Monday, 25 August 2014

Book Review - Amma, tell me about Ganesha!

BOOK PICK OF THE WEEK - 25/08/2014

NAME OF THE BOOK - Amma, tell me about Ganesha!
AUTHOR - Bhakti Mathur
ILLUSTRATOR - Maulshree Somani
PUBLISHER - Anjana Publishing

          This Friday, being Ganesh Chaturthi, preparations are on a full swing since we bring Gapanati Bappa at our home. Home being swept clean, doors and windows being mopped, curtains and carpets being washed, preparing the Prashaad, this festival brings a new aura to every household! We at the Library, too decided to review a book based on the story of how Lord Ganesha got its elephant head.
          Lord Ganesha is the favourite God among kids and they fondly call him Bappa! and why not! When he has such a cute face, who will not like that? Lord Ganesha is given a very important status in Hindu households as every new beginning starts with a prayer to him. Even while doing a Pooja, Lord Ganesha is remembered first!

          This book written by Bhakti Mathur, starts with a  Sanskrit Shlok - 'Vakratunda Mahakaya' and its meaning in English and then straightaway depicts a  street scene of Lord Ganesha being immersed in water. After the festivities end, the mother (Amma), while putting her children to bed, ask her how did Lord Ganesha get its elephant head. She then narrates the story. I'm sure everyone knows that story so, I'm not going to narrate it here.

          The book is described wonderfully in verses and its illustrations do full justice to the story being told. The language used is very simple and can be easily understood by small kids and best suited for reading aloud. Sample this -

Ganesha's birthday is celebrated
With fun and lots of fanfare.
His idols are placed on the rolling grass
With ardent prayer and gentle care
Ganesha, loved by all,
Is the son of Shiva and Parvati!
This is the story of his birth and how
His elephant head came to be. 

 At the end, a glossary of Sanskrit terms is explained in English.        

Bhakti Mathur lives in Hong Kong with her husband, her two sons, and their beloved Golden Labrador. She is a banker by profession.

Maulshree Somani lives with her husband and son in Mumbai, India. She worked at Walt Disney and subsequently set up her own graphic design company.

          So, now while we wait to welcome Lord Ganesha to our home, don't forget to narrate this story to your children!

गणपती बाप्पा मोरया। 
पुढच्या वर्षी लवकर या। 
Till then,
Happy Reading!

Friday, 22 August 2014


           On account of our 68th Independence Day last Friday, we had organized a 'Colouring Competition' for our very own rabbits. Children in the age group of two to six were allowed to take part in this competition. Of course, the theme was 'Independence Day'. Here are some of the entries we received :


           The winning entry is below -

          CONGRATULATIONS! to Miss. Dia Singhvi, age 6 years for bagging the First Prize in this competition. Well done!

Till then,
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Book Review - The mountain that loved a bird


Name of the book - The mountain that loved a bird
Author - Alice McLerran
Illustrator - Stephen Aitken
Publisher - Tulika Publishers
Age group - 6+

'There was once a mountain made of bare stone .... ' So begins the story of The mountain that loved a bird. The mountain is bare, stands cold and alone until a small bird visits it and changes its life.

The mountain is standing cold and suddenly, a bird flies by it. The mountain has never seen such a wonderful thing and requests it to stay there. The bird says that its name is Joy and it cannot stay because it needs food and water to drink. But, it promises to come again in next spring. And since, no mountain has never cared for the bird, this bird says that it will name her daughter Joy and she will come to visit every spring when the former bird will no longer be there. Thus, it so happens that every spring, Joy comes to visit the mountain albeit for a few hours. After a few years, her daughter who she named Joy comes. The visits continue as Joy's daughter, also named Joy continues the tradition. After 99 years, the mountain starts crying uncontrollably. The bird goes away. It comes again the  next year and the year after. Still, the mountain is crying.

What happens next, and how the mountain changes from a bare one to full of life is the rest of the story. Beautiful illustrations do justice to the story being narrated.

What I liked in the book?
  • A small bird had the power to change a mountain. Thus, in our life also, small changes can lead to success and improvement.
  • Despair can ruin our life. Instead, we should aim to bring back happiness in our life.
  • Nothing is constant. Neither sorrow, nor happiness. So, let's live each day as it comes.
Here, I recollect some lines written by Randy Pausch in his book, The Last Lecture.  - "No matter how bad things are, you can always make thing worse. At the same time, it is often within your attitude to make them better."

