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Book Review of Arundhati Venkatesh's 'Bookasura' | ParentEdge


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Book Review: ‘Bookasura: The Adventures of Bala and the Book-Eating Monsters’, 5 years+

Review of BookasuraWe are approaching the end of the academic year and it’s the dreaded exam season in most parts of the country…that happens to coincide with the cricket season, much to the anxiety of ….probably not the kids but their parents! Anyway the only light at the end of the tunnel is that this phase will pass and we will soon progress into the most awaited season for kids ….vacations!  While the prospect of a temporary respite from the mad school mornings may be a reason for cheer, given the long summer breaks, parents most often find themselves fretting over how to keep their kids engaged or occupied constructively. With most households having both parents working, the kids’ holiday schedule can get even more hectic than the regular school schedule- driving them from summer workshops to art camps to sports camps and even pre-IIT JEE training programs!  Of course….there’s always an option to pack them off to their grandparents’ provided it is convenient and the grandparents are willing to share the load.

Anyway, speaking of going to grandparents’ for the holidays, a recently released book that makes a great summer read for kids aged five and above, is Arundhati Venkatesh’sBookasura” brought out by Scholastic Publications. Bookasura revolves around the adventures of Bala and his run-in with the book-eating monster. You can’t help but adore Bala, the young protagonist, who amidst his excitement over having discovered a new adventure book series, his irritation at being supposedly sidelined by the new baby at home and his utter disdain over his baby sister gobbling up some pages of his book, feels almost relieved to be sent off to his grandparents’ house for the holidays. Bala’s visit to his grandparents will remind parents of the days we used to camp at grandparents’ during the summer, with Paati vowing to fatten him during his stay with her lip-smacking delicacies and Thaatha regaling him with stories from Indian mythology. When his grandpa narrates the story of Bakasura and his defeat at the hands of Bheema, Bala finds himself encountering another monster at Navneet uncle’s Thotadaan (house with a garden), one with an insatiable appetite for books! Bala is then constrained to feed the monster many of his favourite books, with a “pun-intended” choice of titles!  But before he runs the risk of having to give up all his books, he thinks of a one-of-a-kind ploy to outwit the book-eating monster, whom he believes to have a striking resemblance to his book-eating baby sister!


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Divya Purandar is a practising advocate, wife to an IT professional and mom to an eight year old brat. She began blogging at http://divya-onestoryaday.blogspot.in/ .while living in the US as she was fascinated by the world of children’s books. The blog gave her a platform to share her reading adventures while offering a brief review of the book in question. She has also reviewed children’s books for other parenting blogs and forums. What started out as a penning down of reading experiences with her little one has turned into a journey of self discovery and a sounding board for Divya’s parental musings.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: ‘Bookasura: The Adventures of Bala and the Book-Eating Monsters’, 5 years+

  1. Kritika Srinivasan

    Wonderfully written review Divya. So many things go into writing a review that really makes you want to pick up a book and I think you have got it right! Picking a book that has an original story to tell, talking enough about it to generate interest and then leaving us hanging and eager to know what happens next!

    I am definitely picking this one up for both my daughter and me to read! I want to know how Bala deals with this Bookasura. May give me ideas on how to deal with the Bookasura I have in my own house! :)

  2. Divya Purandar

    Thank you Kritika for your encouraging words. Sometimes reviewing a book does get tricky as you don’t want to reveal too much and yet intend to give a general idea so as to make the reader want to pick it up. This is one book I so enjoyed and didn’t know where to draw the line as I might run the risk of giving too much info!:-) I am glad that you want to pick this one…….this is a sure must -read!


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