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Book Review: Summer Reads for different age groups


The summer holidays are a great time to get your kids to read. With many libraries and activity centers setting up reading programs for kids of different age groups…it’s time to explore the written word too. Coinciding with the World Book Week that is celebrated between May 4th to 10th, I picked up three books for different age groups featuring different summer-time activities!

KikiTo start with, there’s “Kiki’s summer holidays” for kids between the ages 3-6, authored by Radha H.S, in an Early Reader format presented in Rebus style. An interesting read for children beginning to read on their own, this is a collection of four interesting stories, narrated in Rebus style, on Kiki’s adventures during summer holidays spent along with grandparents. A Rebus Story uses pictures or symbols to represent a word or a part of the word.  This early reader  series brought out by Unisun publications has colourfully illustrated key nouns, striking visuals and narratives that incorporate repetition and reinforcement to ensure learning while encouraging creativity. All stories also carry an important message on conservation of essential resources like water and electricity, recycling, and keeping the environment clean. So let your early reader follow Kiki through his well intentioned efforts to conserve water by filling every shoe in his grandparents’ house with water in “Kiki is Helpful” or as his grandfather teaches him to make a new toy out of old and unused articles in “Kiki’s new toy” or our personal favourite when Kiki learns a lesson the hard way….“A very hot night” wherein Kiki’s negligence in leaving the lights and fan on, exhausting the battery back-up of their UPS on a day that was later discovered to be “No Electricity day” had them sweating the whole night!  More so….as summer also brings in more “No electricity days” in many parts of the country!

RadhikaSummer is also a time to hit the swimming pool…or soak up some sunshine on the beach…or indulge in any water-based activity! “Radhika takes the Plunge” by Ken Spillman and illustrated by Anu Biswas is a chapter book brought out by Young Zubaan publications. The story revolves around Radhika who in her attempt to adjust to her new surroundings in Perth post their move from Delhi, is hell bent on learning/going swimming with her friend and her dad, if only her perpetually worrying mother would let her. Finally Radhika cannot believe her luck as her mother gives in, only to realize that swimming isn’t simple as she thought….as she feels jinxed by her mother’s warning her that she is nowhere close to a fish!  But amidst the peer pressure, pressure of fitting into a new environment, suffering through the ensuing embarrassment and dealing with an ever-nervous mom, read on as Radhika does learn a thing or two about coping with fear! With pictures by the high school student Anu Biswas that best illustrate the travails of a tween caught in the motions of carving out her own identity in a new place, and printed content in a running handwriting font ….this is an amusing story that most kids aged seven and above can relate to. So let your young reader take the plunge with Radhika this summer!

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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.


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