Ladha, Rachana (illus. concept)
In the dark
Chennai, India : Tara Publ., 2000. [34] p.
ISBN 81-86211-54-3
Fairytale – Perspective
In this witty version of a well-known traditional Sufi folktale (folktales with a similar plot also exist in other countries) five men bump into a huge and very strange object on their way home one pitch dark night. Since each of them has his own opinion about what he has encountered (a wall, an octopus, a bugle, etc.), the stubborn men soon start quarrelling. Only the next morning, when the sun rises and reveals the object's true identity, do they become aware that neither of them had adequately named it – even if neither of them was wrong, either. This small square book is a handcrafted treasure with simple, two-colour pictures printed in silkscreen technique. Each picture depicts only that part of the mysterious object, which perfectly matches the respective person's description; thus, it leaves the readers as puzzled as the protagonists. The pictures and the short calligraphic text, written on handmade paper, and the small bag in which this book is sold, make it a special treat for children and book collectors alike. (4+) ☼

India (English) - 2003 - 32
Sen Gupta, Subhadra (text)
Guha, Tapas (illus.)
A clown for Tenali Rama
New Delhi; New York [et al.] : Scholastic, 2002. 108 p.
ISBN 81-7655-144-9
India/1510-1530 – Time travel – Temple dancing – Stone Carving
One afternoon, while selling coconut water and little stone carvings to passing tourists, fourteen-yearold Basava and his younger sister Sivakka suddenly find themselves magically transported back into the beginning of the 16century when Hampi, their small home village, was the famous city of Vijayanagar ruled by great King Krishnadeva Raya. During the next few days, the two teenagers meet many interesting people, explore fascinating temples and palaces, and take part in the bustling city life. This engaging time travel adventure makes the splendour of a long forgotten era come alive and tells children a lot about Indian customs and traditions as well as about the everyday life in those times. (10+) ☆

India (English) - 2004 - 33
Ravishankar, Anushka (text)
Pieper, Christiane (illus.)
Alphabets are amazing animals
[Chennai] : Tara Publ., 2003. [56] p.
ISBN 81-86211-72-1
Alphabet – Nonsense
Alphabet books still are one of the most popular picture book types because they offer countless possibilities to authors and illustrators. In this square volume, Indian writer Anushka Ravishankar delivers hilarious alliterating nonsense phrases for each of the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet. From »Anteaters Adore Arithmetic« and »Odd Otters Order Only Onions« to »Zebras Zoom Zig-Zag«, the author has her animal protagonists perform the most unusual and absurd tasks. Christiane Pieper’s vibrant partly cartoonlike illustrations, drawn in black-and-white plus one changing colour, present a crazy menagerie of animals romping about happily on the various double-spread pages. A truly delightful ABC not only for beginning readers. (3+) ☼

India (English) - 2004 - 34
Sen Gupta, Subhadra
Jodh Bai : diary of a Rajput princess
New Delhi; New York [et al.] : Scholastic, 2003. 106 p.
ISBN 81-7655-252-6
India/1561-1562 – Mughal Empire – Princess – Arranged marriage – Fictional diary
This new instalment in the popular series of historical diaries is set in the middle of the 16century in Northern India. The book describes the everyday life of 14-year-old princess Jodh Bai, daughter of the king of Amber. The amiable and open-minded girl chats about various aspects of life such as daily routines and special festivities, education and political decisions, love and intrigues. Moreover, she relates her fears and worries when she suddenly learns that she is soon to be married to the powerful young Mughal king Akbar. Using a blend of factual and fictional events and characters, the author makes a distant period of Indian history come alive for teenage readers. An informative appendix adds some interesting background information. (12+) ☆

India (English) - 2004 - 35
Swaminathan, Kalpana (text)
Sen, Anita (illus.)
Jaldi’s friends
New Delhi [et al.] : Puffin Books, 2003. 194 p.
ISBN 0-14-333569-3
Dog – Extra-sensory perception – Friendship – Animals/Humans – Threat – Adventure
Normally, Jaldi would just frolic about with her three brothers and enjoy life. Instead, because of her special powers, the little pup is destined for an important ‘job’. Together with her street-wise uncle Musafir and a bunch of new friends, she roams the city streets of Bombay trying to track down the villainous duo JB and BB, who threaten the Bombay Stray’s carefree life. Narrated in the first person from a naive little dog’s point of view, this highly entertaining detective story not only offers a hilarious read but also confronts readers with an unusual view of the world – last but not least because the proud and clever dogs feel they are ultimately superior to human beings, who simply »don’t have much understanding.« (10+)

India (English) - 2005 - 29
Ravishankar, Anushka (text)
Rao, Sirish (text)
Bai, Durga (illus.)
One, two, tree!
[Chennai] : Tara Publ., 2003. [46] p.
ISBN 81-86211-80-2
Counting – Animals – Tree – Nonsense poetry
This amusing nonsense poem starts with »one dizzy ant [that] totters up the tree«. In the blink of an eye, the insect is followed by 2 dreamy lizards, 3 snoopy rats, 4 goofy rabbits, ...and 10 hefty elephants, until the majestic tree is groaning under the weight of a motley crew of animals. The entertaining short repetitive verses inspire children to start counting by introducing them to the numbers from 1 to 10, presented both in words and in figures. The beautiful, bright, tricoloured line-drawings always depict each group of animals twice: first, on their own, set against a whitish background, then, once more as they clamber up the light-grey tree, struggling to find some room. (3+)

