When Ali became Bajrangbali Book Review and a Craft

Apr 22, 2016 2 comments

Author: Devashish Makhija
Illustration: Priya Kuriyan
Publisher: Tulika Books

The residents of Bargad chawl are in danger of losing their homes – their nooks and crannies, shelters and perches. Ali, the monkey, has to find a way out. He swings, jumps and leaps into action, and comes up with a monkey trick that gives a new twist to the phrase, ‘playing god’ in this hilarious and heartwarming story!
Though this book is aged at 5+, my daughter who is almost 3 enjoyed the story as well. We have always loved the illustrations by Priya Kurian and we loved this book too :) Its a very clever story about how the Monkey solves the problem of his co-habitants of the Tree he resides in, when the Tree is in danger of being cut down.

The Thirsty Crow Book Review and a Craft

Apr 20, 2016 2 comments

Book Title: The Thirsty Crow and other stories
Publisher: Dreamland publications

A jumbo sized book collection of four Aesop's fables with eye-catching illustrations.
Does the thirsty crow story ever go out of style? This book by Dreamland publications has eye-catching illustrations even for the very young. Its a collection of 4 Aesop fables, The thirsty crow, The groaning mountain, The lion and the mouse, The donkey and the lapdog. Though amn't so happy with the text, the jumbo size and illustrations and quality of the book makes it a must-buy. Especially if you are looking for babies and toddlers.

Ranganna review and a Craft!

Apr 15, 2016 3 comments

Book Title: Ranganna
Author: Arthi Anand Navaneeth
Illustrator: Kavita Singh Kale
Publisher: Tulika Books
Ranganna the little elephant lives near a dhobi ghat. He is captivated by the brightly coloured nails of his friends and wants to paint his toes too! But whoever heard of an elephant wearing nail polish?! The illustrations, which are a riot of colour and energy, make Ranganna one irresistible picture book. 

No, David! Craft (with free printable)

Mar 23, 2016 1 comments

We recently read the amazingly illustrated 'No, David!' by David Shannon, a Caldecott Honor Book. I really liked the book because at times am overwhelmed at the number of unavoidable 'No's I say. The little boy David featured in the book comes to life in this simple color-cut-paste craft.

Frog Craft

Mar 21, 2016 0 comments

This is one of those spur-of-the-moment crafts. My daughter would say let's do a craft and when I ask her what she wants to do, she will say something that comes to her mind at that instant. This time, its a Frog. 
She is about to turn 3 in a couple of months and mostly enjoys gluing and coloring. Though it sounds limited, there is quite a variety in each category. When it comes to gluing, different things give her different experience, like gluing paper, cotton, glitter, sand etc. 

Four Seasons Craft

Mar 20, 2016 2 comments

Pratham Books' StoryWeaver has an option of creating Flashcards. I tried my hands at creating one depicting Four Seasons. You can view it here.

We also made a simple craft to go with this. I gave her shapes of tree, leaves, snowflakes etc cut from Construction paper and talked about the seasons as she glued them,

Cake Craft - 5 to 8 years

Feb 18, 2016 0 comments
Let's make a Cake because its somebody's birthday everyday ;) And yeah, today is little special because its been 3 years since I started this blog!

Peppa Pig!

Feb 12, 2016 0 comments

Cardboard box Peppa pig with funny misplaced ears! Inspired by Box Yourself

Soul Warrior

Feb 1, 2016 4 comments

Book Title: Soul Warrior
Author: Falguni Kothari
Genres: Fiction
Rating: 4

Twisted myths. Discretion advised.
Fight fate, or succumb to destiny?
In the dark Age of Kali, the Soul Warrior alone stands guard over the Human Realm, protecting its denizens from evil-willed asuras or demons. When a trick of fate appoints him guru to a motley crew of godlings, he agrees to train them as demon hunters against his better judgment. Suddenly, Lord Karna is not only battling the usual asuras with sinister agendas, but also rebellious students and a fault-ridden past.
Spanning the cosmic realms of mythic India, here is a tale of a band of supernatural warriors who come together over a singular purpose: the salvation of Karna’s secret child


Mythology in modern setting. It might look like everyone is writing a Mythological novel these days still can you ever have enough of it? Not if you are a Mythological fan! I started reading Soul warrior and realized in the first few pages, that irrespective of the times I have watched/read Karna's dying moments in Kurukshetra War, I can still feel the emotional overflow thanks to the Author. So, the story begins where Mahabharatha almost ends and a lot later in time.

Valentines day cards for Kids

Valentine's day is round the corner, so here is a printable for making your own finger print cards. Just print it on a cardstock, let your kids imprint their fingers and cut them out. 

You can also write fancy stuff like the ones here for older children. And add your kids name on the heart! 

Download Valentines Card here.
Download template without the heart here.

Crab Craft

Jan 25, 2016 3 comments

We read a book called 'Little Jessie's beach fun' and did this crab craft to go with the book's theme. The nice thing about doing crafts is that it not only triggers imagination but also interesting questions, sometimes simple ones that we miss to notice. When we were adding eyes and mouth to our crab, my daughter asked if crabs have nose. And errr, I have never given enough attention to crabs in the first place, leave alone their noses. The answer is that crabs don't have nostrils like we do. They have gills to breathe and use 'Chemoreception'(using chemical signals) for smell. 

