Honestly, till about a month ago, I didn’t know much about this publisher; just that they were one of the publishers of kids’ books. Recently my co-sister, munmun, introduced me to a blog Saffron Tree (which has reviews of kids’ books). It was here that I came to know about some books by Pratham Books and also reached the Pratham Books Blog.
From their blog, I came to know that they are a social entrepreneurship project who help rural children with books and also run a library for them. Pratham is a non-profit trust publishing books in in different Indian languages like English, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali etc. at a price of Rs15-Rs25. But don’t be fooled by the price; the books are on high quality paper and print, with bright and colorful illustrations. Before going to the fair, I had selected some books from their catalogue. Unfortunately I found only 16 of them, but never mind, I shall order the remaining books online. Here I would like to review some of the books I bought for Aru and Ashmit.
This book is super hit in my home. All of us are fond of Sringeri Srinivas who cuts his hair annually. So on one annual haircut day he finds no one who can cut his hair and he gets very upset. But in the end he does get rid of all his hair in a hilarious way. How? buy the book and find it out. It is a must read for kids for its hilarious illustrations. Recommended age 3-6 (actually 2-adults).
Symbiosis means animals helping each other. In this book Zippy the zebra is bugged with fleas allover his body and he tries different ways to get rid of it but he fails. Then two birds Pick and Preak help him. Ashmit enjoys this book and he wants me to read it again and again while he enacts Zippy getting rid of his fleas by iching, scratching, wiggling, rolling etc. It is a fun book for young kids.
Ek Sudama Ek banmali is a beautiful story of Lord Krishan and Sudamas’ friendship, in a form of poem. I bought this book in Hindi for Aru. She is fond of poems and here the Hindi is so simple that she loved it. The highlight of this book is the amazing bright and colourful illustration. One would love to read the poem again and again for it meters are so sweet to the ears.
Pehelwaanji is a bit of a bully. No one can defeat him by physical power but Gappu a young child defeats him in a hilarious wrestling match. The story ends by saying that kids are now not scared of him but he is scared of them. Its a funny book for kids below 7yrs. It boost their confidence and self-esteem by saying that they should not be scared of people who bully others.
Ashmit is quite afraid of the sound of thunder and rain. He cry his lungs out when its raining. ‘Rain Rain’ is a book where it says how the rain is important for the Peacock who wants to dance, for the farmer who wants to plant the seeds, for the fish who needs more water in the pond and to Raju who wants to sail his boat. ‘The Monsoon Concert’ is full of different sounds we hear when it rains. A frog is quite bored because it has not rained for long so he thinks to sing and send the message to the sky that he wants rain. When he starts singing “Kronker kronker kronk koru” , the owl, the cricket, the fire fly and the gecko joins him. So they all sing in their different voices and are heard by rain who then joins them with “Tupur tapur tup tuppoo” The book indeed is a musical concert. Ashmit enjoyed them and says that now when it rains he will sail his boat in the puddle and sing his rhymes.
The Sister Sister series has four books ‘Where does the sun go at night’, ‘Where does the thunder come from’, ‘Why don’t things fall up?’ and ‘Why is the sky blue’. These books attempt to demystify important scientific concepts through the medium of story telling. I bought ‘Where does the thunder come from’. Munna Raja asks this question to his sister, who in reply asks him to guess why this happen. He thinks and gives different reason like, some monster is angry, motorbikers who live in cloud are riding their bikes etc. Then didi gives him the scientific reason and he feels glad. The book make young kids connect with the reality and myth. Now Ashmit also knows there are no monsters in cloud and that he should not be scared by the sound of the thunder.
This is a very short review of the seven books out of sixteen that I have bought but honestly speaking, all the books by Pratham are worth buying for your young readers. The age recommended on the book is for rural children, so the books for age 7-10 could be read to kids of 4-6 age. Books are definitely good but it also allows me to give my contribution to help the rural kids by getting more books to read. Hats off to them for already spreading the joy of reading to 7 million children.
A few books more that I bought at the fair…