Kids & Teens

Vikram & Betaal: The Storyteller Series

Sutradhar: Nidhi Kundra
Publisher: Edu Hub Publishing, New Delhi
(ISBN: 978-93-859-9405-0)

Indian mythology boasts of a number of evergreen stories, which have been told and retold many times and will continue to be a favourite for centuries. Vikram & Betaal is based on Betaal Pacchisi, written nearly 2,500 years ago by Mahakavi Somdev Bhatt.

These are spellbinding stories told to the wise King Vikramaditya by the wily ghost Betaal. King Vikramaditya has been given the task to catch Betaal, who with his wit, always succeeds in setting himself free. He tells a story to the king on the way and warns him not to utter a single word, else he will fly away. After every story, Betaal asks him a puzzling question, which Vikramaditya cannot resist to answer, as he is a wise man.

In this new series, these old stories have been given a fresh look and appeal to attract kids. Beautifully illustrated and simple text, the book will appeal to one and all.

–Varsha Verma

Simply Nanju

Author: Zainab Sulaiman
Publisher: Duckbill Books, New Delhi
(Pp 128 Pages, ISBN 978-93-83331-70-3, Price Rs. 199)

A sinple and cheapest price for viagra assistance warm story about a boy Nanju, who is a carefree lad, who does not cares that he walks funny or that he’s known as the class copy cat or that the cleverest (and prettiest) girl in class barely knows he’s alive. Nanju studies in a school for children who are differently-abled.

But, he is really smart and he, along with his beloved friend- Mahesh, manages to solve the mystery of books disappearing from the classroom as everyone suspects Nanju. Moreover, his father has warned him that he will send him to Unni Mama’s all-boys Hostel from Hell, if he is the culprit. Nanju is determined to find the real thief and continue to live the life in the way he loves.

Fast-paced and extremely enjoyable, the book will appeal to kids and also help them empathise with those who are differently-abled.

–Varsha Verma

My First Encyclopedia

Publisher: Edu Hub, New Delhi,
(ISBN 9789385994005, Rs 350; $ 10)

My First Encyclopedia (First Edition: 2016) is designed as a ready reference for the upper primary age group. The book is beautifully illustrated with real and lively pictures and gives the reader an insight into the Universe, the world of Science, Human Body, Birds and instructions cialis online softtabs Animals, Wild Fauna and Wonders of the World. The encyclopedia has been designed in simple language as a supplementary tool not only for school projects but also to satiate the appetite of the eager learners. Amazing Facts have been added in each topic to provide an insight into the mystics of the natural and man made world. First in the series, My First Encyclopedia is sure to serve as a self help tool for its learners.

–Vasu V

Indian author shines at Scholastic Asian Book Award 2016

Aditi KrishnakumarThe grand prize winner of the Scholastic Asian Book Award is Codex: The Lost Treasure of the Indus by Aditi Krishnakumar from India. The book is about deciphering the mysterious script of the Indus Valley Civilisation, which proves to be a puzzle in three languages. It’s a job for Codex, who’s a linguist, mathematician and all-round geek. But Codex soon discovers that this isn’t like anything she’s done before. As the sinister implications of the find become apparent, Codex must work with agent Lila Raman to get to the bottom of a fourthousand- year-old mystery.

The first Runner-up is Chasing Freedom by Tina Cho from South Korea while the second runner-up is Island Girl by Stephanie Ho Lee-Ling from Singapore.

Tina ChoThese awards were recently announced by National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) and Scholastic Asia. This year, five finalists were selected from a pool of 54 submissions. Entries came from 11 countries, with Iran and Palestine being represented for the first time.

R Ramachandran, executive director of NBDCS, said, “Since its inception, SABA has been positioned to be an avenue for budding and established writers from around the region to showcase their diverse literary talents. With each edition, we’ve received an increasing number of submissions and better quality ones – this is a clear indication that SABA is wellrecognised by authors as a platform for promoting their works to a larger audience.”

Stephanie Ho Lee-LingOrganised since 2011, SABA promotes Asian experiences and expression in creative and innovative forms, by celebrating writers of Asian origin whose works have the potential to share uniquely Asian experiences with the rest of the world.

Selina Lee, vice president of Scholastic Asia, said, “At Scholastic, we believe that literacy is the cornerstone of all learning, and we aim to help children discover the pleasure and power of reading. SABA is a demonstration of our commitment to producing quality, engaging educational content, and we look forward to once again bringing the experiences of life, spirit, and thinking in different parts of Asia to the world, through this year’s award.”

