Thursday, December 09, 2010

Selecting Kiddo literature - no child's play!

I once read in some article that Jungle book is a good book to read out to children. It hasnt been easy to read out to my daughter. Everytime I tried, she would stare at my face for some time and then take matters (in this case the book!) in her hands and 'read' out to me! But for some time now, we have managed to read out to her. It helps if there are lots of pictures and lots of explanation. We get extra points for funny voices! After couple of reading though, she prefers reading out to us... looking at pictures... spinning a delightful yarn.
Anyway, so I saw an abridged version of Jungle Book in a book store recently and bought it. The book is published by INDIANA ILLUSTRATED CLASSICS adapted by a Shaun Max. the print is big and there are few black and white illustrations. But I was appalled at the grammar errors and spelling mistakes.The first sentence in the book read - A family of wolf use to live on the Seeonee hills. The mistakes are abundant. Books meant for children must be especially error free lest the kids pick up poor grammar and spellings. There is no way on earth that I will ever give this book to my daughter! I read it to her correcting the mistakes as best as I could. At the end of chapter one. my daughter concluded that she didn't like Sher khan. Its amazing how a two and a half year old can relate to the emotions. When I followed the book-reading with some videos of jungle book on You-tube, she was consumed with anxiety as the little sleeping baby is left behind by his parents ( biologists). 'Amma evide? wheres mommy?" she asked, climbing on to my lap. Thats when I realised that the story isn't right for a 2 year old. Likewise, my daughter was quite disturbed with the story of ugly duckling. As the mama duck abandons the little swan because it looked different from her ducklings, my daughter wanted to know why the swan baby was crying and where mommy was. So I softened the blow and made up the story that the duck was an aunty and the swan baby's mother will come in the end of the story.
Who would have thought picking stories for children would be this difficult!

on a happier note, I picked up this book in a book shop - Illustrated Animal Stories published by Usborne. It turned out to be a good one to pick. Full of good illustrations, with simple and short texts, there are 10 wonderful stories on animals including stories like chicken little (chicken licken in the story), and 'the little giraffe' that tells you how the giraffe got its long legs and neck. I would recommend it to parents.


anilkurup said...

These publishers probably have pirated the originals.
As you mentioned extra care has to be taken in choosing books for the little ones. But remember they are smarter than we were and are sharper too. They notice things quicker.Try to
get the original Jungle book ( Kipling's) video. I'm sure your little one would love it.

kaalpanique said...

I have doubts if this book is really indiana publishing!!! It is so bad...planning to write to the publishers...