The need to keep children at home and occupied these days of enforced school closures and city lockdowns is a task that has had most moms tearing their hair out. After all, containing all the high energy that kids need to release through play is easier said than done. However, books can definitely come to the rescue and keep kids occupied and happily so. Reading, as we know, comes with a ton of benefits, ranging from improved vocabulary, to stimulating the imagination, to creating more empathy, as well as giving children a glimpse into lives of others around the world.
We asked parents what their kids were reading in the times of COVID-19 social isolating. Across India, moms of toddlers (and a little more) share a list of books you can read together at home with kids.

Here is what Indian mothers are recommending (written in no particular order).

THE GOPI DIARIES

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao, mother of a six-year-old girl says that her kid is reading The Gopi Diaries: Coming Home, Panchatantra, and My Little Pony. She also said, “Kids love to read and read Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood books and Peppa Pig books.”

JULIA DONALDSON

Sakshi Verma, a mom of two from Hong Kong who has had her kids at home for eight weeks has an assortment of books.  Sakshi said “Julia Donaldson and Eric Carle books for the little ones. Bhakti Mathur for Indian stories. Followed by Geronimo and Thea Stilton books… For those who want to read more. Scholastic is currently doing some free promotions on its website for kids as well. We also love National Geographic Publications. Not just the magazine. Even their joke books, weird but true series played a big part in encouraging my kids to read.”

Books Kids Are Reading During Coronavirus
Books Kids Are Reading During Social Isolation

ERIC CARLE

Deepshikha Chakravarti, mother of a four-year-old son said, “My kid is reading the Pepper series and Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” There are loads in Carle’s series such as Polar Bear, Polar Bear. There’s also The Tiny Seed, The Very Busy Caterpillar and others.

Archana Pai Kulkarni, the books editor at SheThePeople picked “My Round The World Library: First Stories About Faraway Places.” To that she added byMy Round The World Library: First Stories About Faraway Places.” If you are okay with an explosive( literally!) laugh riot with sound effects (kids looooove them), I recommed ‘Phiss Phuss Boom” by Anushka Ravishankar “Phiss Phuss Boom”.

DR SEUSS

“Reading to my little fellow through out meal times a selection of lovely books like Dr Seuss series, Usborne Illustrated Tales, Elmer and Julia Donaldsons,” says Vasudha Gupta a doctor by profession. “Some other books we would be enjoying together are Owl Babies, Stuck, The Giving Tree and more.”

GERALD DURRELL

Aparna Karthikeyan talks of some really classics. “When the daughter was younger (perhaps 10? Over a decade ago!) we read & re-read Gerald Durrell because the writing’s marvellous and the stories so ridiculous and funny! Especially liked the one about a baby ant-eater called Sarah Huggersack.”

TINKLE

Neha Kare Kanabar, founder UNIMO Moms said, “My kids are reading Zero to One, Ikigai, Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle.” Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle have offered free subscription to their books for a month during the Corona crisis.

PEPPA PIG

“Reading is our biggest time consumer at the moment and we are reading, and re-reading,” says Shaili Chopra, mom to six and two year olds. “My two-year-old is hooked to all things Peppa and the Naisha series. Julia Donaldson’s Go-Go Away is among her re-reads favorite. I suppose it’s quite apt for the coronavirus. She is also very amused that even her books are getting sanitized. For my six old, we are traveling the world on the Atlas by NatGeo kids. I also got him Faraway Tree books by Enid Blyton, a comic called Owly, Blue Dinosaur by Vaishali Shroff and a series on Kalia the snake.”

The ten-year-old is reading My Family and Other Animals and the eleven and a half year old is reading the Divergent series says Shreya Sen Handley.

Suchika Sahay has got her home library stocked with Peppa pig books, Tiger Who Came for Tea and Disney stories.

LEMONY SNICKET

Maya Jain mentions the lovely gripping series, “Lemony Snicket” and how her kids are also finishing up the Lockwood and Co series by Jonathan Stroud.

FARAWAY SERIES

Madhulika Liddle says her children are switching between “Winnie the Pooh, the Magic Faraway Tree series, and The Wishing Chair series.”

HARRY POTTER SERIES

Arpita Das says “The 7-year-old is halfway through the first Harry Potter book. And started a Horrible Histories, Awesome Egyptians yesterday.” She also added, “The 15-year-old is reading The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter by John Pipkin and just started Ismat Chughtai’s Short stories.”

ZANE AND ZOEY

Ruchi Makkad, mom to a 6 year old reads Zane and Zoey. She also does crosswords in the series of Clever Kids books. You, Me and Empathy by Jayneen Sanders is a book we are reading and trying to make the children aware in this difficult environment of coronavirus. “I have been doing globe-work, looking at countries and talking climate since we will be in no travel zone for a long bit.”

TIMMY FAILURE SERIES

Harini Srinivasan said, “My 11 year has been reading a series called Timmy Failure and alternating that with Amar Chitra Katha and a book on coding.”

OLIVER JEFFERS

Milee Ashwarya shared her list for her five year old daughter. “I Hate Curly Hair by Divya Anand, Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers, There’s a Pig Up My Nose by John Dougherty and Laura Hughes. (Thanks Milee for sharing the picture of your daughter with us! That’s little Lyla on the feature image.)

MARVEL COMICS

For young adults, all the Marvel comics are a gripping series. Marvel counts among its characters such well-known superheroes as Spider-Man, Ant-Man, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Captain America, the Wasp, Wolverine, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Blade etc.

DRAGON MASTERS

“Just before his school shut down, my 5.5 year old son brought home the visually stunning Big Cats by Seymour Simon from his school library,” shares Neha Bhatt. “This has him fascinated with how big cats behave in the wild. This extended time at home has given us the chance to devour as many picture books as we possibly can, because I suspect it won’t be long before my son outgrows them.”

Among others Neha has picked are Sleep Like A Tiger by Mary Logue, illustrated by Pamela Zagarensk, On A Magical Do-Nothing Day by Beatrice Alemagna, Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts. “We also curled up with Julia Donaldson’s latest The Smeds and the Smoos ( illustrated by Axel Scheffler) and an old favourite The Day The Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers. Lazy afternoons (and some long drawn bedtime sessions) are generally taken up by early chapter books that my son is currently into, like Dragon Masters, Nate the Great and a gorgeous edition of Winnie the Pooh stories.”

“To somewhat make up for our missed park visits, we dip into a wonderful new book for budding birders – Birds In Your Backyard And Beyond by Arthy Muthanna Singh, Mamta Nainy and Kaustubh Srikanth. My son is also hooked to the action packed India’s Space Adventure by Biman Basu,” she adds.

ROALD DAHL

Kaushal Vira Sovani is reading Roald Dahl to her 10 yr old. Among the many favourites from the author are Charlie and Chocolate Factory. Prachi Buchar picked Dahl’s audiobooks as a suggestion on our book club. “Rhymes by Dahl, Carroll, Nash, Seuss, Stevenson and Lear,” all make for a great listen and real says Baisali Chatterjee Dutt. 

Mansi is an Intern at SheThePeople.TV

 

 

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