Thursday, July 02, 2015

Marathi Picture books - Part 1

I'm often asked if there are picture books in Marathi or which Marathi books are suited for toddlers and preschoolers. While I'm no expert on this, here are the books we have and we love to read these over and over with a short review.

यश  (माधुरी पुरंदरे / ज्योत्स्ना प्रकाशन )
This is a series of six books about Yash - a preschooler and happenings around him. I reviewed it here. These are our all-time-favourite books.
Best suited for 1-4 year olds.

राधाचं घर (माधुरी पुरंदरे / ज्योत्स्ना प्रकाशन )
Radhacha ghar is yet another set of six books from Madhuri Purandare. Each book is focused on one member of Radha's family like Grandma (aaji) or Grandpa (nana) and her relationship with them. Radha tells you what she likes or doesn't, what she does with  or for that member. This is a wonderful set to talk about relationships to preschoolers especially when not every one is around. We read this for the first time when Kuhu's grandparents were away and she was missing them.
Best suited for 1-4 year olds.
Yash by Madhuri Purandare
Radhacha ghar by Madhuri Purandare

सहल (ज्योत्स्ना प्रकाशन)
This book is about preschoolers picnic what they see and experience. This is a read-and-color book. All pictures are black and white and left for the reader to color. Lovely first-experience read that lets you fill it with your own colors.
Best suited for 2-4 year olds.

टेडी आणि बडी (प्रांजली भुजबळ / ज्योत्स्ना प्रकाशन)
This book is written by a teenager - Pranjali. That is the first thing I liked about this book.  It is a nicely rhyming book about Teddy's adventure to meet his friend Buddy.
Best suited for 2-4 year olds.

No ! नाही ! ( Cheryl Rao / Tulika Books)
This one is for all those homes where everything starts with a "No!". We just love this book to read and enact.
Best suited for 2-3 year olds.

Watch Out ! सावधान ! ( शमीम पदमसी / Tulika books)
This is a bilingual book about tiger cubs and the dangers they get into while mumma tiger is not around. This has minimal words and catchy illustrations.
Best suited for 1-3 year olds.

झाड (ल. म. कडू / गमभन प्रकाशन ) 
This book talks about how a tree is born. Bold print, black and white illustrations giving kids a chance to color themselves and rhyming text are a hit. We read this under a tree, plant a seed and watch it grow. Love it !
Recommended for 2-5 year olds.

राधाची स्ट्राबेरी (ल. म. कडू / गमभन प्रकाशन )
This one takes us on a tree's journey from seed to fruits month-on-month. The text is rhyming and lovely black/white illustrations left for kids to color are appreciated by the kids aged 2-4.

अरडी गं बाई परडी (ल. म. कडू / गमभन प्रकाशन ) 
This is an addition poem that you can sing to the tune of famous भोंडला song "एक लिंब झेलू बाई दोन लिंब झेलू" ! What better way to teach maths ! This book is yet another "read and color" one. There is a subtraction book too.
Recommended for 2-5 year olds.

Part II of this post will be a list of read-aloud books in Marathi for 3+ year olds. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Read-aloud through March - Day 30 & Day 31

On day 30, We got new Charlie & Lola books from Veena Aunty and we jumped over to read those... "I am really really concentrating" and "I am too small to go to school ". Charlie and Lola are an adorable pair. We love them. We re-read these and yet another book of this duo - "But it is my book" on day 31.

And yessss ..... we did it - reading and recording our reads for all 31 days of March. Although we started to participate in a contest, I missed updating on FB everyday. But that worked in my favor as I blogged pretty regularly in March. Hope I continue. Thanks to all the readers who read the posts and encouraged us. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Read-aloud through March - Day 28 & Day 29

Reading on day 28 was fun because we were joined by Kuhu's cousin Shubhankar. He just loves to read with us and Kuhu was happy to let him pick the books... So we read "Dippy the Duckling" and "Dipsy Dancing" at Uju aaji's place quickly before getting back home. "Dipsy Dancing" is a book based on TV Series Teletubbytown. Shubhankar and Kuhu enjoyed enacting Dipsy, La-La and all their friends.

Day 29 was T&J's  (Kuhu and Shubhankar's cousins - next-gen Kashalkars) thread ceremony and we had a busy day there. Both Kuhu and Shubhankar were tired by the time we left for home so I thought we might have to skip reading today. Just as we got to Uju ajji's place, Shubhankar said - "मावशी  lets play Alphabet-Housie and then read". Since Shubhankar had to travel back home, we agreed on skipping housie  and just read. We pulled out "Cool Cars" and "Stories for Children".

