ABOUT THE BOOKhe World’s Most Chaotic Family has left Kittu behind at a dhaba on the highway in the middle of nowhere. He is rescued by an icecreamwala and suddenly, Kittu’s terrible, horrible day turns mad! Who would have thought that this middle-of-nowhere place would have a skate park? The icecreamwala’s daughter Mad is mad about skateboarding and now Kittu wants to zoom around on a skateboard, too! But can a boy with one leg who walks on crutches learn to skateboard? Is Kittu mad to even try?
- Kittu, the book’s protagonist, is a feisty, talkative ten-year-old. Armed with one leg and a pair of crutches, Kittu embarks on a day-long adventure when his chaotic holidaying joint family accidentally leaves him behind at a highway dhaba. Harshikaa Udasi’s funny, pacy chapter book follows Kittu as he discovers a skate park in rural Madhya Pradesh and finds a way to overcome his fears.
- The author’s approach to disability is refreshingly matter-of-fact. She does not dwell on Kittu’s impairment, or try to explain its origins, focusing instead on his story and his personality. At no point do we pity him or feel sorry for him. He’s like any other kid – curious, spirited, and sometimes vulnerable.
- The book also contains a charming set of supporting characters, including the warm and slightly goofy kulfi vendor Madhav who briefly adopts Kittu, and the dhaba owner Ranjeet who helps Kittu’s family track down their missing child.
- Kittu’s Very Mad Day is the winner of the Children First writing contest, an initiative to produce stories featuring children with disabilities. It also won the 2018 FICCI Publishing Award for Best English Children’s Book.
- The story is slightly unrealistic in portions. For instance, it is hard to believe that on being separated from his family in a strange place, Kittu expresses no anxiety, and in fact goes out of his way to spend time away from them.