Paper Play could have been aptly subtitled “The Journey of a Piece of Paper”. Manju finds a sheet of paper that she has no use for. She crumples and throws it away, only for it to land on Wasim’s head. Wasim thinks it is a paper ball while his sister Syeda transforms it into a lollipop. From this point onwards, readers are taken on a roller coaster ride to observe the many articles that a piece of paper morphs into as it changes hands. There is no stopping these imaginative kids until a pet donkey enters the scenario. Paper Play, a picture book written by Mala Kumar, is a play on perspectives and the flights of fancy.

Illustrator Ruchi Shah brings her expertise with paper collages as visuals that reinforce the theme. The paper art is quirky and unique but needs more allure. Readers are not to miss hair designed like paper spaghetti and Manju’s ethnic dress. While it may not be every child’s cup of hot chocolate, Paper Play offers you more than just a story. Here is a wonderful opportunity for children to replicate the idea either in classrooms or at home in the form of discussions or activity to prompt an understanding of multiple perspectives.

With its tongue-in-cheek ending, multicultural characters and the pet donkey (and lack of subtitle, of course), Paper Play makes for a sprightly read. It is an entertaining change from the more direct moral based stories so commonly found for young readers.

By Benita Fernando

Author: Mala Kumar
Illustrator: Ruchi Shah
Pages: 15
Price: Rs. 25.00
ISBN: 978-81-8479-225-6
Publisher: Pratham Books, Bangalore, 2011
Subject category: Contemporary/Activity
Age group: 3+

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


“For a teacher or librarian faced with dozens of books to read, a good book review website is as essential as maps are for geographers.”

Anil Menon - Writer

“Indian children’s books rarely get the kind of publicity they deserve in the popular or social media. Websites like Goodbooks plug the gap by not letting a single Indian children’s book of merit slip through the cracks. Most people would not even know about the books available in the market if not for a resource like this.”


“Book review sites like Goodbooks are a wonderful resource for locating theme-based or issue-based children’s books to enrich the learning experience in the classroom and at home.”

Asha Nehemiah - Children's Writer
Phone: +91 44 TBA
Alwarpet, Chennai – 600018 INDIA
305, Manickam Avenue, TTK Road,