I Am So Much More

The book addresses the all-pervasive topic of skin colour in India. The delightful illustrations present a whole palette of skin tones by associating the shades to all kinds of things around us. Did you realise that biscuits come in all kinds of skin colour? The rhymes accompanying the illustrations challenge gender stereotypes, bring in unusual professions and children who dream big.

HarperCollins Publishers India 2021 Divya Thomas Ruchi Shah


A little girl, Kadalamma, learns of the secrets of the sea as she takes a shorewalk with her fisherman grandfather, Palayam. This book is illustrated with photographs of life and living on the seashore and has an insider’s view of the deep relationship that communities share with the sea and all the life in it. The sensitivity and voice of the narrative, the depth of content and excellent images make the book a wonderful example of narrative non-fiction.

Tulika Books 2022 Yuvan Aves Yuvan Aves

The Plant Whisperer

This picture book explores the journey of a young woman scientist finding her place in the world. The secrets of plants intrigue her as much as she continues to struggle with loneliness, often baffled in an unkind world. The illustrations capture the sense of her discovery that mustard plants that grew up with unrelated plants tended to help each other as much as they tell the story of her self-discovery. A book for all children who love asking questions about the world and themselves.

Pratham Books 2022 Sayantan Datta Bhavya Kumar

Chitty – A Dog and Her Forest Farm

Chitty is a dog who is taken from the streets of Pune to a life in a forest farm in the Western Ghats. We are introduced to her world at the farm, her growing years, her adventures and her deep, abiding relationship with Serow. The illustrations bring this green, wet, funny, scary world alive. The sensitive portrayal of Chitty’s passing is a mediation on the nature of life that is such a rare opportunity for children to relate to it in writing.

Kalpavriksh 2021 Serow Rajiv Eipe

The Tiger of the River

A fantastically written book about the mahseer fish in the Kaveri river. The writing is dramatic and emotional and the illustrations draw you into the world of Matisha- a gorgeous, golden mahseer. The collision of the natural world with the apathy of the humans is well presented. The ending is like a salute to the majestic tiger on land and the tiger in the river. It’s a book that makes you want to do something!

an imprint of Speaking Tiger, Talking Cub 2022 Adrian Pinder Maya Ramaswamy

Abanindranath’s House of Stories

This is a beautifully designed and illustrated book on Abanindranath Tagore’s art. This is how books on art should be – playful, and yet encouraging readers to become thoughtful creators. Elements of Tagore’s art, his imagination, and his childhood are all highlighted using different colour palettes and techniques. Readers will delight in playing with the book as they look through windows, peep into rooms and join baithaks. The book itself is a work of art!

Art1st 2022 Likla Lall Eva Sanchez Gomes

Eeks! I Saw a Cockroach!

Children have always been fascinated by creepy-crawlies, and the common cockroach is a familiar one for most children. This book gives an entertaining insight into its private life, its unique anatomy, its habits and habitats, strange facts like how long a cockroach can hold its breath and its amazing hardiness that has helped it to survive nearly unchanged for millions of years before humans appeared on Earth.

Puffin Books an imprint of Penguin Random House India 2021 Arthy Muthanna Singh and Mamta Nainy Charulata Mukherjee

Reva and Prisha

In this story, Reva and Prisha are two children sharing a home with two mothers, Runu and Pritam. A sensitive portrayal such as this one, capturing a glimpse into the lives of queer people by a queer author does not feel tokenistic at any point in the book and in fact underscores that life is a rainbow in its multifarious dimensions. The illustrations add a different dimension to bringing the characters alive, highlighting some unique sides to this family.

Scholastic India 2021 Shals Mahajan Lavanya Karthik