News & Reviews


Enjoyable horror ride!

Book: Horrid High
Author: Payal Kapadia
Publisher: Puffin (Pp 315, Rs 299)
Everyone loves to cherish their childhood especially one’s school days. But author Payal Kapadia talks about a school that no one would want to go to- ‘Happy High’. Much in contrast to its name, this utterly horrid school is meant for orphans and children unwanted by their families.

The author deftly describes the plight of the children – poorly lit and pathetic dorms (Scumbag, Lowlife, N i n c o m p o o p a n d Dimwit are the names), Principal Perverse’s ‘Book of 300 golden rules that prohibit the kids from doing anything fun and the teachers who gladly make the children’s lives hell. But principal has an ulterior motive.

However, Makewell, a school inspector is determined to get rid of horrid schools across the place. ‘Horrid High’ is an extremely enjoyable journey of the school kids and the people who are involved in making and breaking their lives. Payal Kapadia keeps the tone of story extremely enjoyable with twists at every point. Notably the names of the characters such as Miss Verbose (English teacher), Coach Kallus (Physical Education teacher) and Granny Grit tell more about them. A fabulous read for young adults and adults who love adventure!

–Janani Rajeswari S

Bookart 2014 celebrates the art of illustration

Bookart, Bookaroo’s highly popular exhibition of illustrations from children’s books in collaboration with the Vadehra Art Gallery Bookstore, moved to the Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi from Novermber 11-25, 2014. The 15-day-long exhibition is an annual tribute to the art of illustrating for children. It exhibited the works of 10 of India’s bestknown children’s books illustrators like A Ramachandran, Ajanta Guhathakurta, Anitha Balachandran, Jagdish Joshi, Jitendra Thakur, Kavita Singh Kale, Priya Kuriyan, Suvidha Mistry and Vandana Bist. Bookaroo will be held at IGNCA (Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts) from

The Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing

The Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing, in association with The London Book Fair, LBA Books and The Independent, has announced its inaugural winner – former children’s bookseller Laura Wood – for her novel Poppy Pym and the Pharaoh’s Curse. Poppy Pym and the Pharaoh’s Curse was chosen from a shortlist of five books, which were picked from over 1,000 competition entries. The book impressed the judges who praised its “endearing heroine, rollicking plot and zany humour.”

Laura wins a publishing deal with Scholastic and agent representation by LBA Books. Poppy Pym will be launched by Scholastic at The London Book Fair 2015, as part of the Fair’s London Book and Screen Week programme of events.

The desi marionette

Book: The Patua Pinocchio
Author: Swarna Chitrakar (Illustrations) and Carlo Collodi (original)
Publisher: Tara Books

The first thought that crosses your mind about The Patua Pinocchio is that it’s refreshing. Not because it’s classic fairy tale. Swarna C h i t r a k a r w e a v e s magic by illustrating the English translation of Pinocchio by Carol Della Chiesa using ‘Patua’ painting. This style of painting is native to West Bengal that is also home to Swarna.

At the onset, one may wonder how a traditional Indian painting style could suit an Italian fairy tale. But put your doubts aside as The Patua Pinocchio breaks all the stereotypes and emerges as a complete package. Sample this: Pinocchio is a little chocolate coloured boy wearing silver ornaments. Also the fish depicted in the latter part of the book are unique and tell a story of their own. While the story was originally Italian and the illustrations westernised, The Patua Pinocchio only retells through the multifaceted storytelling cum painting medium of Patua.

This book is for the lovers of heartthrob wooden puppet whose tale is illustrated with a desi touch.

–Janani Rajeswari S

UK publishing agreement between DreamWorks and IglooBooks

DreamWorks Animation Publishing and IglooBooks have joined forces to begin a new phase of storytelling in the United Kingdom. The recently formed and fast-growing DreamWorks Animation Publishing Group, who create print and digital book materials inspired by DreamWorks Animation’s vast IP library, has appointed IglooBooks for the development, sale and distribution of its core publishing throughout the territory.

IglooBooks have recently worked with DreamWorks Animation Publishing on the successful launch of a range of Postman Pat movie tie-in books and will launch the first titles against the popular TV series Dragons: Riders of Berk.

Under the new master agreement which will include colouring & activity, storybooks, novelty and eBook formats, IglooBooks’ first launch will be a series of titles against the much-anticipated Penguins of Madagascar theatrical release this December.

Comic Con India in Mumbai

Mumbai Film and Comic Con 2014 is scheduled to be held at Bombay Exhibition Centre from December 19-21, 2014. It will feature content from leading international pop culture brands in Gaming, TV shows and Movies, besides attracting audience to Costume Play, Workshops & Sessions, Book launches, etc. Over 125 major Indian and International brands would be present at the event and children can pick up interesting merchandise from across the world.

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