There’s good news for parents who are looking for interesting storybooks in Hindi for their child/ren. A grandmom-turned-author, Tulika Maheshwari, sought inspiration from her daughter’s simple request to speak to her grandchild in Hindi and compiled a book of six short stories in Hindi. It’s not difficult to see why…
Increasingly, many parents in urban Indian households, especially in metropolitan cities today, speak English at home. Children are hardly able to speak in their native languages. Most storybooks we read to children are also in English; making it doubly difficult to stay connected to the roots or even connect with the national language, barring Hindi cartoons and movies!
Tulika’s Sashu-Pashu-Kashu is like a breath of fresh air amidst this clutter. The book’s bright, colorful illustrations which make the characters come alive are a huge draw. It would make any child flip the pages of the book atleast for a couple of minutes, while transporting him/her to a world of colors and fantasies.
The language is conversational Hindi which is rich in good vocabulary. Every story has a beautiful and profound message, without calling out ‘Moral of the story’ in the end like the typical Panchatantra folktales. For example - the story, ‘Chocolate ki baarish’ shows how we can make our dreams come true by ourselves. There are others on faith, environment and friendship among others. The fact that children, their toys, their friends, grandparents and their favorites like chocolates have been used in the narrative is a big plus over tales which have either princes and princesses or animals as characters. All the stories are very natural and relatable by today’s children.
The book has been printed in hardbound cover and the pages have a lovely Matte finish! A separate artist was chosen as an inspiration for the illustrations of each of the six stories. The paintings of Chagall, Rousseau, Picasso, Senaka, Van Gogh, Sakti Burman and Madhubani folk art were studied and their styles imbibed. Under privileged children from a NGO, Aseema, have helped create the fabulous illustrations for these stories. The book also comes with a Read-Along Audio CD, which you can use maybe when you are travelling or there’s no one who can read Hindi at home.
The only drawback, we feel is its size (big), which is not very convenient to carry. The font too, perhaps, could have been cuter, but we guess children will anyway like it, given it’s in a different color in each page of a story!
Priced at 500/-, we think it is a must buy for all Indian parents and children.
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Source for banner image: kitabkhana