A brand new book from the author Harshika Udaasi , a tale of friendships that is sure to bring a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart and a smile on your lips.
“Puttu” , Neel has insisted on visiting their family home in Deolali and the story begins with a “Are we there yet?” scene familiar to any long drive with a kid in it . Right at the outset , he is warned not to be friends-vends with the neighbours’ kids. On arrival , he realises that Innu next door has been suitably warned as well. Out of sheer boredom and the desperate need to have a friend to share summer holidays full of yelling ‘groan ups’ Putti and Innu manage to strike a friendship.
The kids are well aware of the ‘Expect no straight answers from adults. Ever’ rule. Yet, they have to find out why the two families were at war with each other. As they try to unravel this mystery , we meet the zany characters from Bhalerao Kaka , Mr. Om Namaha and Mrs. Solanki to the Tekdichi Mahtari, as we vividly picture this motley crowd in the outstandingly scenic Deolali.
Children will love the narrative that is speckled with nuanced observations like “Oh God- please tell these grown ups to turn the Volume app down when talking to the kids”
One of the coolest pieces of the book is the way the author explains the meaning of some words …“Hogwash – doesn’t mean washing a pig , it means nonsense”
One can only wish words were taught this way.(Hmm, I smell a creative writing exercise coming up…)
This book is almost a must read aloud / sing along in two places with Putti’s version of Om-Namaha recital and the Gundodarao Gadbade poem in Marathi. Absolute delirious genius, that truly brings out the delightful flavours of childhood.
The illustrations are brilliant and add so much zing to the fabulous characters of the book. The car drive page and the Tekdichi Mhatari are my favourites.
Yet the simplicity and fun of this book comes with a gentle nudge, something many will have atleast one instance to rue and think about , ‘Everyone grew up in age but no one grew up’. And as seen many times – Never underestimate the wisdom of curious innocence and the power of children as changemakers!
A super fun and entertaining read! Recommended for kids Grade 2 upwards.
Friendships (and Relationships)
Think about the walls we build up in our minds. Afraid of being hurt or rendered vulnerable, we build walls around our hearts and emotions to protect ourselves. But what are the possibilities that are hidden and shut off by the walls?
Think about jealousy you may have felt even with best friends and their victories? What can we use that feeling for? Should we actively think about how to manage feelings like jealousy and envy , acknowledging them rather than pretend they do not exist in friendships?
Research the famous walls in history built by Hadrian, Qin Shi Huang or Nikita Khrushchev . See how these walls meant to keep people out or in always shows the history of
people managing to get around, over and under them.