For any book-lover it is always a great (voyeuristic?) pleasure to know what books and authors have their own favourite writers loved and cherished. We assume that writers must have been readers (and it’s true of most cases).
We take a peek into some books written by well-known authors, that give us a window into the books and authors that they in-turn have cherished during the course of their lives.
The heavy tome has a wealth of information: 20 years of letters, essays, reflections, and interviews, coming from a writer whose books have been immensely successful, but who yet, as a person remains elusive to the media. Her readers do deserve to know more about her, including her choice to remain anonymous, which she explains in the book. However, we are scouting for writers and works that have moved her in some way. Spaced throughout the book, in different forms are mentions of books and authors who have left a deep impression on her. She highlights literary influences-not only the books that she enjoys but also the themes that she seeks from them, time and again.
Tharoor’s literary pursuits could well deserve a tome to themselves. We may know him as a diplomat and politician, and right now he may be in the news for a variety of reasons, but, this is the book where you see him as a reader, writer and lover of literature. This collection of essays chronicles his thoughts and opinions on a variety of literary subjects, including authors he loves (and dislikes!), anecdotes, literary criticism, reviews, themes from his own fiction and so on. Refreshingly, he also talks about books he read as a child..right from the good old Enid Blytons to the Hardy Boys series! His brutally honest comments on books and authors, both contemporary and of the past, make this book a treasure-trove for those with a literary bent.
In his characteristic style, Bond weaves the story of his life with the mention of books and authors who influenced him at varied stages. He goes beyond the mere mention of books that left an indelible impression on him as a writer. He also includes, quite generously, extracts from them. You can take a break from his interesting ramblings and lose yourself in another work of fiction, till he draws you back to the next chapter and continues his anecdotes.
Written in an easy, ruminative and conversational style, this is a collection of essays where books, writers, book events and literary titbits jostle with personal anecdotes, observations, random musings and trivia. She makes generous use of footnotes and quotes which account for some nice “literary diversions”. You’ll almost feel as if you are talking to a friend, who is dropping names of interesting books and writers as well as literary trivia, as you chat on about a host of topics!
This is but a glimpse of a few books where authors have revealed partly or focused solely upon the books that have made a difference in their lives. There are bound to be more, and undoubtedly they will continue to enthral readers who want to know a little bit more about their favourite writer’s reading habits!
Once children hit their teens, parents often struggle to understand what kinds of meaningful books they could recommend to their children. While most teens have a great selection of classics as well as modern popular fiction t dip into, here’s a little peek into some modern powerful fiction books for young adults.
Encourage your teenagers to read these books, and expand their world view!
The agitation by Dongria Kondhs in Niyamgiri area of Odisha inspires Year of the Weeds by Siddhartha Sarma, a powerful novel about the fight for survival. Told simply and with great humour, Year of the Weeds is a timeless read. Though the novel is written with the young adult readership in mind, it transcends the barriers of age, and is relevant as a human story.
Read our interview with the author here.
The Lies We Tell by Himanjali Sankar is a YA novel in touch with the pulse of young adults today. Irfan, Uma and Rishi are ‘besties’, until they form the proverbial love triangle. Uma breaks up with Irfan and starts seeing Rishi. But then, someone circulates an image of Uma. Naturally, Irfan is the suspect. Sounds predictable? Well, hold on because this is not a frivolous love story talking of puppy love! What follows is an intense tale of human emotions, with unpredictable twists and turns.
A sense of suspense catches the reader right in the middle of the book. Who has sent a picture of Uma to a group of boys in the class? The climax is poignant and the entire narrative has been very beautifully crafted!
Read a detailed review of the book here.
“When Morning Comes” by Arushi Raina narrates a fictionalized account of the turmoil of the Soweto Uprising in South Africa. It was on June 16th, in the year 1976, when school students in the Soweto township in Johannesburg, South Africa, began a series of protests and demonstrations against some very oppressive educational policies of the government. Those were the days of an apartheid government.