It is sad but true. What it makes sad is that many good new Indian authors writing in English remain undiscovered, as if imprisoned them in a closet. Anita Krishan is one among them. Jyaneswar Laishram from All About Book Publishing discovers this threebook- old author from Shimla, now residing in Delhi-NCR, whose work is tantamount to classic literary pieces, deeply touching, sensitive, hilarious and unpretentious. Of the three books of Anita Krishan published by Finger Print is Fluffy and Me, the latest and a memoir, revolving around a period of the author’s life when she was growing up from a little girl to a young woman, all along with a selfless canine companion named Fluffy. It was Fluffy that animated the laid back life of Betu, nickname of Anita at home, whose house was located on the Observatory Hill, near The Mall in Shimla. “I have two sisters and a brother, all of them elder to me; I was often asked to buzz off whenever I tried to join their gossips they had at home with their visiting friends,” remembers Anita. This was a sheer reason why she desperately needed for a friend of her kind. Betu was contended in her solitary exploration of pine forests, deodars on the lofty mountains, but felt the lack of a close companion. Things took a big turn one dull evening when she received an unexpected phone call from a friend of his father, who agreed to give her a Lhasa Apso pup that was on the way and thus began the true story of the undying friendship between a girl and a selfless doggie. With loads of adventures, nasty tricks and walks in wilderness, bond between Betu and Fluffy grew deeper than imagined as they gradually glided from innocence to maturity. This heart-warming true story takes readers down to the journey full of laughter, fun, fear, and finally tears.

Anita KrishanDogs live short lives! It is pretty sure for readers, in the middle of Fluffy and Me, to worry about Fluffy to be gone leaving Betu behind. Contrary to it, sadness in the story cropped up when Betu got engaged, her marriage date fixed and she finally had to leave Fluffy behind. On a mid-winter morning, Betu’s last day at her home, clouds gathered strength and afternoon became dark, soon snowflakes showered. She knew she would miss Fluffy terribly. She unsuccessfully tried her best effort to swallow the painful lump in her throat. After all, she had no choice but to leave her childhood companion to where he belonged, Shimla, when she got married to a gentleman from Chandigarh.

“Months after marriage I visited my Shimla home often; Fluffy greeted me with the same enthusiasm, but my mother said that he had not been the same ever since I had left home,” said Anita, adding that Fluffy had lost much interest in things, sat listlessly most of the time. Fluffy died one fine morning, in Betu’s absence. Her brother drove down to Chandigarh, to deliver Anita the news of Fluffy’s demise. “When my friend was gone, uncontrolled tears swelled in my eyes, which I swallowed… I was not supposed to cry over a noble and fearless friend,” Anita says. One day Betu took her two babies up the hill where located the resting place of Fluffy. She watched the dying radiance of crimson aura in the sundown horizon in thought of the departed friend.

Sweet narration

Anita’s love of nature is vividly portrayed in Fluffy and Me. Her narration is simple, sweet and moving in a flowing literary style. She has unique storytelling perspective. Born in Shimla in 1955 and brought up reading Enid Blyton, Jane Austen, Rand, among others, Anita worked as an educator for twenty-five years, introducing English literature to young learners, before she settled to devote fulltime to writing, her ultimate passion. Such journey of her on the literary lane led her to write and direct plays, pen down poems, stories and novels.

In the year 2007, after her years of romance with literature, Anita was fully triggered to write her first book Running Up The Hills, followed by Tears of Jhelum in 2014 and Fluffy and Me in 2015. Apart from writing, being an original native of tranquil nature of the Himalayan suburb, she is exceedingly cognizant about environment; she has spearheaded a number of initiatives/workshops that condition children to care and nurture for their future. Her love of nature, mankind and animals is reflected in her writing, whether it could be Fluffy and Me or the others.

A sequel soon

Though it will not be a part continued from where it ended, a sequel of her second book Tears of Jhelum is now in the production process. Tears of Jhelum revolves around the story of the years of social and political turmoil in Kashmir and Wali Mohammad Khan has been a silent spectator to it. Every bit of terrorism unleashed in the valley was as senseless as the people who propagated it with manic intensity, but Wali managed a seemingly normal life for himself and his family, naively believing the terror would never touch him or the ones he loved.

Tears of Jhelum is written in a sensitively poignant narrative, about victims of terrorism whose heartbreaking stories are lost forever behind the smokescreen of apathy and indifference. “All these conflicts, hostility are created only by some chauvinists for their personal and political gains. Otherwise people all over the world love peace,” conveys Anita, who travelled extensively across the globe with her husband, attending conferences and meeting people of diverse nationalities.

For more than 30 years, Dreamland Publications has been delivering outstanding range of valuable books and has earned an international reputation for its quality. Dreamland aims to produce a trove of innovative titles in a variety of genres. From beautiful picture books to famous bedtime stories and educational books & charts, Dreamland Publications has something to suit every age or propensity.