Friday, March 27, 2015

Read-aloud through March - Day 24 to Day 27

 On Day 24, Kuhu read "कंटाला" from Yash series and "if you give a moose a muffin" with aaji. 

On the 25th day, we read "if you give a pig a pancake " and "if you give a pig a party". 

Day 26 went by reading 5 books from "if you give" series. We are in love with this series. Just before we hit the bed, we had a family-reading of "Spring Surprises". 

For day 27, we wanted to read a birthday book for it was Uju aaji's birthday but decided on having some party with the pig with a read of "if you give a pig a party". 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Read-aloud through March - Day 22 & Day 23

We had a long lay-over at Kolkata before our flight home on Day 22. What better way to spend time than reading ! We read "The Duckling got a cookie ?!" over and over and over. Fellow travelers were amused to see this mother-daughter duo reading the same book numerous times and enjoying it each time. We just love Mo Willems. More about the book here.

Day 23 was our first-vacation-day-at-home. It was obvious that Kuhu was bored of such less-activity through the day. So she was ready with a list of books she wanted me to read. As soon as she was home after a short walk with her aaji, she asked - काम झाला ? (Are you done with your work?). She pulled me into her room (so I don't get carried away watching some nonsensical TV serials . Clever girl !) and pulled out "Cindrella". This was followed by "Bruno the artist". She then made me a present just like what Bruno made for his mum. She then got "The scarecrows on parade" and "Tsomo the momo" to read before we hit the bed. Our review of these books is here.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Read-aloud through March - Day 21

We found Enid Bryton's series at Avi ajoba's place and we love to read new books. So day 21 was spent leisurely reading those. Kuhu tried hard to relate to those but couldn't. Finally we found Jungle book in the series and she was happy. 

Read-aloud through March - Day 20

After a leisure breakfast with Avi ajoba @Ranchi, we decided to do a day trip to Bodhgaya. The trip was awesome and we used our travel time to read two wordless picture books - आम की कहानी & flitter-flutter, both from NBT. 

Both these books are gems for budding writers to put down your story based on the pictures and for re-telling the story. Aaji and I got two stories from each book. Kuhu enjoyed two versions. We were about to get Kuhu's version but we were at the Mahabodhi temple so that is still pending. 

Read-aloud through March - day 18 and day 19

The school is over for this year and we've a few weeks off before we begin the next year..... A good time to head for a vacation. So we're off to meet one more aaji-ajoba and mama. 

To close our fun-filled and relaxing day with Mama, we read बालू की टोकरी. 

We head to Ranchi on day 19 to meet Avi ajoba. We enjoyed our first day time train journey in Shatabdi and read a puzzle book "खोजो-पहचानो".  This is a book that gives you four line hint on what you can find in the accompanying picture. Kuhu learnt a few Hindi words while we cracked the riddle and found those all on the picture. Each page had a different set of five - animals, birds, fruits, etc. The pictures needed to be looked at carefully. I recommend this NBT book for observation for pre-schoolers and upto 6 yrs ones for solving the riddle with poetic clues. 

Read-aloud through March - Day 15, Day 16 & Day 17

On Day 15, we continued to read "Cindrella" which is Kuhu's current favourite. On Day 16, we had found this book मुमुलीची गाणी while redoing our bookshelf. So two days Kuhu read that with her ajoba. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Read-aloud through March - Day 12, Day 13 & Day 14

A day-at-home had to be loaded with books... So Mumma picked "Library Lion" and Kuhu picked her current-favorite-Dino book "Dinosaur 127 bachoon jitna lamba" and we can't finish without at least one Charlie-Lola book.

The dino from "Dinosaur 127 bachoon jitna lamba" is lovable and funny. His "namaste" is awesome. 

On day 13, we read "Charlie and Lola - I must really absolutely have glasses" and "where did it go?"

On day 14, we repeated all books from day 13 and also read Cindrella

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Read-aloud through March - Day 10 & Day 11

Kuhu wanted to read some different books so she asked to look at our not-recently-read books. She jumped up with joy seeing Zoe and Beans. So "pants on the moon" was our first pick. She then went on to read Cinderella - audio book. March 10 is my granny's birth anniversary. So I wanted to read something that reminded me of her. Granny's Sari was a perfect fit. My granny was so much like the one in the story.