The uprising is central to the story that is narrated from four different points of view: Zanele, a black girl; Jack, a white South African boy, Thabo, a thug and Meena, an Indian girl. The narratives spin the story forward to its conclusion, though never losing sight of the central theme. “When Morning Comes” by Arushi Raina reasserts the power of the youth to effect change in a world that is increasingly being torn down by violence.
Read an interview with the author here.
Starr, the young black protagonist of The Hate U Give is just a normal teenager until one event changes her life completely. A white police officer shoots her unarmed best friend. Following his death, Starr struggles to come to grips with the situation. The debut young adult novel is a timely look at some realities of our world right now- of which teenagers are very much a part of.
This is a poignant story that deals with a conflict faced by a young teenager, in a social setting that young adults all over the world can identify with. Even if the incidents described in The Hate U Give happened in the USA, thematically and emotionally it is a novel that will connect with all people across cultures and social scenarios. In my opinion, it is a book that adults would love to read as well!
Read a full review here.
Queen of Ice is the moving story of Didda, a lame princess, who against numerous odds, goes on to become the powerful queen of prosperous Kashmira during the early medieval time of Indian history.
A wonderful thing about this book is that it takes one through a gamut of emotions for Didda from start to finish. You alternately feel pity, pride, love and hate for Didda in various portions of the book. What impresses about this book is Didda’s character. She rises above the two greatest weaknesses as perceived in those times – being a female and a cripple. She is neither victimized nor hiding behind her disability. She takes charge of her life and turns it around. She is flawed but neither proud of the flaws nor does she try to find excuses for them. Her story helps us draw a parallel with the Indian woman of today who would go places keeping Didda’s determination in mind.
It beautifully describes how an emotional girl who is easily affected by her father’s rejection evolves into an aloof and cold-blooded woman who does not let anything stand in her way to “greatness”. And yet, there is a deeply human quality about her. A refreshingly different heroine in a poignant read….
Read more about the book here.
These are wonderful books that will meaningfully stretch a young growing mind! These powerful fiction books for young adults must have a place on your bookshelves!
This article presents a unique point of view about Japan. A country can mean different things to different people but there are some common things that encompass what it means to be Japanese. Indeed, there are various philosophies that are indigenous to the Japanese way of thinking. Maybe we can learn a thing or two about the good life- the Japanese way!
Ikigai refers to your sense of purpose, or meaning in life. It is the reason for being. Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles break down the ten rules that can help anyone find their own ikigai. The authors interviewed more than a hundred villagers from the Japanese island of Okinawa, the place that has made ikigai quite popular. It hosts the largest population of centenarians in the world. well, read this one to uncover how to find your sense of purpose, and thereby, live healthier and better!
Well, this may not really be a traditional Japanese philosophy per se, but Marie Kondo has taken the world by storm with the KonMari method of decluttering. The philosophy of ‘Spark Joy’, also the title of her first book has changed lives. Read more about what we can glean from Kondo here. It basically is an organising method where you keep things that spark joy for you, and discard the rest. There are rituals surrounding the ‘discarding’ by ‘thanking’ the ‘things’ for having played a role in your life.
Wabi-Sabi is an ancient Japanese philosophy focused on accepting the imperfect and transient nature of life. The concept has its roots in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. The aesthetic of wabi-sabi pervades art, architecture, fashion and many areas of life.
The very term itself brings forth rushes of images of being literary bathed in nature’s bounty! Shinrin-yoku is the Japanese term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” Developed in Japan during the 1980s, it has found application in many therapies. There is also a huge body of scientific research that supports this school of thought. Even merely visiting a place where nature is paramount and relaxing or walking about there, can lead to several restorative benefits.
