Little Shilu loves to dance around naked. She wants to be like the animals; like Pirate, her cat. When her grandmother Nannu says she can’t because she is now a big girl, Shilu wants to know why. Peppered with Nannu’s loving chiding, intimate grandma-granddaughter bonding over conversations, and a heart-to-heart between the mother and her inquisitive daughter, this book is a reflection of the wild and free nature of childhood.


  • A dreamy book that celebrates the carefree pleasures and innocence of childhood.
  • Young Shilu longs to be wild and free – of clothes, of expectations, of social norms. Author Richa Jha explores this unusual theme from a child’s viewpoint as she goes about her everyday life, chatting, questioning, playing and having fun with her grandmother and mother.
  • The strong and unconditional relationships Shilu shares with her grandmother and mother are beautifully portrayed in the book. Not to mention, Shilu’s camaraderie with Pirate the cat.
  • Ruchi Mhasane’s soft, flowing illustrations complement the text and add an ethereal quality to it.
  • The illustrations infuse a sense of movement in the book in more ways than one – they depict the playfulness and physicality of the characters and also help move the story forward.
  • The text feels stilted on a couple of pages, especially where the illustrations tell the story much better.


An unusual picture book that explores the theme of why children (and adults) would much rather be free!


Author: Richa Jha
Illustrator: Ruchi Mhasane
Language: English
Page Extent: 36 pages
Price: Rs 350.00
ISBN: 978-93-5279-227-6
Publisher: Pickle Yolk Books, 2017
Subject Category: Fiction/Picture Book
Age-group: 6+


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