You are a parent and are very concerned about which book your kid should read. There is a lot of stuff available in book stores and you can’t decide which book to buy.You are afraid that you would make the wrong choice.
Do not worry – we put together a list of 11 books that you will find very helpful for your purpose. We did a mix and match. This list comprises books of Indian and non-indian background.
So, without any further ado, I give you this list.
- Amar Chitra Katha book series: When I was growing up, I used to gorge on these books. Amar Chitra Katha was started by Anant Pai [lovingly known as Uncle Pai] with a view to teach Indian children about culture. Amar Chitra Katha features stories from Indian legends and epics.[Ramayana and Mahabharata] Since its inception, ACK has been on a constant mission to instill values of ethics, morals, honesty and other ideals among children. I am sure that you will find this enchanting book on Krishna a good starting point for your kid!
2. Panchatantra :The Panchatantra tales are compilation of prose and poetry. They were composed in the 3rd century BC. They consist of tales and fables related to animals. The stories are full of morals and fables. They are told in an easy format, which guarantees an interesting reading for your child.
My favourite stories from Panchatantra[among others] are:-
- The Monkey and the wedge
- Fighting goats and the jackal
- The tale of 2 snakes
Buy Panchatantra @ Amazon
3. Hitopadesha: The Hitopadesha is a remarkable compilation of short stories. It is believed to have composed by Narayana Pandit between 800 to 950 CE. Hitopadesha is regarded more or less similar to the Panchatantra in the sense that it is also a compilation of prose and poetry& a lot of its stories are about animals.
Since its inception, Hitopadesha has been translated into numerous languages to benefit the readers all over the world. It has a world wide appeal, needless to say!
The term ‘Hitopadesha’ is a portmanteau of two sanskrit terms , ‘Hita’ (welfare/ benefit) and ‘Upadesha’ (advice/ counsel) which means ‘Good Advice’. Some of the popular stories from the Hitopadesha are as follows:-
- The pigeons, the crow, the mouse, the tortoise and the deer
- The pigeons, the crow, the mouse, the tortoise and the deer
- The traveller and the tiger
- The deer, the jackal and the crow
4. Aesop’s Fables : Aesop’s famous fables and scripts provide great entertainment for children and kids. They also serve as an illustration for a particular moral and provide a valuable lesson to kids and children. The fables are very short [In some cases, only 300-400 words] and maintain the short attention span of children.Just like the books mentioned above – they feature animals in their stories[ Which are very appealing to young kids]
Buy Aesop’s Fables@Amazon
5. To Kill a Mockingbird: I am a life long fan of this book. I have read this book, seen the movie and yet every time its a different experience for me. This book by Harper Lee is a timeless classic. It definitely ranks in my all time list for children’s reads. I also want to add that this book is also used as a part of syllabus in American schools. It is high time that even Indian schools introduce it.
Very briefly, this story is about a lawyer Atticus Finch and his experience while trying to fight a case for a black man in a white dominated community. Atticus endures a lot of prejudice and hatred from his own kind while fighting the case and yet he stays undeterred. This book is highly recommended for you and your child! I have already reviewed the book. You may read the review here.
Buy To kill a mockingbird @Amazon
6. Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland was written by an English mathematician under the pseudonym Lewis Caroll in 1865. The book is about a young girl, Alice, who falls through a rabbit hole into a fantasy land. The fantasy land is full of animals who can also speak. The book’s narrative has been influential in increasing the popularity of the fantasy genre. The book has been adapted for various media books, cartoons, television serials and movies. One particular version was adapted for Doordarshan as well and the title song became immensely popular 🙂
Alice in Wonderland is a wonderful read for your kid and for us adults as well!
Buy Alice in Wonderland @ Amazon
7. The Jungle Book
Jungle book was written by Rudyard Kipling in 1894 as a collection of stories. Rumour has it that he wrote it for his young daughter – Josephine, who died from pneumonia at the tender age of 6. He wrote these stories in Naulakha, the bungalow he lived in the United States.
The Jungle book is a collection of short tales, based on a young boy named Mowgli, who was raised by wolves and a bear named Baloo in the jungle. Mowgli grows up to a strong moral code and squares off with Sher Khan, a man-eating tiger and the antagonist of the book. Jungle book, just like Alice in Wonderland was adapted into various media but we love only this one, don’t we? [ This song was sung by a talented gent named Amol Sagdeo]
Buy Jungle book @ Amazon
8. Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the pooh is an all time children’s classic book which is based on an adorable talking bear named Winnie. It was created by English Author AA. Milne after a teddy bear owned by his son.
Winnie the pooh was composed in a background when England was reeling from the effects of the first world war. The book served as a tonic to the young generation who wanted some relief and good cheer in their life.
Buy Winnie the pooh @ Amazon
9. Treasure Island
Treasure Island was written by Robert Louis Stevenson in the year 1882. It was famous for its buccaneers and gold story line. It has had a major influence on pirate culture, treasure hunt movies, X marks the spot capers and what not.
Its two major characters are Jim Hawkins and the legendary Long John Silver. The story is also famous for the famous drinking song “Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum!”
Treasure island is a treat to read even though it has some violent depictions because of its hero – no one can be truer and braver than Jim Hawkins. [Also the fact that there is a strong antagonist – Long John Silver :-)]
Buy Treasure Island @ Amazon
10. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in the United Kingdom in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. The narrative is in the first person by Huckleberry Finn who is a friend of Tom Sawyer. Tow Sawyer is also an equally famous character by Mark Twain.
The book is widely regarded as an American Classic because it depicts slavery and relations between White and Black People. There is an incredible attention to detail in the book – characters in the book speak in different dialects.
Lastly it also depicts the various emotions of the youth – coming of age, rebellion and finally the transformation to happiness. It is a great book and a watershed in American literature.
Buy Huckleberry Finn @ Amazon
Popular amongst the tales are Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel and Cinderella [ You did not really know that, did you ;-)]
Grimm’s Fairy tales were initially thought a bit bold for children!However, many changes were made in the version to suit sensibilities. Anyway, the stories are enjoyable and have great entertainment value for children – there is an element of mystique and a hope that something good will happen to the protagonist.
Buy Grimm’s Tales @ Amazon
I hope you did enjoy reading and are now armed with some choices regarding the book to buy for your kid. There are some other books which do get an honorary mention, but lost out to the books in the list since they are relatively new. These books are [ You can click them to check on Amazon]
Lord of the Rings
So, did you enjoy this list? Drop in your comments in the section below