A curation of 9 books from the house of Tulika that brings together the best of their work on inclusion. A treat for young children and a wonderful starting point for starting important conversations about being different, embracing differences, and empathy.
Age guidance: 4+
1. Why are you afraid to hold my hand: This book offers straight-from-the-heart answers to common doubts and misconceptions about disability. The childlike drawings are as simple and powerful as the short poems.
2. Music for Joshua: Joshua loves music. But learning to play an instrument isn’t likely, he knows. One day he hears the notes of a guitar… and ends up following a music teacher from house to house, watching and listening. If only he could learn too! The buoyant pictures zoom in on colourful old buildings, trellised balconies, sloping roofs and cobbled alleys to create a Mumbai ambience.
3. Kali and the rat snake: Kali is an Irula, traditionally snake-catchers, and so his classmates find him strange. Will Kali ever make friends? A sensitive story about identity with evocative water colour pictures.
4. I didn't understand: “This is a story of three things that happened in my school yesterday. I did not understand them. Maybe you will.” An everyday school story about friends and playing, bullying and sharing, takes a gentle turn. For it is told by Manna, and she has Down’s Syndrome. Award-winning writer Mini Shrinivasan bases her narrative on true events, and speaks in Manna’s voice to take us into her mind.
5. Soda and Bonda: Soda is a dog who feels like a dog. Bonda is a cat who feels like a... dog! A quirky tale about two friends, which makes us think about who we are and how we see ourselves. Expressions, colours and textures work in perfect balance with the seemingly simple text to create a joyful portrait of a friendship that goes beyond appearances.
6. A walk with Thambi: “We were late. We were running in the street. We had played in the river, and we had climbed trees”… everything Amma had said NOT to do! Woven into this story of everyday fun are sensory descriptions, and visual details like the dog guiding his friend… clues that gently tell us that the boy is blind.
7. Kanna Panna: When the lights go off at the cave temples, it is quiet little Kanna who coolly leads everyone to safety. Light or no light, it makes no difference because he can’t see anyway. A joyous story that inverts the notion of ‘disability’ and portrays a child for whom having a visual impairment is just the way he is
— and even a chance to have some fun!
8. Wings to Fly: Little Malathi wants to run after hens and chicks, and catch ripe yellow mangoes as they fall — but how can she, on a wheelchair? Moments and
experiences from the remarkable life of disabled athlete Malathi Holla,
with energetic illustrations full of warmth and cheer.
9. Catch that cat: Dip Dip looks everywhere for her friend’s lost cat. And when it
finally climbs up a tree and can’t come down, the only thing to do is…?
Exuberant illustrations capture the spirited little girl for whom being on a
wheelchair stops her from nothing!