On Day 11, Kuhu said we haven't read any Julia aunty' book for so long. So off from the shelf came "Sharing a shell" and "the snail and the whale" by Julia Donaldson. We just love Julia aunty! 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Read-aloud through March - Day 9

At the end of our day, Kuhu picked 3 books to read... "Farmer Falgu goes on a trip", "My First Railway Journey" and "I really ABSOLUTELY must have glasses".

We love this Farmer Falgu's book. I was doubtful if Kuhu would know what silence means and why the farmer would want to go in search of it. But she said - त्याला शांतता हवीये म्हणून चाललाय तो मला हवी असते तशी !! Kuhu loves to make noise like Trot-Trot or Dum-Dum and also to be silent as Shhh... as we read. Yesterday she wanted me to sing the song the old man in the story was singing... Thanks to Cuddles and Reads that I knew what goes along with this book... we sang "yui hi chala chal rahi" and Dadda joined in too... It was fun. We then sat quite to listen every 'noise' we hear before sleep took over.

My First Railway Journey is a wordless picture book from NBT. Wonderfully captured emotions of that first journey, that tunnel... We loved watching it all and remembering what we have seen so far. Kuhu told me she has never seen a coolie... so next time we travel, we 're going to say a Hello to a coolie !

 Charlie and Lola are one of our favorites. We love their funny conversations.... I really ABSOLUTELY must have glasses is adorable. Now Kuhu wants a pair of glasses !

Monday, March 09, 2015

Read-aloud through March - Day 8

It was a working & busy day so we had just one book at bedtime. I was hoping to pick up something like "Goodnight Moon" but Kuhu decided on "Dear Father Christmas".... Christmas & snow when you want bright & hot sun !! She said.. "may be we can Santa to bring us summer as we read" ... I so wish.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Read-aloud through March - Day 7

Yaay ! It is Saturday so it ought to be books and more books. While we are waiting for summer to begin, we read "Frosty the snowman", "Frosty & his new friends", "The Susu pals" and "Minu & her hair". While I can read all these, "Minu & her hair" is read best with Dadda is what my little girl thinks.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Read-aloud through March - Day 6

Both Kuhu and I had a day-off yesterday so it was raining books since morning....

We read marathi books together after a long time. What fun! We should read these small gems more often. 

Read-aloud through March - Day 5

Yesterday Kuhu wanted to read with her Dadda and the pick was "The dot" by Peter Reynolds. We love to look through Vashti's different dots and draw inspiration from those to make our own.
Kuhu and her Dadda's favorites pass-time on a lazy Sunday morning is to spread the sheets, pick some papers, water colors and brushes. Both of them are busy making her masterpiece. Ever since we read the book, Kuhu wants to sign every painting of hers (even if it is just something scribbled!!). She hasn't mastered signing herself so she passes it on to her Dadda to sign it rather perfectly.

Here is her dot (signed on her own !)

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Read-aloud through March - Day 4

We read throughout the day yesterday... one in the morning while waiting for the school van, three in the evening with आजी and two at bedtime with mumma. I love when we can squeeze in reading while we do tons of other things. That way we read more and a variety of books...

We read "Tsomo & the momo" again in the morning. Kuhu's little friend Gia returned Mickey and Minnie board books ( Ballerina Minnie, Farmer Mickey and Mealtime fun) and since we hadn't read it for long, she rushed to her आजी to read while I finished my conference call. 

At bedtime, she wanted to read two books so I asked if we could read one English and one Marathi. Keeping that in mind, she picked - "The Duckling gets the cookie!?" and "गोड भेट".

I wrote about "Tsomo & the momo" and "The Duckling gets the cookie!?" here.

Mickey and Minnie board books are fun things that Mickey, Minnie and their friends do. These are short and simple fun stories.... something that Kuhu relates to.

"गोड भेट" was our pick from a recent book-fair. It is a Marathi translation of The Watermelon route (Author / Illustrator Quentin Greban) by Rama Hardikar. I personally love this book so a separate post on it coming soon....

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Read-aloud through March - Day 3

It was bedtime, Kuhu was tired so was I and we had not read anything yesterday. I was worried we might miss the day but just as I was putting on her blanket, she said - आपण रात्री वाचतो ना ? I jumped out to pull a book but she wanted to read two books, so we read two - "Silly Sara" and How to catch a star.

Silly Sara by Anna Jane Hays is a Phonics book with lot of rhyming words. More than the story of Silly Sara going on to become Super Sara, we love the rhyming words. Illustrations by Sylvie Wickstrom are go well with the book.

How to catch a star by Oliver Jeffers  is one of our favorites. The boy's imagination, his effort and the result are just too good. Kuhu relates to it as she tries to do some off-beat things like the boy. Illustrations by the author are superb.

