Top 5 Book Recommendations For Children
Gone are the times when my parents use to tell me “Why don’t you turn off the TV and read a book for a change” – These lines used to be a traditional war cry during our evening snack time when TV was the only digital medium of entertainment. We have moved a long way since then. Compared to a few decades ago children these days are investing time in surfing the internet on cell phones or iPad or laptops. While it’s commendable that children satisfy their curiosity, many have not yet learned to recognize reliable sources. It’s an ongoing war between books vs other video media. Let’s not discuss that here further, as I still believe and suggest kids to read a book instead of viewing the same story in youtube.
Me being a mother and an avid reader myself thought several times: what sort of books to introduce to my kids. Now that my kid has read several picture books, what next, became a big question. When I was helping him read a book where a kid comments about a certain type of food, which we generally don’t prepare at home and his follow up questions to that made me realize, it’s important to choose books in such a way that they can relate. I even realized in several instances that teaching our kids about the value of Indian tradition is equally important. Since he can’t choose, as a parent I chose the below books for my kids.
Here are some of the children book suggestions apt for 7 – 13 years old.
1) Swami and his friend by RK Narayan
This classic book gives insights into middle-class social life in the small Indianfictitious town of Malgudi. This book starts with a ten-year-old Swami starting his day in school. The author has managed to capture the fears, aspirations, and delights of childhood. He goes to the heart of Swami’s relationships with his friends, teachers, headmasters, and family. This book highlights the importance of good education, maintaining the relationship between all along with maintaining equilibrium.
I feel this book is apt for Indian kids as it gives the real picture of society along with valuable insights in terms of cohabitation, tolerance, and relationship.
2) The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
The Jungle Book is a collection of seven short stories by Rudyard Kipling. Much of the book focuses on Mowgli, a boy who grows up in the forest. This book explains how human beings are just one species among many that occupy the Earth, and how we should respect both the environment and the rest of the species that inhabit it. This book is the best example that showcases the kids to embrace the surroundings in which we live and family is beyond blood. This book even showcases to enjoy your life, laugh, and let go of resentment.
This book teaches us that we don’t own the nature that surrounds us. We’re simply guests and not to exploit and mistreat. In today’s fast world it’s an important lesson to teach our kids to leave a lesser footprint and what better way to explain, than this book.
3) The Grandma Bag of stories by Sudha Murty
This book is a beautiful collection of interesting short stories. The book starts with 4 kids arriving at their grandparent’s village where Ajja and Ajji (Means grandfather and mother in Kannada)are prepared for kids with lots of food along with a wonderful bag of stories. The stories in this book depict values of courage, intelligence, foresight, kindness, and value of listening to elders. The conversation between Ajji and her grandchildren is interesting and engaging. This book also highlights the kind of bonding and inspiration grandparents can have on today’s younger generation. The lucid and simple language of the book makes reading a pleasure.
4) Great stories for children by Ruskin Bond
I read most of his books in my late twenties. There is no age bar for Ruskin Bond books. This book is a collection of fascinating tales from animals to ghosts. It is a colorful and flavorful collection. These stories are narrated in a way of answering a question, finding a solution explained with lots of fun. There are 18 stories in this with simple writing and yet very engrossing. This book is a delightful read for adults and an exciting read for children.
5) The boys who fought by DevduttPattanaik
The appetite for epics such as Mahabharata and Ramayana never fades away. These were probably the stories we would have read many times and it doesn’t bore us even if we were to read it many a time again. This book is a simpler version of the great epic Mahabharata for Children. This book doesn’t delve deep, but it explains the perspective of Dharma. This book would be a great way to inculcate the interest amongst children in reading Indian Mythology.
Other Suggestions if your kids have already read these.
With a variety of options, these days picking any book is good. However, these are some of my other suggestions:
1) Tenali Raman – Tales of wit and wisdom by Kavita Mandanna
2) The rusty series by Ruskin bond (Adventures of Rusty)
3) Malgudi Days by RK Narayan
4) Wise and Otherwise by Sudha Murty
5) Fun in Devlok – 6 book series by DevduttPattanaik
6) The Magic Drum by Sudha Murty.
Children are naturally curious about others (particularly other children). Think of your child’s curiosity as an opportunity to teach him or her about respecting these differences and embrace diversity. Storybooks are the best way to do it. These books teach them honesty, generosity, gratitude, cohabitation, diversity, individuality, kindness, and many other things.
What are your choices? What do you suggest? Have you read these books? What is your opinion? Let me know.