In these difficult times of social isolation, we recommend a selection of books to advise children to understand and embrace diversity — cultural, gender, racial, among others — as well as let loose their imagination in fantasy worlds – Mini P.
Made by Raffi
by Craig Pomranz and illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, Price: Rs.755
At its heart, this book is about “embracing our differences”. Inspired by a true-life story, Made By Raffi narrates the tale of a young boy who loves to knit and sew. At first, he is teased and ragged for his girlish hobby, but he emerges a hero to his classmates when he steps in to design a prince’s cape for the school pageant.
Translated into Chinese and Korean, the purpose of the book, says the author, is to support male and female children who are perceived as ‘different’ because of their physical attributes, clothing choices or hobbies. Creatively illustrated and simply told, it celebrates diversity.
The Big Thoughts of Little Luv
by Karan Johar and illustrated by Priya Kuriyan
Publisher: Juggernaut Kids, Price: Rs.280 (Hardcover)
This picture book for 2-5 year-olds is written by popular Bollywood director Karan Johar and tells the story of twins, Luv and Kusha, and the subtle ways in which gender expectations and roles are foisted on young male children in Indian society.
“I am the proud mom of Yash and Roohi or that’s how I see it,” writes Johar, who is a single dad to twins born through surrogacy. In this beautifully illustrated picture book, Johar posits that there shouldn’t be social rules for what men and women can and cannot do. “In fact, I wear bright pink sneakers with more style than my female friends,” he writes. The bottomline, he says, is that if “we love our children we should let them flower into whomsoever they want to be”.
Hungry Sky Monster
by Rohini Nilekani and illustrated by Megha Punater
Publisher: Juggernaut Kids, Price: Rs.248
Mama, why does the moon become small and then so big? Could there be a naughty little sky monster that gobbles it up? This bedtime story in poem form is a fable that imagines a sky monster on a rampage. Philanthropist and author, Rohini Nilekani, wrote the book keeping her three-year-old grandson in mind.
Also read: Satyajit Ray children’s classics