The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust us in a situation unlike any we have ever encountered in our lives, and that we fervently pray never to encounter again. What with social distancing, being cooped up in the house, restricted physical activity, the palpable stress of parents and caregivers, the kids have been affected like never before.
Hence, it is imperative that their minds are occupied and energies are channeled in a healthy and positive manner. This is precisely the reason why at BTB we have been using unconventional methodologies and holistic approach to build confidence in children and raise a more perceptive and artistic generation. To that end, we have programs for creative writing, building vocabulary and finding your unique voice to name a few.
Two of our hugely popular initiatives ‘BTB Featured Author of the Month’ and ‘BTB Storyteller of the Week’ had kids and adults equally excited. In the former, they got to meet their favorite writers and, in the latter, they got to write and narrate their stories, and reach out to a wide audience.
It is also our constant endeavor to make reading a pleasurable and the most preferred go-to activity. Though it has been a slow year as far as the number of books published, it has in no way affected the quality. We have had great books released this year for children across different genres which kept us entertained and enthralled.
Here is a list, according to us at BTB, of the top ten releases for the year 2020 by Indian Authors. These books carry the flavor and fragrance of India. From Gods, Kings, Princes and Princesses, Friends and one Guppy, you will find them all here.
Intrigued? Great, so read on and add these captivating books to your book shelf!
1. Book – Spellbound
Author – Nalini Sorensen
Age group – 6-8 yrs
Publisher – Scholastic India (80 pages)
This unique book is a refreshing take on the age-old fairytales. The characters are more layered and nuanced instead of being just stereotyped as good or bad. The protagonist is the kind of character every child should read about. Spellbound will make you laugh, think and relook at fairytales in a different way.
2. Book – The Grand Chapati Contest
Author – Asha Nehemiah
Age group – 5-7 yrs
Publisher – Duckbill (40 pages)
In the age of cupcakes, croissants, pitas and pizzas, we have a humble chapati making its mark. So, what happens when the King who loves chapatis can’t have them because the royal chapati cook has quit? Well, the answer is obvious isn’t it? A grand chapati contest which will delight you while also teaching you some humble life lessons.
3. Book – Dasavatara
Author – Piyusha Vir
Age group – 7-14 yrs
Publisher – Red Panda (88 pages)
In a world where kids know more about Roman and Greek mythology thanks to all the books and movies, Dasavatara comes as a breath of fresh air. A book fantastically written and beautifully illustrated to pique the interest of kids, it strikes the right chord with this fast-paced generation and brings them back again and again to the one-and-only Lord Vishnu who can shape-shift between human and animal forms.
4. Book – The Canine Chronicles – Love & Laughter in the Times of Corona
Author – Ramendra Kumar
Age group – All ages
Publisher – Blue Pencil (77 pages)
This is a heart-warming story of a family caught in these times of pandemic. So, what’s new you ask? Well, it is the story of four plus one. The one being a six-year-old guppy as in a grown-up-puppy named Aryan. Yes, this story is told through the eyes of a drop-dead gorgeous Labrador, thoroughly loved and pampered by his fifty plus teen parents and twenty something mature adults. And of course, there is Pri, the other guppy, and our Aryan’s neighbor and friend. Instantly relatable, this goofy laugh riot is the perfect read for the whole family, not just the children.
5. Book – Along Came a Spyder
Author – Apeksha Rao
Age group – 11+ yrs
Publisher – TreeShade Books (266 pages)
Move over Nancy Drew, we have Samira Joshi making a grand entry with her aspirations to be a spy. Yes, a spy, though if her parents had their way, she would be a doctor. But how do you ignore your genes? Not only are her parents elite RAW agents but even her grandmother was in the business of tracking down wayward husbands and missing servants. Fasten your seatbelts for this fast-paced, exciting, intriguing and thrilling ride into the world of spyders.
6. Book – Why is My Hair Curly
Author – Lakshmi Iyer
Age group – 8-12 yrs
Publisher – Red Panda (144 pages)
Why is my hair curly? – That is the top-most question in Avantika’s mind especially since her Amma, Appa and her brother’s hairs are straight. She knows that her brother and she are adopted as her parents have never kept that hidden from them. But it makes Avantika wonder if her birth mom had curly hair? This sunny and light-hearted tale explores family dynamics, genetics, adoption and the courage to be ourselves in a beautiful way.
7. Book – 10 Indian Champions Who Are Trying to Save The Planet
Author – Bijal Vachharajani and Radha Rangarajan
Age group – 10-14 yrs
Publisher – Duckbill Books (120 pages)
This one is a non-fiction book and yet no less powerful, empowering and engrossing than a fiction. The books narrates the stories of ten real life heroes trying their best to save this big, blue planet of ours. Like the protagonist of any fictional book, they too came across seemingly insurmountable odds and they too forged ahead to deal with problems like food insecurity, loss of species, climate change and habitat degradation. A must-read for the younger generation but no less important for the adults to read and mend their ways so that they can leave a better planet for the coming generations.
8. Book – A Song of India
Author – Ruskin Bond
Age group – 8+ yrs
Publisher – Puffin (128 pages)
Well, the author of the book needs no introduction! His name is almost synonymous with Children’s Literature. It would suffice to say this is another gem from the treasure trove that is Ruskin Bond’s life. As a sixteen-year-old, he is all set to embark on his journey to England, a land that is unfamiliar to him to follow his dream of writing. He reminisces about the sunny shores of India and is excited to receive his first money order, make new friends and publish stories. A highly recommended read for all his fans and for others to be initiated into this wonderous world of words that only Ruskin Bond can create.
9. Book – A Quiet Girl
Author – Paro Anand
Age group – 5-7 yrs
Publisher – Duckbill Books (40 pages)
Puja was an animal person, always smiling when she was around them. She never cried or fussed, instead spent all her time with the foal takbak. But what will Puja do when takbak is sold? This easy-to-read book with its beautiful illustrations is a perfect way to inculcate the habit of reading in small children. It also is a great book to initiate interesting conversations with the younger kids.
10. Book – Friends Behind Walls
Author – Harshikaa Udasi
Age group – 7-9 yrs
Publisher – Puffin (144 pages)
Its summer vacation and Putti is off to Deolali and hopes to have a great time with his new friend Inu. But much to their horror, they are forbidden to play with each other by their parents. The kids want to know why? And that’s exactly what the friends behind walls set off to do. The book, with its easy to relate characters and dollops of humor, is the perfect way to cozy up in the bed with kids and read to them, unless of course they have finished the book while you were doing your chores. The inherent message is the book serves as an important reminder to all of us.
That brings us to the end of this illustrious list. Do share your reviews with us, and also on Amazon and Goodreads. After all, we need to encourage these amazing authors to continue writing such splendid books for us, right? And of course, if there is a book that you have read and would like to share it with us, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Article Authored By: Shweta Singh ( Website: https://shwetasbasket.com/ )
Book Picks By: Beyond the Box Team