Read-aloud through March - Day 1

Last year I edited the same post to maintain our reads. This year, however, I'll write one post everyday telling you what we read. 

So here we start......

Today we read मुखवटे(Masks), मोठी शाला(big school) by Madhuri Purandare. These are two of the six books from Yash series by the author. The series is about different experiences of a preschooler Yash. The author has captured the feelings of a preschooler wonderfully   Kids of that age connect with the stories as these are incidents that happen with them or around them everyday. The illustrations also done by the author are simple yet effective. The books are originally written in Marathi but I recently found English version and we loved that too. We love these books so much that whenever I ask what should I gift your friend, यशची बुक्स (Yash books) is Kuhu's response. Here is Kuhu showing today's reads -

Read-aloud through March - Day 2

Yesterday we got our monthly package from Little Reader's Nook. The theme for the month was food. Kuhu was excited to see her gift and wanted to read it... So all the four books were our reads for Day 2 : Balu's Basket / बालू की टोकरी, The scarecrows on parade, Tsomo and the momo & The Duckling gets the cookie!?

Balu's Basket by Chitra Soundar is bilingual book with a beautiful story about Balu, his basket and how he fills it up. Illustrations by Uttara Sivadas are colorful and bright. We loved this book for the simple story line and taking my city-kid to a wonderful village setting.

Why should scarecrows always look scary and ugly? What if they looked pretty and went on a parade rather than standing still in the field? The scarecrows on parade by Shamim Padamsee takes us on a scarecrows parade with Gauri. Nice story with bright illustrations by Tanaya Vyas. Kuhu loved making me to show how a scarecrow should look just as Gauri's Ma showed her in the story !

Tsomo and the momo by Nivedita Subramaniam is a delightful story of Tsomo and biiig momo that she wants. The illustrations are very soft and lively. Kuhu wanted me to make a momo for her just like Tsomo and sing a song like Tsomo's mom. :-)

The Duckling gets the cookie!? by Mo Willems - "Oh that pigeon is back !" Kuhu exclaimed as soon as she saw the book... She surely was expecting some rant from the pigeon through the story and she was not disappointed at all. When we finished, she asked - मी "politely" मागितलं तर देशील का ? Oh man... how can I even say no to this??

This monthly package came with a Little Chef activity - assemble food cards for different dishes.  Kuhu and I enjoyed it too...

Sunday, March 01, 2015

March - Read aloud Month

Last year this month we participated in "30 books in 30 days" challenge. It was in  super fun to track what we were reading, getting to know so many new books,  and sharing with book loving moms. Winning the challenge was icing on the cake. You can read on our take-away here.

I was thinking if we should do it again sometime in 2015. Before I could even think through, one of my book-loving-mom friend Veena, who writes at Our Ordinary life, told us that March is "Read aloud Month" and we could share what we read with each other. So there we are doing it again. Yay!

See you through this month with at least one book every day. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Book Fair

Last week some of my FB friends visited World Book Fair in New Delhi. It dawned upon me that I have not been to one for a very long time. And..... I just remembered having seen a tiny banner pointing to a book fair "Sahitya Darbaar" close to my place. The fair was running for almost a week then and I didnt visit thinking it wouldn't have anything of my interest. Such small fairs usually sport only cookery or self-help or religious books... I've enough cookery books to experiment and the other two don't fit my taste.

Saturday afternoon, when Kuhu was in a mood to play with her grandpa and nothing (and no one ) demanded my urgent attention, I decided to check on the book fair. It was wonderful to be surrounded by books.... virtually no one around. Outwardly it looked like a book fair for Marathi books and so it was with an exception of few management & self-help books. However, the kids section had a good mix of Marathi  and English titles. I enjoyed flipping through the books, reading some, looking for some and finding treasures. Here is what I picked -

I shared this with my friends and a couple of them wanted some titles that seemed I headed to the fair again on Sunday, this time with Kuhu. She was so excited to see the books, some of which she already has and wanted me to read to her there. She is learning to differentiate between Roman and Devnagari script and had fun recognizing each book's script. She even tried to remember if she had the English or Marathi version of the books. One grandma was looking at the "Yash" series for her grandchildren and was surprised to hear Kuhu talk animatedly about those books.

I'm glad I visited Sahitya Darbaar else would have missed on some good reads.... more on that later.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Book Review - Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen / Kevin Hawkes

I got this book in Best Books deals group on Facebook. The title and cover looked interesting and I picked it up. My impression was it was about a lion who loved to read or someone who would talk about books.

