I was looking at your library for book suggestions which I could get for Disha. All the books are by foreign authors. I was wondering if you have any suggestions about books which are locally available by Indian authors?
– Chetana, mom of a 10-month old in Bangalore.
Before we get to books, I would like to say, first-hand experience should take priority over books and media. To explore the world and stir the imagination, experience through all five senses is vital. Secondly, storytelling is more precious than reading aloud. Of course in the early years you may add while reading anyway, especially if you are translating English books into your own language.
National Book Trust and Children’s Book Trust publish a good range of children’s titles in the major Indian languages as well as English. Mango, Tulika, Eco-Tales are some exciting new sources of quality children’s literature in India. Anveshi has published a series called Different Tales, available in Telugu, English and Malayalam.
Regionally there are a number of recommended bookstores featuring children’s books, such as Manchi Pustakam in Hyderabad, Other India Books in Goa, and Tulika in Chennai. In villages groups like AID are running children’s libraries. In cities, private libraries circulate books for a fee. Selection is small but if we patronize them it may improve. Bookworm in Goa grew through popular support and dedication of the proprietor, who encourages similar efforts in other cities. Ah to be a kid in Delhi and have access to Children’s Book Trust Library!