This one has classic Premchand shorts, such as The Salt Inspector, Big Brother, Kaki and Idgah. From corruption in The Salt Inspector, to ill-treatment of a family member in Kaki, to the spirit of thoughtfulness and generosity in Idgah, the master storyteller’s deft pen captures the underbelly of India. An added attraction in this book is a short bio of the author and some practical advice for children.
A Winter’s Night and Other Stories: By Premchand, Puffin, 139 pages,Rs150.
A fantasy chase
This collection has stories by Sampurna Chattarji, Chatura Rao, Anuradha Majumdar and Michael Heyman. Hiccups in the Dark is a story of faith. The Girl Who Was Not of the Desert is about a water-diviner. Vincent from Mumbai meets Van Gogh in The Vincent Incident. Eight stories of humour, fantasy and mystery make up this book.
The Moustache Maharishi and Other Unlikely Stories: Scholastic, 170 pages,Rs150.
Girls are the best
Poile Sengupta’s Clueless, Manjula Padmanabhan’s The Giant and the Universe, Paro Anand’s See You Shortly and Aditi De’s The Mummy Factor are some of the jewels in this delightful collection. Cowgirl is about a village girl’s news-making entry on television. Hide and Seek is a story of childhood jealousy, subterfuge and forgiveness. Eleven interesting stories.
Favourite Stories for Girls: Puffin, 142 pages, Rs150.
Boys will be boys
Vitamin M by Asha Nehemiah, which has a boy playing detective with his grandpa, and The Big Race (a racing contest for insects) by Ruskin Bond are some of the 11 remarkable stories in this compilation. It also has stories such as Ranjit Lal’s Owlet, about a boy saving an owlet from certain death.
Favourite Stories for Boys: Puffin, 122 pages, Rs150.
Samit Basu, Manjula Padmanabhan, Anushka Ravishankar and Vandana Singh, among others, feature in this short sci-fi collection. An alien spaceship kidnaps an Earth boy for an intergalactic song competition. A time traveller lost in time. A boy saves the world from an ominous asteroid. Read the book to find more thrilling stories.
7 Science Fiction Stories: Scholastic, 113 pages,Rs125.
Compiled by Adithi Rao, it has abridged translations of unforgettable Sanskrit drama, such as Mrichchakatika (The Little Clay Cart, where Charudatta and Vasantasena fight injustice), Silappadikaram (The Story of an Anklet, a tale of not letting wrongdoing go scot free), and the story of Shakuntala and Dushyant. A book that offers children a peep into the rich literature of a bygone era.
Shakuntala and Other Stories from Ancient India: Puffin, 166 pages,Rs175.