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‘The Miracle on Sunderbaag Street’ by Nandita da Cunha

‘The Miracle on Sunderbaag Street’ by Nandita da Cunha and published by Kalpavriksh is a vibrant picture book about young Zara who lives at Sunderbaag Street. She is alone, bored and feels gloomy most of the time because of the grey all around her. Her evenings are spent on the bench of the neighbourhood trash dump which is littered with rusted cans, car parts and the lifeless and leafless trees. She looks on forlornly at the Tod-Phod boys who come to practice their rap songs and sing harsh and hoarse like cawing crows. 

One evening there’s a surprise visitor. It is old Miss Gappi, Zara’s craft teacher from school. Zara is not happy with the new company since Miss Gappi is known for her non-stop talking. Despite her disinterest Zara is compelled to pay attention to the talkative Miss Gappi who every other day brings with her food grains for the sparrows and uses the objects from the littered waste as bird feeders. Miss Gappi is not idle while sitting on the bench! She always has something to do up her sleeve. With her words she weaves an imagery of what this uncared dump was once upon a time. What a happy wonderful place it was, Sunderbaag garden with its colourful lilies and marigolds, the fiery red gulmohurs and golden laburnums and happy children running around while the residents sat there and conversed with each other.  

‘The Miracle on Sunderbaag Street’ by Nandita da Cunha
A picture book with a strong environmental focus.


Zara is mesmerised with the green talk, she is taken in with Miss Gappi’s words and the idea of bringing back the lost glory of the garden sprouts in her mind. But any new project takes time and is a challenge. So, how do young Zara and Miss Gappi bring about the required change? Who all are enlisted to help them? What all ideas sprout and how do they recycle and reuse the litter in the dump?

Get the book for your little ones and join Zara in her quest for her green and colourful Sunderbaag by transforming Sunderbaag with help of dedicated souls.

‘The Miracle on Sunderbaag Street’ by Nandita da Cunha is an environmentally oriented story. Through the tale of Zara and Miss Gappi the book gently highlights the 3 R’s, i.e. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and how we can practice waste management in our surrounding societies if we want any kind of change. Illustrations by Priya Kurian are eye catching and beautifully convey the emotions of the characters in this picture book. 

Poyani Mehta

Poyani Mehta is a former School Librarian, the co-host of Stories Between the Lines-A Podcast, a freelance storyteller, performs in theatre for children for the Secret Passages Storytelling Circle. She is a team member of the PeekABook Children Literary Festival. She is a bibliophile, rescues injured birds and enjoys spending quality time with her young daughter and Shanti, her indie pariah dog who lives across the street.

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