15 Amazing Indian Books Recommended by Top Editors

Hippocampus School Library Services is delighted to reveal a list of 15 Indian books which have been declared as favourites by 5 top editors from Tulika Books, Pratham Books, Duckbill and Karadi Tales.

The last decade has been exciting as well as challenging for children’s book publishing houses in India. Moving away from stories that dealt with safe themes in safe ways, publishers have consciously taken steps toward being more honest, whimsical, meaningful and bold in their narrative styles. Today, there is a much wider range of themes being explored in Indian books, and boundaries are certainly being pushed with far more enthusiasm.

Tulika Books, Duckbill, Pratham Books and Karadi Tales are some of the publishing houses that have contributed significantly to improving the quality of children’s books in India. We asked a few editors from these publishing houses to answer the following questions:

1. Which are 2 books from other Indian publishers that you absolutely love?

2. Could you name a book from your own publishing house that fills you with pride every time you look at it?

Scroll down to see their answers.

Librarians, here, there and everywhere, do you have these books in your school?

MALA KUMAR, EDITOR, PRATHAM BOOKS

Pratham Books

Counting on Moru by Rukmini Banerji (Pratham Books)

I like this book because the protagonist is like many of the kids you’d find in every school in every classroom. It should definitely be part of every school library, and hopefully some teachers will read it too.

Other Publishers

Cobra in my Kitchen by Zai Whitaker (Rupa & Co)

The humorous way of bringing in animals and humans makes one think of Gerald Durrell. Such books do more for sensitizing children to the animals and birds around them than textbooks and moralistic articles on how to save our environment.

The World of Anahi and Vir by Kalpana Subramanian, Illustrated by Prashant Miranda (Little Latitude)

This set of three books is delightful for little readers.

MANISHA CHAUDHURY, EDITOR & TRANSLATOR, PRATHAM BOOKS

Pratham Books

Kallu Series by Subhadra Sengupta, Illustrated by Tapas Guha (Pratham Books)

I really like the Kallu series titles: In Big Trouble Again and Monkey Business on Stage. These books introduce a bunch of children from a village in a fast, urbanising India in a most credible way. The children are instantly identifiable, likeable and their adventures are engaging. These books give a face to the ‘demographic dividend’ that is being bandied about by economists and tug at our heart to say that every child everywhere in India is important. Because they are so Indian, they are a delight to translate into Indian languages and their usage of English is also very Indian.

Other Publishers

The Mountain of the Moon by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay (Katha)

I absolutely love The Mountain of the Moon. It is a translation of ‘Chander Pahad’ by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay from Bangla. Set in Africa, it is a feat of imagination and the translation is lovely.

Ekki Dokki by Sandhya Rao, Illustrated by Ranjan De (Tulika)

This is also a perennial favourite. I used to read it out to my kids and I recently read it out to another kid from the next generation and she loved its quirkiness. The illustrations are arresting visually and the timelessness of the folk style narration has a power of its own.

SAYONI BASU, CO-FOUNDER, DUCKBILL

Duckbill

Vanamala and the Cephalopod by Shalini Srinivasan (Duckbill)

Other Publishers

Grasshopper’s Run by Siddhartha Sarma (Scholastic)

Catch that Crocodile! by Anushka Ravishankar, Illustrated by Pulak Biswas (Tara Books)

RADHIKA MENON, PUBLISHER, TULIKA

Tulika 

The Why-Why Girl by Mahasweta Devi, Illustrated by Kanyika Kini (Tulika)

Other Publishers

Rupa the Elephant by Mickey Patel (National Book Trust)

Tiger on a Tree by Anushka Ravishankar, Illustrated by Pulak Biswas (Tara Books)

SHOBHA VISWANATH, PUBLISHING DIRECTOR, KARADI TALES

Karadi Tales

The Rumour by Anushka Ravishankar, Illustrated by Kanyika Kini (Karadi Tales)

Other Publishers

Ismat’s Eid by Fawzia Gilani-Williams, Illustrated by Proiti Roy (Tulika)

Wish You Were Here by Anushka Ravishankar (Tara Books)

THE COMPLETE LIST: FAVOURITE INDIAN BOOKS OF TOP EDITORS

  1. Grasshopper’s Run by Siddhartha Sarma (Scholastic)
  2. Catch that Crocodile! by Anushka Ravishankar, Illustrated by Pulak Biswas (Tara Books)
  3. Vanamala and the Cephalopod by Shalini Srinivasan (Duckbill)
  4. Cobra in my Kitchen by Zai Whitaker (Rupa & Co)
  5. The World of Anahi and Vir by Kalpana Subramanian, Illustrated by Prashant Miranda (Little Latitude)
  6. Counting on Moru by Rukmini Banerji (Pratham Books)
  7. The Mountain of the Moon by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay (Katha)
  8. Ekki Dokki by Sandhya Rao, Illustrated by Ranjan De (Tulika)
  1. Kallu Series by Subhadra Sengupta, Illustrated by Tapas Guha (Pratham Books)
  2. Rupa the Elephant by Mickey Patel (National Book Trust)
  3. Tiger on a Tree by Anushka Ravishankar, Illustrated by Pulak Biswas (Tara Books)
  4. The Why-Why Girl by Mahasweta Devi, Illustrated by Kanyika Kini (Tulika)
  5. Ismat’s Eid by Fawzia Gilani-Williams, Illustrated by Proiti Roy (Tulika)
  6. Wish You Were Here by Anushka Ravishankar (Tara Books)
  7. The Rumour by Anushka Ravishankar, Illustrated by Kanyika Kini (Karadi Tales)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Comment on “15 Amazing Indian Books Recommended by Top Editors

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