For pre-schoolers or early learners, they have launched “Complete Kit of Pre-Nursery, Nursery & Kindergarten” which are widely trusted. These books feature colourful pictures, age-appropriate knowledgeable content and activities that work as a wonderful medium to encourage young learners towards education.

Also Activity Books have child-friendly information on variety of topics, their new release of “My Activity Series” having 15 different titles make lovely presents and they’re perfect for travelling too.

To further expand their horizon they have published adult colouring books Rejuvenate Yourself and Refreshing Mandala Colouring Books that offer an escape to a world of inspiration and artistic fulfilment.

They are recently participating in Bologna Book Fair (4th – 7th April, 2016) - Stand No. B – 58, Pavilion 26 and London Book Fair (12th – 14th April 2016) - Stand No. 1E – 11 (Level 1).

Indian readers have grown up reading the likes of Amar Chitra Katha and Indrajal Comics…the mythology still rules the roost when it comes to graphic novels, shares Shabari Choudhury, editor, Campfire Graphic Novels. No longer living an uncertain existence on the fringes of the publishing world, the Graphic Novel has truly come a long way. Viewed as a niche genre ever since its inception, graphic novels were often thought to be the same as comics. The creation and subsequent publishing of graphic novels like Will Eisner’s Contract with God, Marvel Comics’ Silver Surfer and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman saw a shift in the popular perception regarding the medium. The evolution of the graphic novel in India has, in some ways, mirrored its trajectory in the West. Starting in the 60s, the Indian publishing industry had a rich repository of comics that were being published by publishers like Raj Comics, Amar Chitra Katha and Indrajal Comics. So, although readers were familiar with a format that was similar—images with panel and text—the content and subject were poles apart.

Changing content

The advent of independent graphic novel creators in the early 90s created a ripple whose effects can be felt even today. One of the earliest Indian graphic novels was Orijit Sen’s River of Stories, a take on the socio-political and environmental issues surrounding the Narmada Bachao Andolan. Another early instance of an Indian graphic novel that is semi-fictional in mode is Sarnath Banerjee’s Corridor. Based in modern Delhi, the novel looks at people and their everyday interactions in an urban setting. Books like these made publishers sit up and take notice of the graphic novel, opening up the possibility of using it to create content for mature readers. Manta Ray Comic’s Hush and Phantomville’s Kashmir Pending that dealt with complex and sensitive issues like child abuse and post-partition aftermath further cemented the position of the graphic novel as a medium for serious storytelling.

The last decade has seen many Indian publishers explore the medium of the graphic novel for the medium’s sake. The combination of visuals and text create endless possibilities of telling and re-telling stories across genres. While publishers like Vimanika and Pop Culture Publishing have used it to create cult-fiction series like I am Kalki and Odayan, Campfire Graphic Novels has used the medium to tell the life stories of great leaders and unforgettable personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs and more recently, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

Mythology and the graphic novel

In spite of novel attempts to create original stories, the one source that most Indian publishers seem to fall back upon, time and again, for inspiration is mythology. Titles like Campfire’s Ravana: Roar of the Demon King, Draupadi: The Fire-born Princess, Krishna: Defender of Dharma and Vimanika’s Shiva: The Legends of the Immortal have created a strong reader base for this genre in the Indian market.

Fresh adaptation of stories from the Mahabharata, Ramayana and other popular mythological tales continue to make it to shelves in bookstores. Retellings of Indian mythology seem to draw maximum readers, especially in the case of the graphic novel. Ingrained in our subconscious since childhood, stories of gods and goddesses are an inherent part of our cultural idiom. An immediacy of association with these tales of superhuman men and women, perhaps allows the reader to explore a world that forms an escape from reality, much like any good film. Therefore, for every original work like Delhi Calm, Kari or Munnu: A Boy from Kashmir, there are three to four mythological stories that are being published.

Even in the case of popular cult-fiction work like Holy Cow Entertainment’s Aghori where the protagonist embraces a terrible sect of ascetics, the source of inspiration is Indian mythology. The story traces the character’s journey that brings him face-to-face with beings out of Hindu mythology, ultimately making a deal with the Devas or gods.

The way ahead

Of late, subjects of horror and fantasy have also seen a rising popularity in graphic novels. On the lines of From Dusk Till Dawn, Shamik Dasgupta’s Caravan is the story of a centuries old vampire coven that travels through the deserts of Rajasthan disguised as a caravan of gypsies.

Besides these, there are a few novel, but short-lived attempts at stylized renditions like Sita’s Ramayana and I see Promised Land that have been illustrated by Patua scroll artists Moyna and Manu Chitrakar, respectively.

Although some seasoned writers and artists believe that the Indian graphic novel needs to let go of genre classification, and look beyond mythology for inspiration, the fact that mythology sells more in India is somewhere reflective of the people’s taste and choice. Is it then possible for mainline publishers to not cater to this wide market?

