As an adult, one of my most favourite things about reading books is the ability it has to take me on a journey anywhere in time and anywhere around the world.
It has the same ability for kids.
We were at the Royal Ontario Museum the other day for their current exhibit:
Both kids loved seeing the life-size elephant and horses in their Royal regalia. They also loved the story the teacher told during our ROM Kids Jr session. Don’t know what ROM Kids Jr is? Check out my love for it HERE
The afternoon inspired me to seek more kids books about India so we could take a ‘trip’ there and then go have some curry and ladoos.
Here are my picks for this week’s escape to India!
by Kabir Sehgal & Surishtha Sehgal with pictures by Jess Golden
This mother and son (CUTE) duo are responsible for quite a few fantastic books about India – namely one about the Festival of Holi and the Festival of Raksha Bandhan. They have one coming out this November that looks wonderful:
I really enjoy this book that, if you guessed, is a retelling of the popular song – The Wheels on the Bus. Instead of a bus, we meet a tuk tuk with the tuk tuk wala (driver) and new verses that include rupees going ‘ching ching ching” and passengers saying ‘Namaste-ji”. Our favourite page was when the passengers ate poppa-poppa-dons.
I love it and my kids were singing the verses from this book hours later as opposed to the version they know so well.
by Emily Haynes and Sanjay Patel
This is a retelling of a famous story about Ganesha scribing the Hindu epic poem Mahabharata.
So yeah. I didn’t know any of that until I read the book and have zero clue what the Mahabharata is.
The funny twist is that Ganesha is a God with a SWEET TOOTH and breaks her tusk on a giant jawbreaker ladoo and discovers she can write with her tusk.
We love love love the bright illustrations in this book – Patel is an animator for Pixar so you can expect only the best and brightest illustrations.
So now we are going out in search of ladoos to try. Although I might just get my favourite: Gulab jamun.
by Varsha Bajaj with pictures by Robert Crawford
You may have seen this Discover the World series for other countries. They are great (although often wordy for younger kids) introductions to different countries around the world.
This one is no different. We go to Mumbai, we go to a market where we smell garam masala, and we journey into the Himalayas. I like the book for me let alone the kids.
by Chloe Perkins and Archana Sreenivasan
I adore this series – Once Upon a World! Have you seen it? They are re-tellings of fairytales but illustrated in a new multicultural way. So yes, they are the same old sexist fairytales where princes save princesses (ha ha – I have read some pretty harsh feminist reviews) but they take you to Japan, Puerto Rico and, in this case, India.
I love the illustrations and that is what we focus more on that a girl who is saved by a prince. She’s smart, brave and plays the sitar. All while wearing a gorgeous saree. We actually used this book at the ROM to find items on display that were in the story – the kids loved it.
I hope this list encourages you to take a trip to India without leaving your home (unless it’s to go get some chicken Korma and poppadoms)!