December 9, 2022

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

New Releases – Children’s Day Special 2022

10 min read

New Releases for children and young readers on the occasion of Children’s Day (Includes some released and some soon-to-release titles)

Catch that Moustache Thief! by Sukumar Ray; translated by Sudeshna Shome Ghosh, illustrated by Pankaj Saikia

About the Book

The Big Boss in the office is sure that his precious moustaches are gone— stolen! Everyone tells him this is impossible. But will he believe them?

Sukumar Ray’s hilarious and iconic Bengali nonsense poem Gonph Churi appears in a brand-new form in this translation with witty and comic illustrations by Pankaj Saikia that will have readers laughing…and wondering: can anyone steal a moustache?

About the Author

Sukumar Ray was a poet, short-story writer and playwright who wrote in Bengali mainly for children. His works such as the collection of nonsense poems Abol Tabol, novella Hojoborolo, short story collectionPagla Dashu and play Chalachittachanchari are considered some of the finest writing for children in the world.

Pankaj Saikia is an illustrator and visual storyteller hailing from Assam. He has authored and illustrated two picture books and illustrated many others.

Sudeshna Shome Ghosh is an editor, publisher, translator and children’s librarian.


Dancing with the Birds, written and illustrated by Bulbul Sharma

About the Book

Have you ever tried to dance with birds? The grumbling little lorikeet, the owl who can move his head every way, the woodpecker with the rhythmic pecking, the quarrelsome crow and the fierce eagle.

Dance your way into a colourful and magical world of birds in this beautifully illustrated poetry book by artist and writer Bulbul Sharma.

About the Author

Bulbul Sharma is a writer and an artist. She teaches art to children with special needs. She is the author of a number of books for adults and children. She lives mostly in the hills where she loves going on birdwatching and talking-to-trees excursions.


 Gulgul in Papadom by Ashok Rajagopalan

About the Book

Papadom is a planet of food. Here Kitch-hens, or Chef Hens, cook all the food. Gulgul meets Bhel Puri and Pani Puri, the main Kitch-hens, and comes to know the wonderful story of the Great Mother Hen.

But what will happen when Gulgul finds out that she is the Chosen Hen? Can she make sweet gulguls as round and sweet as herself? Will she be able to dodge the gourd dogs and get all the ingredients?

This madly clever and deliciously funny adventure will leave readers chortling and gurgling for days.

About the Author

Ashok Rajagopalan’s main aim in life is to make people, especially little people, laugh. He has been doing this since 1989, by writing and illustrating picture books, chapter books, comics and magazine pages. He lives in a quiet part of Chennai with his family and books.


 The Magic Couch: Adventures with Thatha by Shilpa Rao, illustrated by Sahitya Rani

About the Book

Thatha may look old, but once the magic couch starts flying, he is the best partner to have. Sitting on the couch, the little boy and his grandfather have all kinds of escapades that take them from the icy mountains of Ladakh to the sugarcane fields of Mandya, from a mission to explore Mars to diving deep into the waters of the Bay of Bengal. Along the way they meet all kinds of exciting creatures: leopards, clownfish, turtles, and so much more!

A celebration of the precious bond that children share with grandparents, The Magic Couch is the perfect book to set curious young minds buzzing with information and ideas.

About the Author

Shilpa Rao is a full-time mom and a part-time development finance professional. She loves nothing more than to cuddle up on a couch and read quirky books with her five-year-old son, Neel. On weekends, she can be found lazing in Cubbon Park, gardening in her little balcony, being the sous chef to Neel’s cooking experiments or going on long drives around Bangalore’s outskirts.

Sahitya Rani is an artist based in Mumbai. While not illustrating children’s books and comics she’s usually sipping on filter coffee, watching anime and drawing fantasy worlds full of runaway monsters, enchanted basements with curious children and their imaginary friends.


Grandfather’s Tiger Tales by Anjana Basu, illustrated by Aaryama Somayji

About the Book

Dadubhai loves to tell stories about tigers and forests. After all, he has roamed around the forests of India for years. In Grandfather’s Tiger Tales, he relates some hair-raising stories about tigers—both real ones and those from myths and legends.

In one, a tiger decides to drop in as a guest during a cricket match, sending both the cricketers and the audience into panic. In another story, while a fearsome storm rages in the Sundarbans, a man and a tiger take refuge together in a little hut. He also narrates the legend of Bon Bibi, the saviour of the people of the Sundarbans and her battle with the fearsome tiger-adversary, Dakshin Ray.

Riveting and entertaining, these tales bring alive the tiger’s majesty and beauty, while also showing young readers the importance of learning to respect animals in the wild.

About the Author

Anjana Basu works as an advertising consultant in Kolkata. She writes stories and features in the local newspapers and for Outlook and Statesman. She is the author of a number of novels,children’s books and short story collections. Some of her books for children include In the Shadow of the Leaves, Leopard in the Laboratory, Eighteen Tides and a Tiger, Hide and Seek Tiger, Lockdown Tiger and Chinku and the Wolfboy. In 2004, she was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship in Scotland where she worked on her second novel, Black Tongue.

Aaryama Somayaji studied Communication Design at the National Institute of Design, Vijayawada. She draws to survive, reads for herself, and eats to stay happy. Illustrating for children is her way of giving back the joy she had as a child. She can usually be found reading in her room or looking at cat videos on the Internet.


