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City of Stars by Ekta Ohri……Yes, YOU can make a difference

City of Stars by Ekta Ohri published in early 2019 by LitJoys is perfect for the parents of little ones to talk about and bring about awareness of issues that plague our planet. There is a complete breakdown of resources. The clock is ticking and time is of essence to save for the better of our future generations. 

This is a book that facilitates easy conversations on this topic. In fact, the issue of air pollution holds true for city of Delhi where author Ekta Ohri has based her book. The book reasserts that rather than only depending on the government and society to make all changes, we have to, as individuals, rise up together in making our Planet Earth Greener, Cleaner and Healthier.

City of Stars shows how children can make a difference at a very individual level. An excellent book on creating environmental consciousness!

Best for the 5-12 age group.

City of Stars is essentially a story in conversations between Abdu, a small boy and his mum and dad. Each of the 12 chapters are dedicated to the 3Rs- Reduce Reuse Recycle. There are discussions about how Abdu can bring in small changes by changing his habits for a cleaner and healthy environment. 

Little Abdu likes singing nursery rhymes and one night while singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ he notices that he can just see a few stars in the sky and asks his mother the reason. She explains that while she was growing up she could see i00’s of stars and the constellations like the Big Dipper and the North Star but now because of dirty air due to different kinds of pollution one can just maybe see a handful of stars and at most times not even one.

Abdu is sad. He wants to see the bright stars and blue skies which now most times remains a mere wish, even more so in the concrete jungles of cities.

This sparks off the conversations. The story follows one calendar year in Abdu’s life where he makes lifestyle changes and contributes to making the earth a better place. 

A few instances…

Here are a few instances from the book that will give you a hint of the approach taken by the author…

Abdu learns Waste Segregation

One Sunday morning in August, Abdu and his family decide to visit the Lotus Temple

Mom: Every time we step out of home, we must think of the 3 B’s – bottle, bag and box – we need to carry. 

Dad: So as to avoid single use plastics that litter our landfills and pollute the environment.

Upon reaching home after a refreshing day at the Lotus Temple and finding flyers about separating waste according to type at their doorstep.

Abdu: What are these images of colourful signs and bins on these papers?

Find out with Abdu, what do mum and dad have to say about the role the government plays in waste segregation in societies. Also find out why Abdu marks 2 green triangles on his calendar.

Abdu throws a Zero-Waste Party

Parties are fun and more so if you plan your own birthday party.

Mom:Abdu,would you like to throw a zero-waste birthday party?

Abdu:What is that and is it even possible?

Mom: We will not decorate the house with balloons and streamers and celebrate it at Lodhi Gardens and play tons of games with your friends.

Find out how Mom celebrates Abdu’s birthday planning out food and drinks, games and gifts and Abdu’s special gift from his parents.

Besides these occasions, the book invites you to join Abdu and his parents to plan a Plastic Free Wedding, to learn about Energy saving, and similar educational and fun experiences.

Designed in a colourful engaging story format ‘City of Stars‘ is attractive and rhyming at times for young kids. It is also captivating for their little minds without being too preachy. 

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Title: City of Stars

Author: Ekta Ohri

Illustration: Prateeq Kumar and Ayushi Rastogi

Publisher: Lit Joys, 2019

Poyani Mehta

Poyani Mehta is a former School Librarian, freelance storyteller, and storyteller with the Secret Passages Storytelling Circle. She writes travelogues and articles on various topics. She is a bibliophile, rescues injured birds, and enjoys spending quality time with her young daughter and Shanti her indie pariah dog.