At this moment, StoryWeaver has 22,487 stories. 22,487. Let’s do some maths. If I read a story a day every day of my life, I will need over 61 years to read all those stories. That’s not even taking into account the fact that there will be many, many more stories by then.
So, here’s a list to start on that journey. This is a set of books I read recently and loved. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll read more than a story a day, so maybe you won’t need 61 years to catch up with them all.
The Manasa Series
Who doesn’t love a book series? There are three books about Manasa, and I wish there were more!
In Manasa Finds a Rainbow, Manasa boasts to her friend Titus that she has feathers of every colour. When Titus says that he will come over to see them, Manasa panics! She must find enough feathers to show Titus a proper prized collection!
There are so many stories about curly hair and A Hairy Problem is another delightful one. Why isn’t Manasa’s hair straight like a ruler? Why is it curly like jhangri? And most annoying of all, why does everyone need to point out how curly it is?
Mirrors are special. I think every writer writes about a mirror at some stage of her life. I know I did in The Story-Catcher. Who’s That in the Mirror? is a childlike exploration that many of us would identify with. Why can we never fool a mirror? How is it always so alert?
Two Books in Hindi
It’s been ages since I read in any language other than English, and I almost read these two in translation too. I’m so glad I didn’t!
चीकू is an ordinary girl with no special talent. She’s not exceptionally tall or exceptionally short. She’s just regular in every way. But there’s one thing that makes her quite special. It makes her चकाचक चीकू.
And then सबक. It is an exceptional story, so important to read with children. There’s always been that icky uncle who comes too close, asks too many questions, wants to be kissed on the cheek and gives you slobbery kisses in return. Children must read सबक, and adults must read it with them, for it reminds us to tell children that it is never, ever their fault.
I was astounded to discover that foreign children play ‘House’! How can you play ‘House’? Where’s the fun if it isn’t House-House?
But that’s just an aside. Here are two delightful stories about houses.
Malar loves building things and she sets out to build a big house of tumblers. Her source of her inspiration is on the horizon. All she needs to do is build. Accidents? What are those? Malar’s Big House made me giggle!
When I Grow Up, I’ll Have a House is all kinds of lovely. In any picture book, when the art sucks you in, the experience of reading is more joyful than ever. With the pictures and the humour, and the quirky narrator, this house – and this book are just special.
School, Environment and More
This year is unusual in so many ways. When will children have their first day of school? Especially for those who were to switch schools this year, how is that going to be?
Ikru’s First Day of School is a wordless picture book that captures it all – the highs, the lows, the fear and the excitement. It’s the kind of story that all children should explore, no matter how old they are, the day they start school.
The Right Way School reminded me, in some ways, of Matilda, except that it is for much younger children. Mrs Gambhir is like Ms Trunchbull: scary-scarier-scariest. Except that the little girl who is full of questions doesn’t seem to realise that. She doesn’t know that there is just one right way to do things at the Right Way School. And because she doesn’t know, she turns the school upside-down!
Books about the environment are always special to me. I was the kid who read an encyclopedia about the environment (Childcraft‘s Nature in Danger) cover to cover.
Manju and Hamid are playing ‘I Spy’, but as they play, they spy more and more things that should not be at the lake. Sewage, plastic, statues–everything makes them sad. Even with that sadness, I Spy a Lake! is a testament to the fact that all children are superheroes, given half a chance. They can and will act!
Asamo, is that you? defies classification. When I started reading it, I frowned. What was this story going to be like? There were surprises, page after page. The story left me with a bubble of astonishment in my throat, so I’m not going to say any more about it!
Art is Everywhere
And finally, I come to the Art is Everywhere series. There are three books in all, and each one is as fun as the next. The words and pictures made me chuckle, plus I was blown away by the power of imagination in all three. These are books that need to be read, first because they are lovely, and after that, because they allow for so much in terms of things readers can do with the books. Art really is everywhere – in food, in trash and in everyday objects – if only we stop to look!
And there you go – 14 books to begin with on StoryWeaver. With a book a day, you’re set for a fortnight. Have fun!