Whichever part of India you reside in, chances are that’s it’s either raining or going to rain or just about stopped raining! Though this year’s monsoon’s has been erratic with either too little rain in some parts or too much rain in others, the rains are an integral part of not only our geography and climate, but also our cultural and literary ethos! Speaking of which, what better time to cuddle up with a book than when you are stuck indoors on a rainy day?
Here are a few rainy-day reads that offer a slice of the Indian monsoon magic for you and your children.
Ages 3-5: Pratham publications has brought out the “Ritu Chakra” series, a set of five books on Indian climatic seasons round the year, in an Early Reader format. The series showcases the climatic and cultural changes each season brings and makes an ideal gift for emergent readers. Peacocks and Pakoras by Mala Kumar, with illustrations by Priya Kuriyan features the highlights of Varsha Ritu, as monsoon season is known in Sanskrit….dark clouds, cool breeze, smell of wet rain, dancing peacocks and of course monsoon cravings for pakoras! The “Ritu Chakra” series is meant to enlighten young kids on what to expect and how to enjoy each and every season!
When your little one looks out of the window on a rainy day, what does he or she see? This is the subject of another delightful picture book for the same age group brought out by Tulika titled “Raindrops”, by Vaishali Shroff, illustrated by Ruchi Mhasane. This book presents a beautiful take on the monsoon from the perspective of a little girl named Anju who looks out of the window as the rain drenches the city. She finds the streets “dotted” with colourful umbrellas, people huddled under a tree or bus-stop shelters, and a puppy sitting under an umbrella. The soft water colour illustrations bring alive a simple story about a girl experiencing the pleasures of watching the rain from the warm comfort of her house! An ideal book to cuddle up with your little one on a wet day!
Ages 6 and above: Ruskin Bond is an iconic writer whose writings on nature have enthralled children and adults alike. When it comes to writing about the hills, the trees, and man and his run-in with nature, no one does it better than Bond! Out of his numerous children’s stories, we picked out “Angry River” that has been published as a stand-alone book with illustrations by Archana Sreenivasan. This book is also available along with other stories in “Ruskin Bond’s Children’s Omnibus” brought out by Rupa publications. “The Angry River” can now be enjoyed by younger children who are not yet proficient in reading chapter books as this story has also been recently published in an Amar Chitra Katha format along with another one of his much-loved stories, “The Blue Umbrella”