An inherent Japanese philosophy of life pervades the most basic of things. There are many beautiful Japanese concepts that can teach us a thing or two about life and living. Some books in fact, talk about a general “Japanese” way of live. For example, the book, Japonisme: Ikigai, Forest Bathing, Wabi-Sabi and more by Erin Longhurst talks about all these concepts together. Another book, part-memoir, part exploration of life in Japan, is the recently released “Autumn Light” by Pico Iyer. In this book, he explores the season of Autumn, and the beauty thereof of endings…read the review of this beautifully written book here. While it takes you down through the memoir path, the Japanese way of life is a running theme throughout.
Even a short visit to Japan can show you these philosophies in practice. If not, you could always pick a book or two from this list!
What book could you possibly “read” to a new-born? The answer- High Contrast books. These are books which have been found to be quite engaging to young eyes.
The reason behind this? Infants have some limitations to their vision. They respond very well to strong black and white patterns. These high contrast patterns help them to focus and concentrate intensely on one stimulus. This is a favourable choice, as compared to being overwhelmed with several stimuli.
Hence, high-contrast geometric patterns work best for babies. How do we know all this? Research by developmental psychologists have illuminated this fact time and again. Dr. Robert Fantz conducted a study in the 1960s where infants looked at selected stimuli through a peephole. He concluded that the eyes of the babies travelled consistently more to a patterned black and white checkerboard as compared to a plain grey visual stimulus.
The rods and cones of the child’s retina are still to mature. Hence, till they are between 6-9 months old, black and white high contrast books or flash cards work really well. There are many things that a baby can do at birth, which is enhanced by exposure or ‘reading’ high contrast books. For example, the baby can see clearly and ‘fix’ its sight or gaze on something that interests it. Repeated exposure increases attention span, leading to a greater stimulation of the brain pathway.
If something appeals to the new-born, it will ‘track’ or follow the object with its eyes. Try this out with high contrast books! Tracking is also quite an important skill. It teaches the child that objects move places but still remain the same. A natural step from here is scanning, when the child tracks a series of objects in his environment.
These high contrast books will be great tools during the first year of your child’s tryst with this world!
Look, Look! By Peter Linenthal is perfect for staring at!
Merry Christmas: A Black and White Baby Book by Adam Harris contains 24 illustrations perfect for newborns. The Christmas theme makes it a good gift as well!
Cluck and Moo by Frida Bing focuses on animal sounds. This makes it quite fascinating for babies!
Baby Animals Black and White by Phyllis Limbacher Tildes gets up and close with eight baby animals. Animal pictures always appeal to babies!
Pictures for Baby: High-Contrast Images to Stimulate Your Baby’s Brain by Lee Larsen has some really whacky images like that of an alien…adds to the fun element!
Hello Baby: Mirror Board Book, A High-Contrast Mirror Book by Roger Priddy works well because of the addition of the mirror on the last page. This can be seen through the peep-holes on all the pages. Just adds to the fun!
Art as a subject is not something that we as parents may be entirely comfortable with, or knowledgeable about. When it comes to teaching our kids about great Indian artists, we may find that we lack information ourselves. However, it is essential that we expose children to the very rich and diverse world of Indian art and artists.
Why should our children know about Indian artists? The popularity of Indian artists is not restricted to India alone. Indian art has been revered over the world for centuries, and continues to be so even today. Children must know of the modern masters that their country has created! It makes them aware of their heritage and culture. This is not something they will find in a history book, but it is something that is still very much a part of their culture.
An experience in art in form of looking at the life and works of an artist is a way of opening up the mind to creative thought. Art education and appreciation helps to understand human experience, emotions and thoughts.
What was the genesis of Raza’s obsession with the Bindu? How did a simple dot become a defining factor? This book takes us through the childhood of one of the most famous painters of our times. It introduces children not only to his life story but also the themes of his works. The book is interactive and contains several fold out pages that enable the child to become more ‘hands-on’ with the book as he or she delves into the world of Raza!
This is a set of four books that talk about Indian artists. However, these books introduce the masters in form of a story, where a young protagonist encounters the artist and interacts with him or her. Fact and biography meet fiction and the delightfully woven tale makes the child feel as if he has met an artist friend! The books feature interesting illustrations as well as reproductions of the paintings by the artists.
