As a Library Educator, I often feel that I need to play the role of Cupid…Eros, if Greek mythology is more your thing.
I need to get children to fall in love with reading.
In order to do that, there are many factors at play…one of which is a good book.
While I do want my children to read diverse, question, think, talk and read some more, how do I get them to this point?
The point where they will pick up books that open up the world to them, expose them to people and situations they haven’t and never will experience, challenge everything they know and then some, and make them reach out for even more challenging reads.
In order to do so, I need books that hook, engage, entertain, that weave a spell, spinning a web that keeps them, holds them, cocoons them in the world of reading, nurturing those metaphorical wings to fly into diverse and challenging reads.
If they do not enjoy reading, there is no way that they will engage with tougher themes.
Asha Nehemiah’s ‘THE BOY WHOSE NOSE WAS A ROSE and other more rollicking stories’ is a cupid’s arrow that has the power to do just that.
A hidden gem.
( #hiddengem is a new hashtag that I’m going to be using for Indian children's literature we never seem to hear about. This could be for many reasons. Either because the publisher cannot be bothered promoting it because well, cartoon mice are so much more profitable or they just do not get enough of a fanfare because the authors friends/supporters/fans are not social media savvy enough or they fall by the wayside because well, “Mr/Ms Author dude/ette”, the publishers say, “our marketing team tells us that time is up and we need to move on to promoting newer books and reviewers will write/speak about whatever free latest book we send them.” )
Now, true confessions time.
Asha Nehemiah is a friend.
We started out as fan and author, but over the past few years, she has grown to be someone I respect, look up to, whose company I enjoy and whose opinion I can rely on.
When I met Asha for the first time, only roughly a month ago, after a couple of years of interacting on social media and over the phone, she gifted me this book, along with another. I expressed surprise at never having come across them before.
I am SHOUTING my surprise with this post because this collection of short stories is stellar.
I often look for good writing, the kind that my students can emulate…the kind of language used, the plot, the characters, the setting and all the elements that go into making a good story.
12 absolutely delightful stories, each one better than the other…this book goes beyond the mark.
Each of the stories are so unique. Such engaging plots, surprise elements, twists, beautiful settings, great characters and all round delightful. It is exactly the kind of book I would want my students to read as they grow as readers.
Yet I hadn't heard about it.
Unfortunately, Indian kid lit does not have enough critique.
As a result I find reviews hard to rely on. Every book receives gushy praise, so much so that I have stopped reading them.
Working with upper middle class English speaking children, I tend to look for books with good writing above all else. There are many out there, but many that fall short.
Asha's writing works perfectly for me and my students. Her plots are engaging, fun, relatable and all wrapped in well written prose.
Today, I share my delight in this book, but I enjoy and recommend all her books.