India (English) - 2005 - 30
Sen Gupta, Subhadra (text)
Guha, Tapas (illus.)
12 o’clock ghost stories : spooky, scary & plain mysterious!
Gurgaon [et al.] : Scholastic India, 2004. 131 p.
ISBN 81-7655-359-X
Ghost – Short story
In this thin booklet, Subhadra Sen Gupta offers readers a colourful collection of short stories in which the real world and the supernatural world of ghosts are seamlessly intertwined. However, the protagonists of the various tales do not encounter some scary chain-rattling monsters in the middle of the night, as the book’s title might suggest. Instead, they usually happen to bump into beings from the world beyond in completely ordinary situations, such as while flying a kite, relaxing in a tree, or chopping onions in the kitchen. The funny tales are tinged with the occasional element of suspense that will make them an attractive read for young children. (8+)

India (English) - 2006 - 33
Singh, Vandana (text)
Kamath, Manjunath (illus.)
Younguncle in the Himalayas
New Delhi : Young Zubaan [et al.], 2005. 140 p.
ISBN 81-89013-39-4
Himalaya Holiday – Adventure – Ghost – Environmental destruction
One particularly hot October evening, Younguncle and his relatives decide they need to escape the stifling heat of their small Indian town and travel to the Himalayas for a refreshing holiday. Yet, soon enough, the three children and their eccen- tric uncle realise that strange things are happening in the mysterious Hotel Pine-Away. Could the weird group of Quantum Banana Spiritualists or the scheming braggart Pradeep Daalmakhni be responsible for it? In this hilarious sequel to the successful »Younguncle comes to town«, Vandana Singh again delights her readers with an enthralling and entertaining story interspersed with witty allusions and comments that will have children and adults laughing out loud. (8+)

Special Mention - India (English) - 2006 - 34
Viswanath, Shobha (text/retell.)
Joshi, Dileep (illus.)
The blue jackal : a Panchatantra classic
Chennai : Karadi Tales, 2004. [38] p. + 1 CD
(Talking book)
ISBN 81-8190-034-0.
Jackal Bullying – Revenge – Trick
This retelling of a classic tale from the »Panchatantra«, an ancient collection of instructive stories, is about Chandarva, a tiny jackal who is bullied by the other jackals in his pack. Desperate for food, he secretly enters a village at night but is spotted and chased by the huge village dogs and falls into a pot of indigo dye. Upon his return, all jungle animals are frightened by this strange bright blue animal and he takes advantage of the situation, pretending to be a creature sent from heaven to rule over the jungle. The beautiful illustrations are created with white paint on a reddish brown or dark blue background in the style of traditional Warli paintings. The double-page spreads, brimming with small vivacious white figures and animals dancing all across the pages, introduce scenes of the daily life in a village to the readers. The audio CD enclosed with the book offers a magical reading of the tale by the well-known Indian storyteller Naseeruddin Shah accompanied by atmospheric music. (4+)

India (English) - 2007 - 33
Balsavar, Deepa (text/illus.)
Kaushal, Tara (Hindi transl.)
The seed = Bījā
Chennai : Tulika, 2005. [20] p.
ISBN 81-8146-110-X
(Bilingual ed.: English and Hindi) Seed – Plant – Imagination
This simple picture book for small children follows a young girl as she discovers a tiny seed on the ground, plants it in an old pot, and carefully looks after it, patiently waiting for something to happen. Once a thin stem sprouts, she excitedly hurries to all her loved ones to share the miracle. Each family member curiously asks her a short question about the minute plant and the girl’s imagination immediately grows wings. The roundish, comic-book-like watercolour illustrations showing the child and her family on the right-hand pages, framed by the sparse text in English and Hindi, are contrasted, on the left-hand pages, by more ornamental portraits depicting wondrous plants into which the small seedling might one day develop. (2+)

Special Mention - India (English) - 2007 - 34
Scott, Nathan Kumar (text)
Balaji, Theertham (illus.)
Mangoes & bananas
[Chennai, India] : Tara Publ., 2006. [32] p.
ISBN 81-86211-06-3
Friendship – Hunger – Cooperation – Greed – Trick – Revenge – Folk tale
This retelling of a classic trickster tale features one of the most popular characters in Indonesian folklore, Kanchil the mouse deer. Fed up with the exhausting daily search for food, the clever deer and his best friend Monyet, the monkey, decide to plant their own garden and grow their favourite fruit: mangoes and bananas. Yet when, at harvest time, the greedy monkey quickly starts devouring all of the delicious fruit himself, quick-witted Kanchil resorts to a trick to get hold of his due share. This story told in a cheeky, energetic voice is translated into stunning illustrations in earthy shades. Created in the traditional Indian textile art form of Kalamkari (the process of which is explained in an appendix), the full-page pictures set against monochrome backgrounds follow the protagonists bouncing through their decoratively shaped surroundings. This book stands out both for its artwork and the engaging text. (4+) ☆

Special Mention - India (English) - 2007 - 35
Singh [et al.], T. Bijoykumar (text/retell.)
Suutari [et al.], Amanda (illus.)
First sun stories : unusual folk tales from the North East
New Delhi : Katha, 2005. 88 p.
ISBN 978-81-89020-33-0
North East India – Folk tale – Anthology
For this large-format anthology of 14 lesserknown folk tales from the north-eastern part of India, six writers and ten illustrators collaborated. Some of the stories are fairly amusing, such as the creation story from the Ao Naga tribe, which explains why the land of Assam is mainly flat whereas the neighbouring state of Nagaland is rocky and mountainous; other tales are more serious, such as the Assam legend of beautiful Joymala who is abandoned by her unfaithful husband and becomes queen of the elephants. The enchanting tales introduce young readers to the rich storytelling traditions of the so-called Seven Sister States with several tales appearing in print for the first time. (6+) ☆