It was love at first sight. He was so cute, so street-smart, so South Indian, I decided he just had to be on our cover. And there’s the added comfort of knowing that no one will cast him in a play where he has to take his clothes off.
Chashmuddin is the star of The Spectacular Spectacle Man, the story of a street vendor who uses bizarre verses to hawk his wares. He’s one of the representatives of a small, but very hot, trend in children’s books—homegrown English writing that is not preachy or Panchatantra-ish.
These days you would be surprised by how many strange and wonderful local heroes you’re likely to find in the pages of books buried beneath all those best-selling volumes of Goosebumps or Captain Underpants.
I know I’ve struggled often enough when I’m trying to buy kiddie books. They have the Harry Potters, Faraway Trees, even those ugly, bound Amar Chitra Kathas. Then, there’s the fact that I can’t tell the difference between Rick Riordan and Cornelia Funke.
Now, thanks to this week’s cover story (on Page 12), none of us will ever be lost in the children’s section again. This summer, I plan to march right in and ask for The Beast with Nine Billion Feet.
We also asked Kalpana Swaminathan and Ishrat Syed (authors who share the pseudonym Kalpish Ratna) to share their views on children’s reading habits. They believe that you shouldn’t bust a blood vessel if your child wants to read something unsuitable (Page 12). Send us your feedback at lounge@livemint—tell us why you agree/disagree with this premise.
Talking of turbulent blood vessels, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been caught in the mother-daughter, follow-the-rules crossfire. And when Jeeta Shah shared her story about her nine-year-old son, I knew I had to write this parenting story (Page 7).
This week, columnist Jared Sandberg writes on every employee’s marathon juggle—work and home (Page 4). According to one study, three-fourths of the respondents said they stay “switched on” during weekends. Our job is to help ensure you don’t.
Don’t miss creativity’s new twist (Page 11), the most stylish little add-ons in town (Page 9), the newest pocket book (Page 18), the amazing treasures from your trash (Page 14) and the theatre fest you shouldn’t miss (Page 21). Whew, I need to rest.
Tell us what you liked best or disliked most in this issue. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org