Title: Nimmi’s Crawful Camping Days
Author: Shabnam Minwalla
Publisher: Talking Cub
Price: Rs 250
For a young person (read: child) who likes stories, this is a rollicking one. Even for a child who’s not that into books, Nimmi Daruwala’s adventures are a sure-fire entertainer that’s even better than television. There are school stories, there are camping stories, and then there are all-out adventure stories. Imagine the fun if all three are combined. That’s just what Shabnam Minwalla has done in this instalment of the continuing adventures of Nimmi Daruwala.
If you’re already familiar with Nimmi’s exploits (as witnessed in Nimmi’s Spectabulous Schooldays), carry on and enjoy the next round of high-jinks with her and her friends. And if this is the first Nimmi book you’re picking up, well — welcome to a world of laughs, thrills and crazy capers.
In this book, school principal Mr Bakshi sends the class to a team-building camp on the outskirts of Mumbai, hoping that the students will learn to work together. In Nimmi’s words, this is “crazy + awful = crawful” but it’s just going to get worse — or better, depending on how you see it. Nimmi’s classmates are convinced that a serial killer is on the loose, and then there are potential vegetarian-hating cannibals around, too. Add to the mix rats, rain, sodden sleeping bags which capture their occupants, and a collapsing tent…
And yet, in the middle of what sounds like a mess, the school friends still manage to have fun, solve mysteries, tackle mean girls and even turn mess into message! Somehow, the principal’s aim of getting the 12-year-olds to bond actually works out.
Those of us parents, grandparents and aunts/ uncles who remember the school stories of our childhood will be happy that this generation has their own equivalent, much better because it’s set in India and is relatable. In the adept hands of the former journalist and writer Shabnam Minwalla, the characters and personalities come to life on the pages.
An absorbing, entertaining adventure story, this is just right for children 10-11 and above.