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

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

When Tomorrow Comes

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My family had always been mediocre in its needs and desires, had bread-earners, a loving bond and a cozy bed to sleep in . What else could I possibly need? That was what i thought until I stepped out into the world, with the luxury, the bliss of having every thing that catches one’s eye and as anyone else, i was enchanted. And that too in totality. I loved to be trendy , following whatever my peers did with a blindfold. Skinny jeans, Over-sized button downs, studded sneakers, voluminous hair , eyeliner and what not. That phase hung over me for half a year, and finally, after all , I freed myself of the blindfold. I saw the reality- harsh but utterly true. They say that better be hurt by a truth than comforted with a lie. Very well said. I opened my eyes and stepped outside of the bubble I’d lived in, I came to feel the uncertainty that I never knew when my time would come to die , I’d been irresponsible, never knowing that this world was just a hallucination, a test for what was yet to come.

Then began the revolution. I freed myself of the mundane wishes of being trendy, up to date with the foolish examples set by peers, I paved another path, which I today , being honest am proud of. I tried to and continue trying to adorn my hereafter, the ocean , I am yet to face. i am another person today, the person i had never thought of being, I changed and am happy to be alive, aware of the vulnerability of this world- knowing that maybe tomorrow wont come. But if tomorrow comes, I hope that I continue to push myself on the path I’ve carved in the places where only rocks met my eyes, i hope to be a better me- a satisfied, content ‘me’.

You can steer towards the right path too if you’re trying to venture out from your callous or complacent life as every revolution begins with a spark.

~ Saadia

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