Alice McLerran has been writing since 1984. Her best-known books include Roxaboxen, The Ghost Dance, The Year of the Ranch, and Dreamsong. She lives in U.S.

Stephen Aitken, a Canadian illustrator and writer, is also a biologist and Managing Editor of Biodiversity Journal. He lives in Kulu, Himachal Pradesh. The illustrations for this book reflect the luminous colors of the Himalayan skies over India.

Hope you enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed reading it.
Till next week,
Happy Reading!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Book Review - We, the Children of India!

BOOK PICK OF THE WEEK - 11/08/2014

NAME OF THE BOOK - We, the children of India! The Preamble to our Constitution
AUTHOR - Leila Seth
ILLUSTRATOR - Bindia Thapar
PUBLISHER - Puffin Books

On this 15th August, we complete 67 years of Independence. Though so many years have passed since we became free, still, we are not free in the true sense of the word. Our citizens do not have access to basic clothing, food and shelter which are deemed necessities of life. Our Constitution clearly states equal rights to men and women, still women are degraded and receive inferior treatment. So, how can we improve this situation?

By educating our future citizens about their rights and duties. The author has explained beautifully the Preamble to our Constitution which is the most important document of our country. The Preamble, i.e. the introduction to our Constitution, the first sentence consists of the rights bestowed upon the citizens and how do we run our country. Tough concepts like Justice, Liberty are clearly explained in a child-friendly manner along with numerous illustrations.

The book starts with a short introduction of our History - British Rule, Fight for Freedom etc., going further about how the Constitution was drafted, original black and white photographs of Pandit Nehru signing the Draft, etc. Then, it goes onto explain the concepts of the Preamble, the makers of the Constitution with their photographs and their short profile. Thrown in between are small snippets of information like who makes our laws?, who runs the Government?

She concludes the book by telling us what we need to do right now and how can we bring in change.

Leila Seth was the first woman judge of the Delhi High Court and the first woman to be the Chief Justice of a state in India. She retired as Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh in 1992. She was a member of the 15th Law Commission of India and responsible for the report on Free and Compulsory Education of Children. She has a Diploma in Montessori Education.

Bindia Thapar is an architect by training and an illustrator by choice. She is best known for her wide variety of illustrations for children. Sadly, there will not be any more books from her. She passed away this year on 18th April.

A must-read for every child!
Till next week,
Happy Reading!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Book Review - The Susu Pals!

BOOK PICK OF THE WEEK - 04/08/2014

NAME OF THE BOOK - The Susu Pals!
AUTHOR - Richa Jha
ILLUSTRATOR - Alicia Souza
AGE GROUP - 6 - 9 years

          Yesterday, the whole world was celebrating Friendship, so we couldn't be left behind. Friendships are one of the most important part of our lives. Friendship goes beyond religion, caste, grades, gender and most of all, friendship is like therapy to our over-worked souls. Just a small message from a long-lost friend can make us refreshed and make us smile!

          And hence, we chose a book on friendship called The Susu pals. It will at least make you smile and you will reminisce your childhood if ever you had been a susu pal! This book is reviewed here by a fellow mommy blogger Divya who shares her joys of reading to her 7 year old son Abhay and you can check her other posts too.

          If you are curious as to what this book is about, watch this -

Intrigued?    Come and borrow this book!
Till then,
Happy Reading!

Star Rabbit Award!

          Hello all Rabbits!
          Reading Rabbits Library is already one month old. And to celebrate this, we at Reading Rabbits came up with a novel idea of conferring an award to our members.
          Basically, this award will be conferred monthly to one of our Rabbits. It's called a STAR RABBIT AWARD. It will be awarded to the one who reads maximum number of books in a particular month.


Siya Kirat Mundle, aged 8, studying in 3rd grade is awarded for July'14. She has read a total of 7 books in July 2014.  Double Whammy for Siya! Since she also celebrated her birthday on the last day of July!

CONGRATULATIONS Siya and hope you have a very enjoyable reading journey!

Till then,
Happy Reading!