ABOUT THE BOOKSoda is a dog who feels like a dog. Bonda is a cat who feels like a… dog! A quirky tale about two friends, which makes us think about who we are and how we see ourselves.
Expressions, colours and textures work in perfect balance with the seemingly simple text to create a joyful portrait of a friendship that goes beyond appearances.
- Soda is a dog and Bonda is a cat; but Bonda is always behaving like a dog – playing with toys, wagging his tail, even licking Soda’s face! Soda doesn’t understand why Bonda refuses to be more cat-like. But a fight, a sulk, and a muddy tumble later, the two are best friends again!
- This delightful picture book takes a funny, tender look at identity and friendship. The story asks important questions without preaching at its readers, and encourages them to think about identity as fluid and changeable, rather than fixed and rigid. Most importantly, it suggests that we approach difference and otherness with compassion and an open mind.
- Author Niveditha Subramaniam has chosen to discuss prejudice in humans using animal characters, and her technique is very effective. The slightly grumpy Soda and the sheepish Bonda are endearing characters, who draw attention and sympathy even before the story has begun in earnest. Their inherent charm keeps the story light-hearted and ensures that the messaging is subtle and indirect.
- The illustrations are goofy and fun. Soda and Bonda are drawn simply but they are given a wide range of expressions that engage young readers’ emotions differently on different pages. The pictures – of Bonda running away with a chappal, or of Soda scratching himself – are deliberately comical and ensure that the story is consistently entertaining and heart-warming.
- There is a wonderful complementarity between text and image that is probably a result of the author having illustrated her own work. The pictures tell the story as vividly as the text does. It helps also that the typesetting is perfect. The size, spacing, and font of the text make this picture book very easy to read.