Books from Pratham

Books from Pratham

Noisy Crows, Clean Cat, Naughty Dog and Busy Ants, all by Kanchan Bannerjee, are part of a picture book series called ‘Animals Around Us’ meant for very young children. The subject matter of these books is perfect for this purpose and it is nice to see familiar animals star in them. Narrated in the first person, these four books attempt to introduce children to various animals and familiarise them with their habits and characteristics.

Noisy Crows features the humble crow and gives young readers some information about this most common Indian bird. The crow, we are told, likes to eat ripe fruit and is a good parent. The illustration of a crow’s nest with three babies, their mouths wide open, is endearing. Clean Cat reflects the attention-grabbing nature of the cat with the very first sentence, “This is my house. Ma, Pa and Cheena also live here.” Simple sentences introduce young readers to the world of cats – what they like to do, how they live and how much they love the humans who care for them.

Naughty Dog is about a dog’s role in the life of a young boy. The naughty dog in the story shares everything that happens in the life of his little master, Chinku. They play and eat together and even get scolded together by Chinku’s mother. Busy Ants features tiny ants that are so common in Indian households. The book introduces us to the busy life of ants, whose world is ruled by smells.

All four books use simple language and tell a straightforward tale. The first-person narrative is sure to work well with young readers, which makes these books perfect for read-aloud sessions. The books are also useful for role play activities and, with some ingenuity, can be used to help children walk in the shoes of various creatures who share the world with us. Every book ends with a page giving some extra reading material on the animal featured in it. For instance, the book on cats carries information on how their tails can speak, while the one on ants introduces the concept of opposites.

The colourful illustrations add several layers to the books, with the sort of attention to detail that creates a believable, recognisable background to each of the narratives. The spread where the clean cat waits for her friend Cheena to return from school is sure to keep young readers occupied with finding and identifying various things.

The vocabulary is age-appropriate, both in English and Hindi, and the Hindi translation reads well. However, the narrative does appear disjointed at times, resembling a jumble of facts put together. With easily recognisable and familiar creatures like these ones, the books could have woven entertaining as well as educational tales. That said, the books still manage to be interesting and informative and can easily be used both by parents and educators to introduce children to the world around them.

By Nandini Nayar

Books from Pratham

NOISY CROWS
Author: Kanchan Bannerjee
Illustrator: Deepa Balsavar
English-Hindi
12 pages
Rs 30.00
ISBN: 978-93-5022-395-6
Pratham Books, 2015

BUSY ANTS
Author: Kanchan Bannerjee
Illustrator: Deepa Balsavar
English-Hindi
12 pages
Rs 30.00
ISBN: 978-93-5022-380-2
Pratham Books, 2015

CLEAN CAT
Author: Kanchan Bannerjee
Illustrator: Deepa Balsavar
English-Hindi
12 pages
Rs 30.00
ISBN: 978-93-5022-385-7
Pratham Books, 2015

NAUGHTY DOG
Author: Kanchan Bannerjee
Illustrator: Deepa Balsavar
English-Hindi
12 pages
Rs 30.00
ISBN: 978-93-5022-390-1
Pratham Books, 2015

Subject Category: Contemporary/Non-Fiction/Picture Books/Series
Age-group: 2+

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