10 Children’s Books that will bring you Joy

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I’ve always had a special place for books written for children, be it the unassuming descriptions, marvelous adventures, vivid descriptions of the country and food or the lessons that many adults seem to have missed out on. Here are 10 such books that have brought me sustained joy and I hope they do the same for you:

  1. As Fast as words could fly by Pamela M Tuck: This is a story of how a black boy, using his confidence and typing skills faces challenges in a ‘white-only’ school in the 60s. Giving a child’s account of the effort to end segregation, this book shows how society’s burdens rest on the smallest of shoulders even though it may not seem so. Further, this book successfully shows how our worth is determined by our actions more than any other label society may use as a yardstick.
  2. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl: Progressing from a sad and disheartening orphan story to a shared adventure, culminating in a joyful close, Dahl’s first book is a conglomerate of fantasy, magic and delightful adventure.
  3. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein: Capturing both the soaring spirits of youth and the calm resignation of old age, The Giving Tree shows the relationship between a tree and a young boy and how it changes as he grows older. The author’s ability to capture the stillness of endurance in the face of departing from one’s own self is awe inspiring.
  4. Charlotte’s Web by E.B White: Defined as a “tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death,” this book shows the importance of true friends and the immense value they add to our lives.
  5. To be a Drum by Evelyn Coleman: The drum, a long held symbol of African roots is invoked by a father when he teaches his children about how the self becomes this symbol and how this becoming has sustained their ancestors through slavery, wars and the Civil Rights Movement. This book stays with you long after you’ve read it.
  6. The Elves and the Shoemaker by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm: A classic Grimm’s fairytale for many children is recreated yet another time by LaMarche’s warm and beautiful illustrations. This story traverses through how a poor shoemaker receives much-needed help from two young elves and how the circle of kindness is completed.
  7. The Tooth by Avi Slodovnick: A story of the innocence of childhood and empathy, Slodovnick weaves a simple dentist’s visit into something greater and more nuanced through the eyes of a child.
  8. Somebody Loves you, Mr Hatch by Eileen Spinelli: This story of friendship, community and reaching out, coupled with Paul Yalowitz’s dreamy illustrations makes for a jolly read and on a deeper thought, makes us question our enforced mundanity into our daily lives.
  9. Till the Clouds Roll by by Ruskin Bond: Trying to escape the unfamiliar place of his mother’s new family, 10 year old Ruskin loses himself in books, forests and markets of the town, forming friendships and creating lifelong memories along the way. The illustrations by Mihir Joglekar add comfort and simple beauty to the book.
  10. The Coal Thief by Alane Adams: Yet another story of empathy or the compassion taught by suffering, as Kahlil Gibran calls it, The Coal Thief shows how humanity can survive in the coldest and dreariest of times. As the coal warms up a community, the resilience of love warms the reader’s heart.

~ Saadia

A Torch In The Night

IMG_20171231_132642_625.jpgShe looks at fireworks
And the child in her resurfaces
I watch her, my stomach twisting
And despair creeping up my throat
She’s silhouetted against the night
And the skyline of this city
She’s beautiful
And I am afraid
For her, for what comes next.
She’s the torch in the night
And I run my way back
Skipping a step at the stairs
To the dark that feels familiar.
She’s alive
And I envy her
She’s brimming with delight
And I feel like my insides
Are burning and curling
I run my way back
So that I don’t run into decay.

~Saadia

This Story

tumblr_oovcdyaCVb1v2b1lto1_400.jpgFlipping through the leaves

Of all the times I’d still been here,

And thinking of what went wrong,

but my mind is as blank

As the sky after snow,

Intersected by the dead, cold branches.

And the book snapped shut

I blinked at all it truly was,

And saw that after all,

The story ends with us.

– Saadia

Inspired by All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. ❤

Spring

 

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Its beautiful.

The tiny velvet blue petals and white dandelions, the sparrow and its hearth, the pine. The budding grass, lush and young, the marbled columns, long roads and the singing of the rare scarlet bird. Its magic and I have fallen for it many times but there is this dark place inside, where the night reigns and stars peek through sometimes, smoke and carnage, broken bones and tired limbs, grey and raven, overlapping and drowning, spring has not found a home yet. Not yet.

– Saadia

Color me Grey

 

grey.jpg

The grey had found a home in the white, it consumed ruthlessly until it was dark and dull, like the sky had turned ashy. But it was beautiful, it was the color of death yet it felt like the beginning of all we never had, it was grey fog on our work of art but it was breathtaking.

Bronze, auburn and heather have their share of beauty but mauve is a breath of fresh air. The air tasted sharp the day grey took over, like droplets of water, the color of sea foam were dispensed somewhere inside. The air looked like the color of broken bones but it was stunning, like ivory had met stone.

Raven and ink have their share of hiding our scars but slate is the color of invincibility. The ground was soft the day grey took over, like its burden was already gone, like broken promises and unmet dreams had sailed away like dandelion seeds. The ground still looked shaken but it was bracing, like obsidian had met tangerine.

~ Saadia

Run

images-6Run, kid, run till your lungs ache and your shins split open. Run till you leave the dead earth hanging on the shattered horizon. Run, leave the immaculate fields behind, plains where the grass is too green, run and strip the unnecessary. Run, love, run till your eyes have drowned in an ocean of stinging tears, run till the trees drift away into an illusional distance. Run till the rain has drenched your bones and the snow nestles in your hair. Run till you are carved raw, run till you find the abode of your demons and the abbey of your angels, run , for the sake of your damned life, run. Run till colours drink themselves up in the sky and the night folds into herself.

– Saadia