Gulgul in Saregamma by Ashok Rajagopalan

About the Book

Gulgul is on a school trip with her friends, and they land in Saregamma. Here, Gaanaguru, the Grand Maestro, runs a music school where exotic creatures like pink bulls, white herons, flying niliphants and more, sing the notes and make beautiful music.

But what will happen when Nisha the flying jumbo niliphant decides she no longer wants to be a student? How will the songs be made without anyone to sing the note Ni? Can Gulgul find a way to bring Nisha back for the final concert?

Sweet and warm as a song, Gulgul in Saregamma is fresh and joyous—like a perfectly sung note of music.

About the Author

Ashok Rajagopalan’s main aim in life is to make people, especially little people, laugh. He has been doing this since 1989, by writing and illustrating picture books, chapter books, comics and magazine pages. He lives in a quiet part of Chennai with his family and books.


 Two Funny Poems: In a Strange Cafe, If Mice could Road by Ruskin Bond.

About the Book

What will happen if you go to a strange café where you are offered a soup with a fly, a curry with a beetle, and a yummy dish of crow’s feet? Will you eat, or will you run away quickly from there? Find out, in Ruskin Bond’s hilarious poem ‘In A Strange Café’.

In ‘If Mice Could Roar’ we wonder what will happen if tigers eat biscuits, teachers get lost in the post, and if instead of bullets, flowers came out of guns. Wouldn’t all this make this world a better place?

Ruskin Bond’s tender words and impish wit come alive in these two poems, accompanied by joyful illustrations that will make Two Funny Poems a collection to treasure forever.

About the Author

Ruskin Bond is the author of numerous novellas, short-story collections and non-fiction books, many of them classics. Among them are When I Was a Boy, Lone Fox Dancing, The Room on the Roof, A Flight of Pigeons, and A Book of Simple Living. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1993, the Padma Shri in 1999 and the Padma Bhushan in 2014.

Pankaj Saikia is an illustrator and visual storyteller hailing from Assam. He has authored and illustrated two picture books and illustrated many others.


Gulgul in Parapara by Ashok Rajagopalan

About the Book

Dinny, Gulgul’s cousin, loves collecting bird feathers. When Gulgul visits Dinny, her Aunt Jinny decides to take them to the planet P4R4P4R4 (Parapara) to find some rare keypock feathers. But wherever Gulgul goes, there is sure to be a super exciting adventure! Parapara is a collection of many small planets and moons on which live birds of all shapes and sizes. When they land on Greenpara, they meet the bird Win King, and her three children Coo King, Thin King and Blin King who tell them where to find keypocks. But on the way, they are kidnapped by giant parrots as big as horses. Will they be able to escape? Who will come to their rescue? Will Jinny, Dinny and Gulgul find a way to get back home with their feathers intact? Ashok Rajagopalan, creator of the bestselling Gajapati Kulapati books, brings his trademark wacky humour to a new series filled with adventure, friendship and fun. Filled with funny birds and an even funnier aunt, the third book in The Adventures of Gulgul series will have you tweeting and squawking and hooting with laughter!

About the Author

Ashok Rajagopalan’s main aim in life is to make people, especially little people, laugh. He has been doing this since 1989, by writing and illustrating picture books, chapter books, comics and magazine pages. He lives in a quiet part of Chennai with his family and books.


Thammi’s Gift by by Himani Dalmia (Author), Priya Kuriyan (Illustrator)

About the Book

Five-year-old Devika does not want to start at a new school. As the anxiety looms over her, she is paid a surprise visit. Her grandmother, Thammi, who “became a star” two years ago, sweeps her off on a magical journey. Their adventures lead Devika to overcome her fears, as she discovers the healing power of books, libraries and doing what one loves.

This book takes inspiration from the true story of pioneering Indian librarian, Bandana Sen. After creating monumental reading spaces in schools all her life, the last library she built was for her granddaughters at their home.

A reassuring book for children coping with transitions like starting school or losing a grandparent.

About the Author

Himani Dalmia is mamma to two little read-o-sauruses, Devika and Yamini, in addition to three dogs and several fish. When she isn’t reading to all of them, she is cooking up stories on her laptop or helping little ones sleep better as a baby and toddler sleep specialist. She is the author of Life is Perfect, a novel for adults, and co-author of Sleeping Like a Baby: The Art & Science of Gentle Baby Sleep, a bedside companion for parents of 0-5 year olds. She is co-founder of the large parenting community, Gentle Baby Sleep India, and a leader of the La Leche League. She earned a Master’s in South Asian Literature from the University of Oxford after graduating with Honours in English from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University. Married to her high school sweetheart, Akash Premsen, Himani had a front-row seat to her super cool mother-in-law Bandana Sen’s work in the field of children’s libraries for two decades. As a parent counsellor, Himani is a staunch advocate of the power of children’s literature to inspire, inform, heal and nourish.

Priya Kuriyan is a children’s book writer-illustrator and comics maker. She has directed educational films for the Sesame Street show (India) and the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI) and has illustrated numerous children’s books for publishers like Tulika Books, Karadi Tales, Eklavya, HarperCollins, Scholastic and Penguin books. Her work has appeared in publications like the Mint Lounge, The Indian Express, The Indian Quarterly and The Hindu Business Line. In 2019, she won the ‘Big Little Book Award‘ instituted by Parag, an initiative of Tata Trusts to recognize her contribution to children’s literature in India. She lives and works in the city of Bangalore, and in her spare time likes to make funny caricatures of its residents.


If you are interested in reviewing any of these titles, please write to editor@kitaabinternational.com.