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The Good Indian Child’s Guide to Playing Cricket by Natasha Sharma

If terms like Silly Point, Cow Corner, Slip, Gully, Midwicket, Square leg are thrown off- hand in the air and the uninitiated, asked their meanings and usage, they would be wrought with surprise and scratch their heads in puzzlement as to the term but the cricket crazy pros would jump up with glee and shout out loud in frenzy ‘Cricket! Cricket!’. The opening in Natasha Sharma’s, ‘The Good Indian Child’s Guide to Playing Cricket’, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books has the Good Indian Child Girl and the Good Indian Child Boy. The two children love to play one sport that is loved by Indians and other millions all over. The sport called CRICKET. 

When The Good Indian Boy and Girl begin to play cricket, they do not need all the players, just the batsman and bowler is enough. And along the way they can connect with other children to join in making up their 22-member team. Also, where the boy and girl play does not matter as long as they are having immense fun. So, be it in the house, building compound or the gully of the street…it all works! 

A bowler needs a ball so the tennis or plastic ball will also do. For wickets the tree trunk, a ladder or sticks will do.  Utmost care should be taken by the batsman in the race so as to not break the window pane or a painting on the wall! Or then, they would have to meet the angry neighbors or upset mothers!

A tongue-in-cheek picture book about cricket…a great gift for little cricket fans…and even for those who are still to be hooked on to the game!

Before The Good Indian Children get to reach the stadium to play an actual match and their wish for a thunderous round of applause from the audience, the reader gets a treat of definitions of cricketing terms like Bowled, Run Out, Stumped, idioms and action verbs, rules and regulations and all kinds of paraphernalia which are explained through easy and fun examples. Buy the book and dig in and know what all The Good Indian Boy and Girl need to know in Cricket to be a champ like Mitali Raaj, Diana Eduljee, Sachin Tendulkar and M.S. Dhoni.

Natasha Sharma has nailed it right again. After writing the yummy, ‘The GOOD INDIAN CHILD’S GUIDE TO EATING MANGOES’ she comes up with her second book in the series, ‘THE GOOD INDIAN CHILD’S GUIDE TO PLAYING CRICKET’. 

Never a dull moment, highly entertaining and exciting, this is a great book to keep with you while watching a match, which I did whilst watching the finals of Under 19 between India and Bangladesh. It is a must buy for children and adults who are keen on learning cricket or following the game for fun and all seriousness. Children from age 4 onwards will enjoy the book. A godsend for cricket obsessed Indians. Refreshing speech bubbles are used throughout the book. Spread out and not cluttered I especially loved the animated comic expressive illustrations by Shreya Sen. 

My uninitiated daughter of 12 years glanced through ‘The Good Indian Child’s Guide to Playing Cricket’ and said “Mama, finally I see a book which has a unique take on cricket and for a novice like me, I can finally understand the nuances of cricket”. For that matter, an amateur like me thoroughly enjoyed reading (not to say I do not watch cricket) but many a time I have not paid attention to the cricket lingo. 

Having said that I am ready to dive into the world of ‘The Bat and Ball’ but I need to find a team quick. Who is with me? HOWZZZAT!!

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.