It’s that time of the year when listmania strikes with a frenzy – resolutions to make, gifts to buy, places to see, books to read…you know how it is! So here’s one of my favourite lists of the year – books to look forward to these 12 months! And the best thing is that they are all MADE IN INDIA!
For Beginner Readers (Ages 5-7)
As with last year, not too many books for the young ‘uns, if you ask me. Too few to last a whole year. But they are looking good! If you loved Mister Jeejeebhoy and the Birds last year, Anitha Balachandran is back with her wonderful drawings for a new book with an irresistible title, Icky, Yucky, Mucky! authored by Natasha Sharma. Some exciting folktales from Bhutan, about time we heard stories from far rather than our own backyard over and over! Anushka Ravishankar has been prolific and she really is the queen of children’s literature in India! Arvind Kumar and his wife Arundhati are bringing out some fabulous picture books in Hindi for this age group, under the A&A Book Trust imprint. They are great fun and not to be missed.
- Icky, Yucky, Mucky! By Natasha Sharma & Anitha Balachandran (Young Zubaan)
- Aunty Mouse: Folktales from Bhutan by Kunzang Choden & Pema Tschering (Young Zubaan)
- Room in Your Heart: Folktales from Bhutan by Kunzang Choden & Pema Tschering (Young Zubaan)
- Zain and Ana 2: Ghosts Don’t Eat by Anushka Ravishankar & Shilo Shiv Suleman (illus.) (Scholastic India)
- Bookworm by Lavanya RN & Shilo Shiv Suleman (illus.) (Karadi Tales)
- Choohe Ram’s Bargain by Samita Aiyer & Garima Gupta (illus.) (Karadi Tales)
- Just One Paisa by Nadine D’Souza & Amrita Pokarna (illus.) (Karadi Tales)
- Tak-Tak! by Soumitra Ranade & Shilo Shiv Suleman (illus.) (Karadi Tales)
- Revenge of the Puppets by Nadine D’Souza & Ayush Rajvanshi (illus.) (Karadi Tales)
- The Tallest Tale by Anushka Ravishankar & Chetan Sharma (illus.) (Karadi Tales)
- The Moustache Man by Priya Ramanathan & Garima Gupta (illus.) (Karadi Tales)
- Markandeya by Uma Krishnaswami & Aashish Mall (illus.) (Karadi Tales)
- Bheeshma by Uma Krishnaswami & Aashish Mall (illus) (Karadi Tales)
- So Bhi Jao, Anokhi by Tove Appelgren & Salla Savolainen (translated from the Finnish) (Arvind Kumar Publishers)
- Anokhi Ka Naya Dost by Tove Appelgren & Salla Savolainen (translated from the Finnish) (Arvind Kumar Publishers)
- Ko gayi Bugali by Salla Savolainen (translated from the Finnish) (A&A Book Trust)
- Mimi by Doris Dorrie & Julia Kaergel (translated from the German) (A&A Book Trust)
- Mimi Duniya Dekhati Hai by Doris Dorrie & Julia Kaergel (translated from the German) (A&A Book Trust)
For Middle Readers (Ages 8-10)
Middle Readers are going to have a lot more choice. There are a couple of exciting books from Tara. I am eagerly waiting for Following my Paint Brush, the story of Dulara Devi. Dulari Devi is a former domestic help and now an artist, and soon, a children’s book illustrator. What a fantastic journey! Kudos to Tara for finding these artists and bringing them to to fore!
For fans of Anshumani Ruddra’s gamebook series, the third book I Spy will also be out this year. If you enjoyed Birds from my Window (an invaluable book and so eminently readable), here’s another one by Ranjit Lal, Birds from My Window: And the Antics They Get Up To.
The Amazing Moustaches of Moochandar the Iron Man promises to be fun and irreverent. The author-illustrator couple are founders of The Urdu Project, a publishing house. Musharraf Ali Farooqi is the author of Hoshruba a translation from one of the greatest Urdu epics! Very highbrow but I love it when authors lightly jump from one age group to another, one genre to another and create such fantastic stuff irrespective of who they write for. That, if you ask me, is how it should be.
An interesting line-up of books in Hindi again from Arvind & Arundhati. And if you have seen the Usborne Science Encyclopedias, they are bringing out Hindi translations of Seas & Oceans and Animals & Birds. I am partial to their picture book translations and guess what, they are all in the price range of 50 Rupees only! Click on the publisher’s name to go to their site and see how you can buy a copy today.
