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Author: Claudia Leganazzi
Publisher: Katha Books
Price: Rs. 145

In most cases, the first place a child experiences is her home. For the first few years of her life, she has limited exposure to the outside world. In fact, what she will know of the world initially, is more often than not, also determined by her home and hence her set of social-cultural experiences. Sometimes the experiences and stories of others and if she is fortunate enough, through books. In all of this, she is supported completely by her own imagination. Slowly, as their world grows, there is a longing to be in those ‘other’ places, to explore, to travel. This book captures the imagination of one little girl who wanders far – but not without her home!

This book consists of colourful whole-page illustrations that take the reader through the child’s world: everywhere the child goes in reality or in her imagination. It allows the reader (also a child) to wonder how the house reaches on top of a car, an elephant, on the sea bed, in the clouds, in a lotus pond and even in outer space! The illustrations invite the reader to stay on each page and absorb the various worlds at leisure.

Illustrations are mostly a combination of paint and craft, where the author uses things we easily find around us – dried leaves, dried tamarind pods (could be from some other tree), cotton wool, sand, twigs, rice, thread etc., along with her paintings. They stand out in that they look very tangible and inspire the reader to create as well. On some pages, the illustrations are not very detailed, but that somehow gives the reader the space and freedom to imagine and wonder what has not been specified.

As a teacher or parent, I would use this book to talk about the places children would like to visit and where they feel at home. Also, what is the concept of ‘home’ really is for them!

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