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The Grand Chapati Contest by Asha Nehemiah

We have cherished and enjoyed the Duckbill Hole Books for quite a while now. It’s now time for the Hook Books to get us, well, hooked! The Grand Chapati Contest by Asha Nehemiah (Duckbill Books, Penguin India) tells the story of ‘a happy king who hardly ever felt sad’, except when of course, his Chief Chapati Cook left the palace to become a holy man.  

Thus, starts the quest for the perfect replacement to this all-important post. It would take a Grand Chapati Contest to find someone worthy of the title of the Chief Chapati Cook. Meena was the daughter of a poor peanut seller, and she had someone in mind. Someone, who would do justice to the noble job. But, would Meena’s wish come to fruition?


As one reads the story there are plenty of lovable characters to meet. The king of course, carefree and happy, is a jolly good soul who is much concerned about fresh chapatis. The Queen is a go-getter and quite adept at managing anything. Meena is a bright endearing little girl, and her parents are hardworking people who ultimately get rewarded for their hard work. 

This book is great for beginning readers since it combines just the right amount of text with wonderfully detailed illustrations by Chetan Sharma. In addition, there is loads of humour which just makes it fun to read. 

Quirky illustrations and humorous language make this tale a fun-filled reading adventure for ages 5 and up. 

Dhanishta Shah

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