Three days to go before a killer asteroid will end life on Earth! Everyone is in a panic. Everyone, that is, but Vanita, who has things to do. Such as saving the planet.  She has a plan drawn up to the minutest detail. All pure science. With just a little help from fridge magnets, a little puppy – and a special ‘shrinking’ gift that she has.


  • Shrinking Vanita is an exciting and fun-filled science-fiction adventure from beloved writer and cartoonist Manjula Padmanabhan. Vanita, the protagonist, has a strange problem. Much to the distress of grown-ups, like her parents and all the doctors they consult, she shrinks! But Vanita doesn’t mind so much, and with Earth only a few days away from apocalypse, as an asteroid hurtles towards it, she sees her chance to prove that her shrinking is in fact a superpower.
  • The story itself is whacky and original. Starting from the premise – that the planet is about to be destroyed – to the outrageously silly plan that Vanita executes in order to save the day, the plot is a series of delightfully crazy events that will definitely appeal to a young reader’s sense of fun.
  • Vanita is a strong, confident hero. She isn’t even a tiny bit daunted by the enormity of her mission, and to her, her size is a superpower rather than a disadvantage. She’s a relatable child protagonist, who likes puppies and drinks milk, but her cool, straightforward approach to big problems makes her an inspiring role model too.
  • Little touches add to the humour of the book. For instance, the writer includes detailed descriptions of how people begin to go berserk because they find out that the world is about to end. Images of people lying on top of cars and pouring tea on their heads, or people eating papaya ice cream with brain curry are sure to make young readers laugh out loud.
  • Padmanabhan’s own illustrations are quirky and charming as ever, and serve as the perfect accompaniment to the text. Some are particularly memorable: Vanita watching the news as a panicked anchor tears off her wig in fright, for instance.
  • This book is the winner of the 2018 Peek-A-Book Children’s Choice Award – an award where children constitute the jury that decides the best children’s books.


Shrinking Vanita is a rollicking adventure story and a great beginning for young readers looking to experiment with science fiction.


Author & Illustrator: Manjula Padmanabhan
Language: English
Page Extent: 92 pages
Price: 195.00
ISBN: 978-9350469972
Publisher: Tulika
Subject Category: Fiction/Chapter Book/Science Fiction/Adventure
Age-group: 8+

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