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April 13, 2011 / sunita77

A glimpse into Asha Nehemiah’s books for CBT

There once lived a man who was too large for regular sized clothes. But he desperately wanted new clothes so he could attend the wedding of the princess. After much frustrated searching, he hits upon some brilliant ideas…

Post continued at SaffronTree here..

February 22, 2010 / sunita77

Brahma’s Butterfly

Title: Brahma’s Butterfly
Story: Meera Raghunathan
Illustrations: Kavita Singh Kale
Publishers: Tulika Books

Hindu deities abound in millions. Or at the least it feels that way. There are deities for everything – nature’s force, human emotions, even for some of the deadly viruses that strike the human race. Of all though, the most popular ones are the Trimurti – Brahma, Vishnu (and his avatars), Shiva (and his son Ganesha).

Who is Brahma?

This how the book begins. Brahma is our father, the creator of all living things- the animals, plants and the human beings. Now like every father, he loves his children, even when they do not always behave (psst humans fighting with humans).Brahma’s favorite children however are the plants in his garden and he loves to unwind near his beautiful flowers.

One day, after a long hard day at work, he comes home to his garden only to find all the foliage gone! Poof. And, boy does Brahma get MAD!

Greedy Gluttons!
Vile Vandals!
Obstreperous Obnoxity!

Ouch. Brahma in anger is very articulate – after all he IS married to Saraswati the Goddess of Learning isn’t he?

Now who was responsible for eating his way through all the leaves – why the caterpillar of course! The ever hungry, furry, fat caterpillar. What does Brahma do? And how is that directly responsible for what we know today as metamorphosis?

What I loved in this book is the portrayal of Brahma, a Hindu God, but at the end of the day as fallible as any parent.

What did my daughter like the most? Brahma’s cuss words!

All in all, a great read, offering a bit of science, a bit of Hinduism and a really hilarious story!

December 2, 2009 / sunita77

I am different!! Can you find me?

Sometimes when I talk to other parents about kid books and reading, I hear a despairing wail – But my child doesn’t like to read! He/She is too fidgety/uninterested/prefers other activities whatever. And it stumped me. Until I had another child who was exactly the opposite of my first one. Sweetpea seems to think that it’s a waste of time to actually read books when, why you can easily do something more exciting, like say – tear/chew/throw the book ! (Horrors!)

So it’s been a challenge to get her interested in reading and I’m still working on that. One way is to probably pick less wordy books, maybe even a wordless book like Tuesday or Flotsam. Or get books with textures or Peek-a-boo books – there are so many in the market. Once Sweetpea is old enough to follow a story, then I would get a book with a simple story and narrate instead of read.

One such book that could help a reluctant reader is this one.

Read the rest of the entry here

November 9, 2009 / sunita77


So the madness for the school hunt continues. We’re applied in 3 schools so far (including the more expensive option I was skeptical about). No news from two of them (as is typical of this management) but attended an “interview” with the other school.

Some snippets from the interview:

1. Teacher and parents (that’s us) have parked themselves on these teeny tiny kinder chairs and left a seat empty for Poppin. What does she do? Asks for a BIG chair and gets it. So she gets to sit as tall as us now – clever strategy I think, to not get intimidated by the interviewer.

2. Interview starts with asking her to identify objects. She’s shown a picture of a cat and asked what it is. Poppin turns to me and cool as you please, says “Mummy this is boring”. Thankfully teacher does not hear it and I just wish the earth would open up and swallow me. I understand they did it to make her feel at ease but still from her point of view:)

3. Next teacher asks her ‘So A is for?’ Poppin looks at me (that’s what she did the entire time, looked at me and gave all the answers) and says “Apple” grudgingly. Teacher is pleased, asks her “P for?” And pat comes the reply – Poppin. Teacher laughs and tries another alphabet – and you guessed it the answer to that was Sweetpea. Teacher pauses and says “What about Z?” [heh] Poppin’s response: “Let me think about it” {!!!} Finally deigns to say Zebra. LOL

4. Teacher says “Sing a rhyme”. Poppin says “No. My voice is not coming properly”. Why? I have a cold Mommy – see? (shows up handkerchief to all and sundry)

I have hope for this girl yet – she’s not as biddable as I thought she would be. I like it:)

But the whole “boring” thing made us wonder if we’d done the right thing in holding her back and putting her so late to LKG. Should we have gone with a school that would have accepted her earlier to LKG? As it is she’ll be 4 years and 8 months before her classes start – won’t she be really bored? I have no idea what they teach at LKG but I would imagine that they might start the alphabet all over again and that would be terribly boring for sure.

But all the teachers we’ve spoken to say the same thing, that she will be better off being ahead of the class, that later this will help with studies and there’s no doubt that Poppin needs to develop more self confidence. For her quiet nature, perhaps being the oldest child in the class is a boon.

This whole parenting thing is a racket though – everyone has such diverse opinions and opposing thoughts on the perfect kind of school. One was this age/class that I just mentioned and the other the class ratios.

Logically to me it makes sense to have a low student to teacher ratio. But some parents swear by the 50:1 model – children have more friends to choose from, they learn quietly instead of being on the radar all the time, they learn how to deal with overpopulated India.

Will my shy child be finally forced to become more assertive in a big class or will she slip into the woodwork with low self esteem issues ?

Will my sensitive child bloom under the watchful care of a small class or be traumatised by a bad teacher if she ends up having one, since in a class so small there’s no room to hide.

I tell you this responsibility for another’s life – scaaaary!

October 28, 2009 / sunita77

Posting has been slow

Because I’m too kicked about Saffron Tree

Two of my reviews : The Neverending Story and Dancing on walls are up on Saffron Tree. Please visit and let me know what you guys think!

Not to mention the other delish reviews the rest of the group is posting.

Go CROCUS 2009!


October 23, 2009 / sunita77

Saffron Tree and I share our birthday..

…on the same date – today! And to celebrate it (Saffron Tree’s – not mine!) we’re having a week long festival of book reviews/crosswords/interviews/goodies !


It’s called CROCUS : Celebration of Reading Other Culturally Unique Stories and it’s from Oct 23rd to Oct 30th with the theme – Around the World in Seven Days.

So spread the message and  support us in the pursuit of discovering new worlds through a child’s eyes!


September 25, 2009 / sunita77

Congratulations Art

Since the doula (Chox) is not in town, I’m doing the backup doula duties ..


ArtNavy have produced a Anush version 2.0 ! Yes, they’ve had a baby girl. As I said on her comment space, they’ve now joined the prestigious club of parents to two girls. (Yes, DDMom, CeeKay, Boo, Choxbox MummyJaan,  UTBT, EvesLungs, myself et al, but also Kamal Hassan, Rajnikanth and Obama among others lol)

Congratulations to Art, Navy and Anush. Anush will rock as a big sister! Baby and Mother are fine, baby weighs 3.9 Kg (woohoo!).


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