In Barefoot Hussain, the young Jai offers to help the artist find his shoes when he loses them. The fun story follows the duo as the reader learns of vignettes and stories and works of the master’s life.
In A Trail of Paint, Biswajit is dragged unwillingly on a culture trip, to an exhibition of Jamini Roy’s paintings. Once there, however, an encounter with an old man leads him to an intriguing discovery of fakes and forgers, down Kolkata’s by lanes!
In My Name is Amrita, the dairy narrative is used. The book reads like Amrita Sher-Gil’s diary, and is interspersed with photographs and paintings.
In Ravi Varma: The Veena Player, a young girl, Valsa is helping her aunt restore a painting when she befriends the subject of the painting- the Veena player. Through this uncanny friendship she learns about the artist Ravi Varma!
This book beautifully chronicles the life of a multifaceted artist, who unfortunately died young. She was an artist, a dreamer and a rebel! Who exactly was Amrita Sher-Gil? She was a little bit of all these things, really. Her roots touched Hungary, as well as colonial Shimla. This book is relatively detailed and is filled with many images, sketches and photographs, all complementing the text so beautifully and literally bringing the artist alive on the pages. Divided into chapters, the book brings out how her childhood experiences and travels shaped her personality and work.
Amrita Sher-Gil: Rebel with a Paintbrush looks at her work in the context of the times she lived in, including many key world events. The book is organised well. The text gives information on Amrita and her life, while boxes of related information such as political and artistic movements of the times is also woven around. Many of the photographs have been taken by her father, who was one of the finest photographers in India. Her beautiful paintings are spread throughout the book. This one is for keeps, and also makes a great gifting option to a child who is fond of art.
Anyone dealing with children knows that when information is presented in the form of a story or in an interactive way, children are extremely receptive and enthusiastic. These books present the lives and works of renowned Indian artists in an extremely simple, interesting and accessible way. Do indulge in these books introducing Indian artists to children!
For many of us, it seems a lifetime ago when we maintained a diary, or jotted down a few thoughts, or indulged in a little journal therapy. Our lives have been made easier (?) by gadgets, but the lure of writing or expressing oneself in a diary is irresistible, not to mention quite effect, handy and practical as well! Journaling, whether to pen down private thoughts, experiment with art or organise one’s self is making a stellar comeback. You need only look at the breath-taking images from journals on apps like Instagram and Pinterest for proof of some fantabulous work out there!
Bookedforlife rounds up a list of different types of journals that are popular today. Are you all set for a new journaling adventure?
This is the most quintessential and traditional type of journal where you just note down your thoughts. Julia Cameron introduced the idea of “The Morning Pages” in her timeless book on creativity: The Artist’s Way. The morning pages are longhand stream of consciousness writing to be written the first thing every morning. Over a period of time, Cameron believes, and many creative people corroborate, that this process works on the inner creativity. The process of writing morning pages will enhance your creativity and insight. In The 5AM Club, author Robin Sharma talks about the benefits of maintaining daily diaries to be used for reflection in a specially designed slot for the same every morning.
Your reflection journal will be one where you note down your deepest thoughts, musings and reflections. Not only will you feel light at heart, but it will help you magically sort through many issues that you may be facing at the moment.
Point to note: You may choose from a selection of lined journals with thicker pages that stand the test of time.
You may want to note down information and thoughts about specific hobbies and activities. Jotting down details about your plants and garden tips in a gardening journal, or noting recipes in a recipe book or maybe maintaining a record of books you have read; all these are specific journals for specific purposes.
One of the most popular categories here are travel journals. Traveling is a passion for many people. What could be better than noting down memories as you travel complete with little knick-knacks and adding on a few pictures later on? Many of us do not print pictures anymore. Our travels are chronicled online on social media and remain on our computer drives. However, if you are a passionate traveller you may want to note down your thoughts and experiences and capture it in a travel journal. If you’re a nature buff you must have a look at Ruskin Bond’s journals, which you will find tailor-made for anyone who adores nature!