Little Jessie's Beach Fun and a Craft

Book Title: Little Jessie's Beach Fun
Author: Gowri Nat
Genres: Children (3-8 years)
Rating: 4
Little Jessie s Beach Fun Affable, young Jessie loves nothing more than a day at the beach with her dad taking in the sunshine, sand, trees, birds, sea animals and more. One day, her outing puts her in contact with a new friend with interesting things to teach Jessie. And the friendly girl has a pleasant surprise in store for her new friend. Who could this new pal be? And what special treat does Jessie have in store? Dive into Jessie s world and find out in Little Jessie s Beach Fun. Appropriate for children ages 3 through 8 but written to stretch young readers cognitive and reading skills Little Jessie s Beach Fun is a colorful, exciting and vibrant outdoor adventure that resonates with children curious about the world the natural world beyond the artificial confines of video games, smart phones, televisions and tablet computers. The easy-to-ready, brilliantly illustrated tale not only delivers a light, fun story with lovable characters, but also instills an early appreciation of nature and valuable lessons about love, kindness and cherished core values. "

Pongal Craft for the very young

Jan 13, 2016 0 comments

Here is a quick Pongal-themed craft. My 2.5 year old daughter was very enthusiastic about it and especially liked the part involving sand. I gave her the printed pot and rhinestones and she automatically stuck them inside the circles and triangles without any directions from me. I was surprised to see that she had conceived the idea of decorating these patterns. You can download the Pongal Pot template here.

If you do not celebrate Pongal, the 4 day harvest festival in your part of the world, you can read here to get an essence of it (includes an excerpt from a book I enjoyed reading).

And I have explained below how we did it. But you can do the same with whatever supplies you have at home. After all, crafting is all about imagination and creativity :)

The House that BJ built

Jan 9, 2016 0 comments

Book Title: The House That BJ built
Author: Anuja Chauhan
Genres: Fiction
Rating: 4
I'll make my sisters squirm like well-salted earthworms. I won't sell. Even my jutti wont sell. And if I die na, then even my gosht won't sell! The late Binodini Thakur had been very clear that she would never agree to sell her hissa in her Bauji's big old house on Hailey Road. And her daughter Bonu, is determined to honor her mothers wishes.
But what to do about her four pushy aunts who are insisting she sell? One is bald and stingy, one is jobless and manless, one needs the money to 'save the nation' and one is stepmother to Bonus childhood crush-brilliant young Bollywood director Samar Vir Singh, who promised BJ upon his deathbed that he would get the house sold, divvy the money equally and end all the bickering within the family.
The first word baby Bonu ever spoke was 'Balls' and indeed, she is ballsy, bullshit-intolerant, brave and beautiful. But is she strong enough to weather emotional blackmail by the spadefull? Not to mention shady builders, wily politicians, spies, lies and the knee-buckling hotness of Samars intense eyes? Sharply observed and pulse-quickeningly romantic, this is Anuja Chauhan writing at her sparkling best!
My last review 'Before I Go To sleep' byS.J.Watson was a group read in Goodreads. But I was little disappointed by the fact there wasn't enough discussion happening in the group. If not anything, it motivated me to read a book that I otherwise might not have picked up. Sometime later, when I saw book discussions on Indian Moms Connect(IMC)(a website I design craft kits for), I jumped at the opportunity of starting a book club afresh, that too with a subset of readers I can really connect with, Indian moms! Unfortunately by the time you read this review, the Book Club came to an abrupt end due to Technical issues. Nevertheless, we read the book 'The House that BJ built' by Anuja Chauhan. Once again, I managed to achieve the goal of picking an Author that I had been putting off for no reason. Better luck to me with BookClubs next time, sigh!

Since it was me who started this BookClub on IMC, I had the task of keeping the group alive and kicking. This led me to finding interesting trivia about the Author and the Book. One such was the term Jump sequel, which simply meant a sequel set in a different point of time. And then there was the Dubsmash with dialogues from the Book which was really funny :)

This book is a jump sequel to Those Pricey Thakur Girls which I haven't read. Few others in the BookClub who had already read this never mentioned much relevance or context. I hope I can safely say, it doesn't matter much whether you have already read the prequel or not.


There are few books that my mind interprets as Bollywood scripts(whether its good or bad, I leave to you to judge ;)). This book is certainly one of them - be it the cinematic opening or hopelessly in love lead characters or the drama with the Tring brothers, you can go on. This book is a tickler, you keep a smile the entire time you are reading it.

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The House that BJ Built
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Before I Go to Sleep

Jan 8, 2016 0 comments

Book Title: Before I Go to Sleep
Author: S.J.Watson
Genres: Fiction
Rating: 4

As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child, thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me...
Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love--all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.
Welcome to Christine's life.

Reading a book is one thing, reviewing it is another. But to experience the joy of reading with fellow book lovers takes it to a different level altogether. So, I had been looking around for book clubs that would motivate me to try different Authors and Genres, where I can actively read a book. I found a book club on Goodreads that fit my bill and the book that was voted for was 'Before I Go to Sleep' by S.J.Watson, Though I felt the discussions weren't engaging enough, I am happy I read a book that I otherwise wouldn't have bothered to pick up.  By the time I was midway, there were people who were done with the book and felt the book was unputdownable yet not upto their liking. This raised my curiosity but kept me from having high expectations at the same time.

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