- Following My Paint Brush by Gita Wolf & Dulari Devi (Tara Books)
- Excuses! Excuses! By Anushka Ravishankar & Gabrielle Manglou (Tara Books)
- Birds from my window: and the antics they get up to by Ranjit Lal (Scholastic India)
- Indian Folktales by Anupa Lal & Uma Krishnaswamy (illus.) (Scholastic India)
- The Enemy of my Enemy 3: I Spy by Anshumani Ruddra (Scholastic India)
- Alibaba and the Forty Thieves by Gulzar & Shilpa Ranade (illus.) (Scholastic India)
- The Mystery of the Silk Umbrella by Asha Nehemiah & Amit Vacchranjani (illus.) (Scholastic India)
- Shakuntala by Aditi Rao (Scholastic India)
- The Storyteller: Tales from the Arabian Nights by Anushka Ravishankar (Puffin India)
- The Amazing Moustache of Moochandar the Iron Man and Other Stories by Musharaff Ali Farooqi & Michelle Farooqi (illus.) (Puffin India)
- Intergalactic Idol by Samit Basu & Malavika PC (illus.) (Karadi Tales)
- Pratham Vishwakosh: Sagar Aur Mahasagar by Ben Denne & David Hancock (Arvind Kumar Publishers)
- Pratham Vishwarkosh: Pashu Pakshi by Paul Dowswell (Arvind Kumar Publishers)
- Kya Sahi Kya Galat by Munro Leaf (Arvind Kumar Publishers)
- Teen Vade Humse by Munro Lead (Arvind Kumar Publishers)
- Kajari Gaay Ne Banaya Ghar Ped Par by Jujja Weislander & Sven Nordqvist (translated from the Swedish) (A&A Book Trust)
- Kajari Gaay Ko Lagi Chot by Jujja Weislander & Sven Nordqvist (translated from the Swedish) (A&A Book Trust)
- Papa Chalo Jangal Me! by Markus Majouloma (translated from the Finnish)(A&A Book Trust)
For Older Readers (10+)
It gets better and better! David Hair has been busy and we will see two books by him this year, inspired again by Rajasthan. They follow his Pyre of Queens published last year. Not going to miss the DOA Detective Files either, to curl up with a good mystery is one of life’s pleasures. The translations from Bengali greats is a welcome addition to the collection. Ruskin Bond continues to feature in our lists. What would we do without him, really! His books, like him, are ageless, timeless. I am a fan!
The Puffin Lives series continues with new additions. Happy to add that I am busy at work on the manuscript for Puffin Lives: The Dalai Lama. I am very, very excited about the one on Tipu Sultan; much needed if you ask me, especially for Bangaloreans whose airport lies in the very place he was born!
- Growing Up in Pandupur by Adithi Rao, Chatura Rao, Priya Kurien (illus.) (Young Zubaan)
- Swayamvar by David Hair (Puffin India)
- Souls in Exile by David Hair (Puffin India)
- When Crows are White by Jerry Pinto & Garima Gupta (illus.) (Scholastic India)
- Uncle Ken Stories by Ruskin Bond (Puffin India)
- The Kashmiri Storyteller by Ruskin Bond (Puffin India)
- Skunk Girl by Sheba Karim (Puffin India)
- DOA Detective Files: Trouble at the Taj by Sonja Chandrachud (Puffin India)
- DOA Detective Files Part 2 by Sonja Chandrachud (Puffin India)
Translations into English:
- The Strange House of Manoj by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay. Translated from the Bengali by Abhijit Gupta (Scholastic India)
- The Adventures of Ridoy by Abanindranath Tagore. Translated from the Bengali by Rimi Chattarji (Scholastic India)
- Puffin Lives: The Dalai Lama by Aravinda Anantharaman (Puffin India)
- Puffin Lives: Swami Vivekananda by Devika Rangachari (Puffin India)
- Puffin Lives: Tipu Sultan by Devika Rangachari (Puffin India)
- Puffin Lives: Gautama Buddha by Rohini Chowdhury (Puffin India)
- Puffin Lives: Shivaji by Devika Rangachari (Puffin India)
- Devlok Series (Books 1-4) by Devdutt Patnaik (Puffin India)
Books for All Ages
And then there are books we will all love for their stunning good looks!
- I Saw A Peacock with a Fiery Tail by Manu Chitrakar (Tara Books)
- I See The Promised Land by Arthur Flowers (Tara Books)
- 10 by Marion Bataille (Tara Books)