Point to note: There are several tailor-made journals available for specific purposes. Some of these have interesting information and nuggets related to the topic in question.
Sometimes we want to write a journal in order to chronicle our thoughts for a particular person who is important to us, and then gift the journal to them at an appropriate occasion. I wrote a little diary for my parents and gifted the same to them the day I got married and left their home. I know that they cherish the journal! I have written a journal noting down the little details about my pregnancy and year one of my son. There is another ongoing one for him, where I have put in random musings and I plan to gift it to him on his sixteenth birthday.
Point to note: These journals are written with a view to gifting someone else with your thoughts. The design could be slightly fancy and aesthetically appealing keeping in mind the linking of the receiver.
BuJo or Bullet Journaling is quite a rage now! Despite the availability of several scheduling and organising apps, the simple act of putting pen to paper for scheduling still has many takers. Bullet Journaling will help you to organise your time and thoughts in a manner that suits you best. The system is very personal and evolves for you as you use it. While you can read more about the how-to of the process here, you may also seek inspiration from beautifully done up journal pictures online. You can start off with any simple notebook or journal. However, if you want something more inspiring and prettier and adaptable to the BuJo spirit, I would recommend dotted paper notebooks.
Point to note: Dotted notebooks offer a lot of flexibility for Bullet journaling.
Give a free reign to your creativity by executing different art projects in your art journal. You may try out varied art, craft or painting techniques here. Just like your personal diary chronicles your thoughts, an art journal will show you your creative development over time. It gives you a chance to dabble in projects and ideas on a non-judgmental platform before you try it out elsewhere. It can serve as your inspirational board as well.
Point to note: Look out for a journal with thicker paper so that the colours don’t bleed. Also, look for a slightly larger size so you get a wider canvas for expression.
Take your pick and start off your journaling adventure. Don’t forget to share your experiences in the comments section!
The Jallianwala Bagh is a very beautiful public garden located in Amritsar, but one which recalls a horrific history. A very touching memorial graces the gates of the park, that hides a dreadful story behind its beauty. The entry to the park is right from a bustling market street where people are shopping and making merry with carefree abandon. But, a poignant sculpture on the street draws your attention. The pristine white memorial indicates the sacrifices of countless people on that fateful day- April 13, 1919, when General Dyer ordered the massacre of innocents who had gathered in the park.
Today, one can enter the garden and walk around, paying obeisance to those who sacrificed their lives on that day. One can view the bullets stuck in the wall, and look down the well where so many must have jumped to save themselves. When the visitor of today, walks around the vibrant garden looking at children playing around and families sitting down and relaxing in the space and taking pictures, it seems so difficult to imagine that the park was a terrible scene of death a century ago.
This year, 2019, the dastardly act by Dyer completes a hundred years. Bookedforlife takes a look at literature that talks about this event.
This is a rigorously researched book where Kim A. Wagner uncovers the experiences of ordinary people, British and Indian, and puts the reader at the centre of the simmering discontent and anxieties of April 1919. This is a nuanced approach to the dramatic events at Amritsar. It also shows untold narratives that shed new light upon the bloody history of the British Empire.
Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the butchering of unarmed innocents, is an event that shook us all. It provokes agony even today. What is the response of literature to this pain? We know that out of great pain, there is literary and artistic expression that arises, as people need an outlet to express a plethora of feelings ranging from pain to anger.
Rakhshanda Jalil, a literary historian and translator from Urdu and Hindi, attempts to open a window into the world of possibilities that literature offers to reflect, interpret and analyse events of momentous historical import. These different ways of seeing and analysing history are expressed through works by Saadat Hasan Manto, Mulk Raj Anand, Krishan Chander, Abdullah Hussein, Bhisham Sahni, Ghulam Abbas, Subadhra Kumari Chauhan, Sarojini Naidu, Sohan Singh Misha, Muhammad Iqbal, Josh Malihabadi, Nanak Singh, to name a few.