The book is about a lion who comes into a library and is allowed to stay on if he does not break the rules of the library (no roaring.. no running..). He goes on to help everyone - from children to visitors to librarian and enjoys the story hour. What does he do when he wants to help a friend but the library staff doesn't understand and breaks the rule? What's punishment and who punishes him?

The illustrations are the highlight of the book. They are soft and warm each one conveying the emotions wonderfully at different points in the story.They build the excitement as the story unfolds. This is one of the books that I didn't have to translate to my 3yr old in Marathi ... pictures said it all.

I liked the book for the brilliant illustrations and story that talks about going by the rules and being responsible for what you do. Every time I read it I discover something new that the story has to tell.

It is a wonderfully entertaining read for young and old.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Busy bags for road trips

When we decided to take a road trip with our 3-yr old this December, I started to look around for ways to keep her busy on the road. In our previous trip earlier this year, she played a lot with stickers and I was skeptical if she would play with just stickers for long. That's when I came across  the concept of "busy bag". Basically it is just a small bag containing a re-usable activity that can be done independently. I found tons of ideas here and I put together quite a few for our recent trip like -

1. drawing book and crayons
2. paper and scissors
3. beads and pipecleaners
4. decorate your ice cream sticks / any design with stickers
5. Make your tree with crepe paper and cotton.
I also used some of the activity kits that come with our monthly subscription of Little Readers' Nook. 

Some of our busy-bags

One of the activity my daughter did on the way

This was the first time I made something like this and it was a big hit with my daughter (and us).  I made about 12 bags and split those into 2 sets of 6 each - one for onward journey and one for return. With all the bags placed in her back-pack, she could pull out one and entertain herself and us too. Since all activities were in separate bags, every bag was a surprise and we played guessing game to see if she could identify whats in the bag by touching it before pulling it out. It was also easier to clean up when she was done with one activity. Added plus was that I didn't have to spend huge time to put them all together and can surely be reused & replenished when required.

The busy bags were a huge relief for us as we didn't have to entertain her all the time and the journey was almost screen-free (only 40 mins of screen time in 16-hr journey !).

We loved these. Hope you like it too.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

A round up of 2014

2014 was an interesting year... I did a lot of new things, made new friends and explored new areas. Overall it was a satisfying year I must say.

I enjoyed setting up our new home where we moved in late 2013. Having built a new house, 2014 saw a lot of guests dropping by. This was a year of meeting everyone (well almost..) from our extended family. We also have new, young and enthu neighbors so our apartment was buzzing with events through the year like Ganapati Utsav, Bhondla / Dandiya / Diwali / Christmas party. It was fun.

Kuhu started formal schooling in 2014. I was surprised to see her adjust so quickly and so well in her new school, making new friends and enjoying her day. A report from her teacher saying "she is a happy child and enjoys coming to school" made me happier. She also had a annual concert at school. It was so satisfying to see her dance to a nursery rhyme on stage (this was her first time). Overall schooling started on a good note for us.

Given that Kuhu started school, we had wonderful vacations in 2014 planned in line with her schedule. Our Goa trip in the summer, impromptu Mahabaleshwar trip and Dhamapur trip in winter were just wonderful. Totally relaxing and refreshing. We went back to long-drives with these and am so glad Kuhu enjoyed that too. Goa trip is so itched into her memory that I'm surprised and happy beyond words.

Kuhu and I read a lot together in 2014. Although I had not made a resolution to do so, but I definitely wanted to do it more than we did in 2013 and so we did. I lost the count of how many books we read but we participated (and won) in 30-books-in-30-days challenge, we did #lovebooks exchange and found a fantastic group of reading mommies  on FB who introduced us to new titles and authors. This was apart from our monthly dose of books from Little Readers' Nook managed by a fantastic mom-entreprenur Devaki. A big thanks to all who enriched me and Kuhu with lovely books, exchanges, interactions .. we loved it all.

On the work front, the year was good. I got to do some interesting work, learnt a few new things, had a good team to interact and support. I'm happy to be ready to take more responsibilities after going slow for 3 yrs. 

Another highlight of the year was starting to learn dance again after good 15 years ! I and my sis' learnt Bharatnatyam from my Mom while we were kids. We continued while in school and I can't remember why but I left it. My sis' continued for a few more years but left too. It left so good to be back, learning again from basics with little kids and added bonus is seeing Kuhu enjoy the class !

Health-wise, we did pretty well this. All of us were fit-n-fine .. so all is well.

With a wonderful year behind us, looking forward to yet another exciting year 2015... Happy New Year !