Calling all the 'unboy boys'ÂÂ and 'susu pals'ÂÂ
Kareena N Gianani picks up two picture books for children with unusual themes and likes what she finds between the pages
I never had a susu pal (the ‘pee together, stay together’ variety) when I was a child. I am not even sure whether I missed one. Now, I solely blame Richa Jha, blogger and writer, for making me wonder whether all my other friends at the age of four had susu pals and never told me.
Jha’s blog, Snuggle With Picture Books, is a delight when you want to figure out which book your toddler must sleep with that night. The picture books, The Susu Pals and The Unboy Boy, are her first two self-published books.The Susu Pals, illustrated by Alicia Souza, the doodler of all things whimsical (check her out at aliciasouza.com/blog).
The Susu Pals Richa Jha, illustrated by Alicia Souza Rs 300 Published by Snuggle With Picture Books
Rhea and Dia are susu pals, the ‘I-braid-your-hair-you-braid-mine pals, the ‘let’s-match-our-chaddis pals, who go sailing as pirates and dress up at mummies.
But when Isha, Dia’s new classmate, enters the picture, Rhea is left out. Will Isha become Dia’s new susu pal?
Get your kids a copy of The Susu Pals if you want to tell them about the wonderful world of friendship — with its ups, downs, tumbles and thrills. Its illustrations are as wonderful as the words, and god knows we need more susu pals in the world.
Now to the boys. The moment I saw the title of Jha’s other book, The Unboy Boy, I hoped it was about a boy who doesn’t want to do only ‘boy’ things, who is comfortable doing just, things.
And it is. The Unboy Boy is the story of Gagan, who doesn’t like squashing ants like his friends do, and is scared of war stories, though his grandfather isn’t (he calls him “chooha”).
The Unboy Boy Richa Jha, illustrated by Gautam Benegal Rs 300 Published by Snuggle With Picture Books
He wonders whether he is not a boy. At an annual camp, terror shows its ugly face — does Gagan save the day when his other macho friends cannot?
Gautam Benegal, the book’s illustrator, draws them all — monsters, witches and ghouls — and there’s not an inch which isn’t filled with his charming squiggles. Apart from his drawings, what makes The Unboy Boy endearing is its idea that there really is no such thing as un-boy boy or an un-girl girl.