The authors are independent historians. They have explored a variety of materials related to the massacre. The book features portraits of key historical figures, political cartoons, newspaper photographs, propaganda posters as well as secretly recorded images that were smuggled out of India in 1919. Alongside the images featured in the book, there are eyewitness accounts to provide context and a chronological narrative covering not only the massacre but also its prelude and aftermath.
The author of this book is the editor of The Tribune. This book brings together essays of some of the best-known authors, thinkers and historians of modern India, alongside priceless articles from the archives of the newspaper, dating back to 1919. With profound insights and personal testaments, martyrdom to freedom is a valuable addition to recorded history.
The colonial atrocities committed by the British on that fateful way have been etched on the minds of generations of Indians forever. These books may be painful to read, but they tell a story that deserves to be heard. It is still important to acknowledge history, terrible as it is, with the sole view of learning from it. We do not know if there will be ever a sense of closure, but we can ensure as we look at historical events after a passage of time, that we understand the lessons that history holds.
There is something soothing about giving yourself some time before the madness of the day begins. A lot has been written about how people can and should capitalise on the precious morning time. One of the best ways of doing that is by developing a morning routine that works for you. Here is a list of books that may just give you a little headway…
A successful entrepreneur is at a crossroad, ready to give up her life. She has experienced tremendous stress and pain. Thankfully, fate intervenes and she ends up attending a lecture that will change her life and thought process forever. At the conference she meets ‘the artist’, a fellow seeker. They listen to the Spellbinder who imparts wisdom. But, something strange happens. What happens when they meet the homeless man who teaches them the secrets of the ‘Victory Hour’ starting at 5 AM every morning? How do they change and evolve as they jet-set around the world with their guide who seeks to induct them into The 5 AM Club?
What I like: A comprehensive story that brings out actionable tips that you can implement in your life.
Read a detailed review of the book here.
“We spend much of our lives on autopilot, and can end up with a life we didn’t consciously create,” says Ashley in the book. The book gives suggestions on how to avoid this pitfall. She looks at successful and accomplished women who she admires and interviews them about their morning rituals. Each chapter talks in detail about the morning ritual of one person.
What I like: The differing and varied morning routines and rituals of so many people give the reader inspiration and ideas to pick and choose the ritual that will serve him or her best.
Read a detailed review of the book here.
Julia Cameron wrote a very successful book on creativity, called “The Artist’s Way”. While this book is not strictly about morning routines per se, the foundation of this book are the morning pages. Morning Pages have proven to be a successful part of the morning rituals of many creative people. The Morning Pages are basically three pages of stream-of-consciousness longhand writing, written every day the first thing in the morning. They promise to connect you to a source of wisdom within. This journal is a special take on the morning pages and focusses on this tool in detail.
What I like: The concept of morning pages is a life-changing idea and this book describes it beautifully. It is also a journal that can be used as the morning pages.
This book is a guide to the early morning habits that boost productivity. It comprises of interviews with sixty-four successful people such as Arianna Huffington, General Stanley McChrystal, Marie Kondo and more. Having seen and read about these individuals in their respective work genres, it is interesting to know how they start their day. This book reads like an informal instruction manual coupled with musings.
What I like: The sheer diversity of the varied routines! A veritable idea menu that can help you craft your mornings in the best manner!
Bookedforlife rounds up a list of tried and tested creative writing books for children. Creative writing is one of the areas that not only children but also teachers and parents often struggle with!
One of the major issues with typical writing assignments is that it often overwhelms the child, making the task look like a mammoth one. Moreover, topics are often uninspiring. (Remember that typical essay on what I did in my holidays that you may have written year after year?).
Good creative writing books for children will have a host of suggestions applicable to a variety of children, or even to different moods of the same child. They will have fun-filled suggestions of activities that will often stretch the mind and put the child at ease. These books must make the child see creative writing as a fun exercise.
