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Dream big little one! The Dreamers series of illustrated biographies sow the seeds of magic….

Illustrated biographies can be highly inspirational for little kids. This duo from the Dreamers series will sow the seeds of big dreams in your little one’s mind! Two books: The Boy Who Played with Light- Satyajit Ray and The Girl Who Loved to Sing- Teejan Bai, both written by Lavanya Karthik, published by Duckbill (Penguin) spin a tale of dreams and dreamers. 

While we know Satyajit Ray as a great filmmaker and creative, what do we know about his childhood? The Boy Who Played with Light takes us right to the times when Ray delighted in the play of lights and shadows. It tells the tale of early childhood influence and the light of creativity. But then, it also poignantly describes the role of the shadows in his life, as his father passes away and life changes. Karthik’s prowess at her craft brings out this interplay of happiness and gloom and the impact it has on Ray’s life quite beautifully. Very young children can read this and suddenly a greater than life personality becomes accessible to them. They can occupy the mind of the young Ray, or Manik as he was known. The reader will sense how imagination can rescue a child and how it scaffolds dreams. 

The Girl Who Loved to Sing tells the reader the story of Teejan Bai’s childhood. The world-renowned singer was born in a family and culture with a very patriarchal mindset. They discouraged her to sing from a very early age, but these inconveniences could not drown her voice. She sang nevertheless. She sang relentlessly till she became known for her singing prowess! She enchanted the world with her melodious voice. The words in the book weave in her struggles in a lucid and sensitive manner, such that it inspires the little reader without becoming too ‘heavy’. 

Both these illustrated biographies have detailed artworks that convey the essence of the stories. The artwork for The Boy Who Played with Light is inspired by the artwork of Sukumar Ray and Satyajit Ray. For The Girl Who Loved to Sing, the illustrations allude to the rich and vibrant art of the Bhils, the tribe to which Teejan Bai traces her heritage. These illustrated biographies are a wonderful gift for younger readers from age five onwards. With the sensitive writing and the wonderful artwork, these books go on to gently guide little ones to dream big!

Dhanishta Shah

Dhanishta is a Counselling Psychologist and a freelance writer. She is the Founder of Bookedforlife.