Free Press Journal

From Vibhuti Cat to The Ammuchi Puchi: Books to help your little ones grow


Vibhuti Cat
Magesh is different from other children. He is no good with words. And when he is misunderstood he gets upset and his movements get jerky. But there are two things he loves: playing with his brother Vignesh, and his Vibhuti Cat. But what will happen when Magesh starts going to school? Will he take Vibhuti cat along? A poignant tale of child’s psyche, this book is both fun and moral science lesson.

Author: Shikhandin
Illustrator: Shubham Lakhera
Publisher: Duckbill
Price: Rs 299

Rebel with a paintbrush
An artist? A dreamer? A rebel? Who exactly was Amrita Sher-Gil? She was a little bit of all these things, really. Amrita grew up with a great sense of mischief and adventure in two very different worlds, in a village near Budapest, Hungary, and among the cool, green hills of colonial Simla. She defied headmistresses, teachers, art critics and royalty to make her own determined way in the world of grown-ups and art. Join her on a journey through her life, a journey that takes her family through World Wars and political turmoil as they travel in pursuit of love, a home and a modern, artistic education for Amrita!

Author: Anita Vachharajani
Illustrations: Kalyani Ganapathy
Publisher: HarperCollins
Price: Rs 699

Ranji and the Music Maker
Was this what it was like to be a rock star? Except that pop singer were usually followed by people, not cats. In the middle of his languid holiday, idle young Ranji stumbles upon assorted musical instruments in the storeroom-first a shrill flute, then a blaring little trumpet and, finally, a too-big drum that may have once sounded a battle march. He stages impromptu concerts down the road, not sparing his neighbours, nor the cats around his porch, nor the peace-loving inhabitants of the zoo! But all Ranji’s really seeking is a friend who will hear the magic in his din. Lyrical and stunningly illustrated, this is a funny story of forging bonds and the simple joys from India’s favourite teller of tales.

Author: Ruskin Bond
Illustrations: Sayan Mukherjee
Publisher: Puffin
Price: Rs 150

A Firefly in the Dark
Sharmeen’s life is disrupted when, after an unexpected tragedy, she moves into her Nani’s rambling ancestral bungalow with her family. She hates this new life: her mother, Aliya, and Nani fight constantly; her new schoolmates bully her; and the family retainer, her loving Aziz Bhai, suddenly becomes dominating. The only place where Sharmeen finds solace is the world of Nani’s fantastical stories: tales of Jinn, shapeshifters and other dastardly creatures. But slowly, unseen forces that had lain dormant for centuries start to awaken. Sharmeen meets her own personal Jinn, the prankster Jugnu, who reveals her family’s history, a pact one of her ancestors made with the Jinn-world, and also some not-so-good news — and Sharmeen realizes that it is up to her to rescue the adults in her life… Mysterious, magical and moving, A Firefly in the Dark is a page-turner and a work of fantasy and soaring imagination that will delight readers of all ages.

Author: Shazaf Fatima Haider
Publisher: Talking Cub
Price: Rs 299

The Ammuchi Puchi
When Anjali and I were really little, we were sort of afraid of our grandmother, Ammuchi . . .’ Aditya and Anjali love listening to their grandmother’s stories, particularly the scary one about the ghost in the tree. But the night their grandmother passes away, all her stories seem to lose their meaning. Then something happens that is more mysterious and magical than any story.

Could their grandmother still be with them after all? Stunningly illustrated and told in gorgeous poetic prose, this is a poignant and moving story about bereavement and healing.

Author: Sharanya Manivannan
Publisher: Puffin
Price: Rs 199