This book will help teachers who teach creative writing in a classroom setting, and parents who want to work on creative writing with their children as well. It is a one-stop resource for all aspects of writing right from creating the perfect climate for the activity, the process of writing, tools and techniques, revising and editing, creating a portfolio, assessment as well as presenting the final work. It has a lot of practical tips and prompts for all these varied aspects of creative writing for kids.
Best for: A comprehensive and holistic look at all the processes that go into the creative writing experience.
The goal of this book is to let young writers lose their inhibitions and have fun with the process of writing. There are many prompts and suggestions on finding the child’s unique writing voice. The exercises given in this book allow for more expressive kind of writing where children are encouraged to leave their shy selves behind, and explore as well as express emotions- both positive and negative.
Best for: Tweens and Teens who yearn to find their own voice and style in their writing.
This book is filled with exciting writing exercises for children. The physicality of the reader’s interaction with this book is something that really stands out. As you navigate the book, you rip a page, deal with it and then move on to the other. There is also a sensory aspect to the activities mentioned. For example, one of the activities is ‘detonate a memory with flammable words- I remember’. Such activities add a sensory dimension to the act of writing. Each page has a specific writing exercise. Words of encouragement are woven very neatly into the exercise. This is helpful and motivating to the writer.
Read a detailed review here.
Best for: Short, snappy and fun activities for younger and beginning writers
This book takes a middle grader through the joys of creative writing in a gentle and guided fashion. It is packed with several short but useful tips that truly make writing fun- which is what it should be! It is an introduction to a wide variety of genres of creative writing, guided exercises that gently lead the child to write more challenging stuff and an appealing design and presentation. A writing activity book which actually makes it easy to write right!
Read a detailed review of this book here.
Best for: Middle graders, and for introducing a variety of writing genres to children. It is an exercise book as well, so the child can write in the book.
Creative writing occupies an important (though sometimes sadly scary) place in a child’s school life. Creative writing books for children need to address the skills required of the children as they move ahead in their academic career. However, they also need to let the kids let their hair down and have some fun! In addition to the books listed above, if you have tried any book that unlocks a whole new world while teaching writing, do let us know!
The Book: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Age Group: Ageless! Get an abridged version for children, and the original for adults!
The Gist: An old and bitter man named Ebenezer Scrooge, learns the true meaning of Christmas. Scrooge is visited by three ghosts who take him on a journey through Christmas in the past, present, and future.
The Why: A poignant lesson on how to live a fulfilling and happy life, and the true meaning of Christmas!
Age Group: 6 onwards
The Gist: A non-fiction book about Christmas traditions in different places around the world.
The Why: Christmas is much more than gifts and Santa…and it is not celebrated in the same way everywhere. This book has beautiful pictures and simple text to bring out the different ways of celebrating Christmas.
Age Group: 4-9 years
The Gist: Grinch is a nasty creature with ‘a heart two sizes too small’. Now, he hates Christmas and he wants to steal Christmas. Will he succeed? Or, is there something else in store for him?
The Why: Hilarious rhymes and beautiful illustrations tell the tale about what Christmas really means. This is a classic that has been entertaining generations of children!
Age Group: 2 – 5 years
The Gist: Santa goes off to deliver presents for Christmas. But, poor Bear is left behind. Will he make it to Tom’s house by the morning?
The Why: The book has witty rhymes and lovely illustrations as it follows the story of Bear’s adventures to Tom’s house. The pop-up element is great fun for kids. In addition, they can lift flaps and there are pull-outs as well. Children will have a lot of fun interacting with this book!
The Book: Enid Blyton’s Christmas Stories
Age Group: 6-10
The Gist: Enid Blyton needs no introduction. These short stories take one back to innocent times and pure celebrations in a world where children played out, there were no gadgets and all they had were adventures, good food and loads of fun!
The Why: Blyton’s stories are very simple but take the child into the true spirit of Christmas. As the children encounter their Blyton counterparts, they will hopefully absorb the magic of a simple but beautiful childhood…all wonderfully packaged in the spirit of Christmas!