Independent children’s book publisher AdiDev Press present a set of four board books for toddlers. These are inspiring true stories of Indian women in science. As the famed “Learning to Be” series from the group has shown, it is never too early to start talking about things that matter. Gender parity in the realm of science is a topic that deserves considerable attention.
The stories in this book are about women who broke barriers and made their mark in the world of science. They are not household names, when they should be! This is the paucity that the series is trying to address. The books have been written by Pervin Saket who has very skilfully gleaned the essence of each story and presented just the right amount of information, and that too, in rhyme. This makes the book appealing to very young children right from toddlers to 6-year-olds. Moreover, the nuances of the lives of these women, their unique struggles and how they overcame them, are captured beautifully. At the end of each book is a comprehensive biography.
Each book talks about one brave woman who deserves her story to be heard. Courage with Anandibai Joshee tells the tale of Anandibai who suffered the death of her infant son. This painful experience made her vow to study medicine and help others. She even travelled to America to get the degree! She braved her way through illness but emerged victorious, setting an example for others. The illustrations by Sriya Singh bring out the fiery yet gentle spirit of Anandibai.
Commitment with Bibha Chowdhuri takes us into the worlds of astronomy and physics. She had an illustrious career and there is a star named after her as well, and rightly so! The pictures by Sahitya Rani that don this book do a great job of translating her enthusiasm for learning and her the sparkle on her face!
Perseverance with Janaki Anmal touches upon the life of India’s first lady botanist. At a time when girls were not even allowed to go to school, she broke this unfair rule. She pursued further education in the West but came back to India and worked relentlessly in her field, going on to win the Padma Shri! Annada Menon’s illustrations do justice to the soft spoken and yet determined lady!
Passion with Aditi Pant cruises deep waters as it dives into the life of Oceanographer Aditi Pant. The first Indian lab on Antarctica was built by Aditi’s team! Illustrated by Boski Jain, this book has a young and fun vibe and talks about a career that is not very well-known.
The series on Women in Science is a must read for toddlers and preschoolers. It is never too early to learn about inspiring people who changed the world around them by relentlessly pursuing their passion against odds!