Whether tales from Indian mythology continue to be made into graphic novels or not remains to be seen, but for the time being mythology is here to stay.

Chhota Bheem and DK join hands

DK (Dorling Kindersley), world’s foremost illustrated reference publisher, has joined hands with Green Gold Animation, India’s leading 2D, animated content provider and creators of hugely popular cartoon character Chhota Bheem, to launch a bouquet of print and digital products for children. This marriage of sorts between the two content giants is a major step towards making learning more accessible and fun for kids: while DK lends its well-researched, graded content, developed by educational experts, as well as world class design and production, Green Gold brings in Chhota Bheem and his friends, adorable toon characters, a huge hit with kids.

With an ambitious, multifaceted programme of more than a dozen titles publishing over the next two years, DK hopes to excite and inspire children to read, create and learn along with Chhota Bheem and his friends. These books will be distributed and sold through the extensive Penguin Random House network – both online and offline. “DK is recognised all over the world for it’s high quality learning books for children, and we are thrilled to be collaborating with Green Gold Animation to introduce a range of fun yet educational books in DKs iconic style, specially for the Indian child,” said Aparna Sharma, managing director, DK India.

New titles in this series will include:

  1. Let’s Make English Fun and Let’s Make Maths Fun: Part of the Chhota Bheem Gurukool Series of English and Maths workbooks for preschoolers and primary schoolchildren, for ages 3-5 and 5-7. These workbooks have been put together by a team of subject experts, and are meant to complement the existing school textbooks.
  2. Chhota Bheem and Me: This 104- page journal is packed with activities and exercises that will keep a child engaged for hours! A delightful book with multiple uses, it tells children about Chhota Bheem and his friends, allows them to keep a journal or diary, and encourages them to be creative and imaginative.
  3. Chhota Bheem Readers: This series of four readers will introduce children to the world of the cartoon character Chhota Bheem, including his village, friends and foes, and the myriad adventures Bheem finds himself in. Suited for a child who is beginning to read, these Level 2 Readers are created with the help of an educational consultant, and will have short and simple text to keep her interested and engaged.
  4. Chhota Bheem Character Encyclopedia: This much-awaited, one of its kind, book, tells its young readers all about the famous characters in Chhota Bheem’s world, while giving them a chance to explore the village of Dholakpur where they live.

Leading Reading Schools of India awards

Young India Books has initiated the Leading Reading Schools of India Awards to recognize and honour the top five schools of the country that go the extra mile to encourage children to read, read and read. Over 2500 students from top 55 schools across India competed to ensure that their school was picked as winner for this prestigious nationwide award.

The winners of the Leading Reading Schools of India Awards 2016 are: The Cathedral and John Connon Middle School, Mumbai; Shikshantar, Gurgaon; JBCN Borivali, Mumbai; Bombay International School, Mumbai; and Don Bosco International School, Mumbai. Winning schools receive a special handcrafted trophy from Channapatna, the toy town of Karnataka.

Young India Books has also initiated Children’s Choice Award to ascertain changing trends. The winners are: Senior Category: Horrid High by Payal Kapadia, Puffin India; Secondary Category: Apoorva's Fat Diary by Nandini Nayar, Mango Books; and Junior Category: My Gandhi Story by Nina Sabnani and Ankit Chadha, Tulika.

Purple Turtle makes in-roads into Chinese market

An Indian IP development company, Aadarsh Pvt Ltd (, has signed the license deal with a leading Chinese children’s book publisher, Hebei Publishers of Beijing to publish a series of children’s books of the company’s anchor property, Purple Turtle, (www. for China.

NK Krishnanand, head - licensing and publishing of Purple Turtle, said, “The Purple Turtle books feature stories that guide and stimulate child’s mind. These stories provide fun-filled learning experience for kids. This deal will help us establish a strong presence of Purple Turtle in China. Hebei Publishing is a leader in providing children with only high quality reading material, a perfect partner to support our growing initiatives for the Purple Turtle brand.”

Originally introduced in 2012, the Purple Turtle books have been published in USA, UK (apps), Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Indonesia, Sir Lanka, Malaysia and five regional languages in India with over one million copies published to date.

An animated series of Purple Turtle is under development (78 x 7 min, 3D HD) which features the world’s cutest turtle, a little guy who stands out of the normal crowd because he tends to think differently than others, or better yet, a bit “out of his shell.”

Established in 1989 Aadarsh is an ISO 9001:2008 and FSC specialises in printing, publishing, IP Development, licensing and entertainment company based in central India. While, founded in 1985, Hebei Publishing Media Group is a well-known large-scale comprehensive enterprise group, the main business includes books and periodicals, electronic audio and digital publishing, printing copying, distribution, logistics, publishing materials trading and cultural investment.