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Today’s ten shall be the best of Children’s books that we’ve read so far. Okay.. I am excluding fairy tales from the list. The age category of the books is between 3 and 6. Our top ten in no particular order –

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Is there any house with kids that doesn’t have this book? I doubt it. Colorful – Check. Educative – Check. Innovative – Check. Fun – Check. Love this book to bits. In fact, all of Eric Carle’s books are pretty awesome even though a bit expensive for Indian standards.

2. The Pleasant Rakshasa by Sowmya Rajendran and pictures by Nivdetha Subramaniam. Karimuga is a beautiful rakshasa who makes other rakshasas jealous of him. And, Karimuga can’t bear to see them unhappy. This book hits all stereotypes of beauty for a six. A definite must own book.

3. Snoring Shanmugam by Radhika Chadha and pictures by Priya Kurian. This book is a part of the ‘I am sleepy’ series where Bahadur, Shanmugam, Amma and all are common names. This book was gifted to us by R’s mom and we love it. It is about a lion called Shanmugam, who is the king of the jungle but keeps sleeping and worse, keeps snoring. Then, another lion, Gabbar Singh enters the jungle and all the animals plan to send Singh away from the jungle. When, Bahadur has an idea!

4. Princesses are not quitters by Kate Lum, illustrated by Sue Hellard. Again, a gift. This time by Sangi. You know, the best thing about having kids of different genders is that it’s easy to defy gender stereotypes. Just like how Ammu loves watching Captain America, Kuttan is comfortable reading about princesses. This is a book I love personally. It has rhythm. It has beautiful illustrations. It defies stereotyping of sorts. Here is a review of the book I did long ago for IMC.

5. Gajapathi Kulapathi Kalabaloosh by Ashok Rajagopalan. Gajapathi Kulapathi. Man.. What a cute awesome name to give an elephant. Gajapathi loves cool water. So, he tries to jump into a pond where the others are already in and.. read it to see what happens next! Be it the rhythmic sound effects or the colourful illustrations, this book is a definite keepsake.

6. The Unboy Boy by Richa Jha. Again, a book defying gender stereotype; I know the name suggests so. Gagan’s family (except his mom, of course) thinks he is unboy boy and tries hard to make him boy-like. This book has a little of ghosts, blood and gore and yet, this book is about Gagan, the person. If you want to teach your kids about just being the person they are, then, this book is a good start.

7. Junior Kumbakharna by Arundhati Venkatesh. You know, Tulika’s books are a generally a win. So is this. Actually, this book is just about Kumbakharna from the Ramayana as told by a father to his son, Kukku. Yet, the illustrations and the way it is narrated makes the book a hit amongst my kids.

8. Dr.Suess collection. The first time I bought a Dr.Suess I got the one meant for older kids and thought these are non-understandable for kids my age. Later, I stumbled on the right set of books for five year olds and there’s no looking back from there. That is, the green colour coded ones are best for kids aged 4 to 7, IMO. Some of the titles we love are Oh, the Things You Can Do that are Good for You, Oh Say Can You Say Di – No – Saur?, There’s No Place Like Space! and so many more. These are Dr.Suesss.. Need I say more? Go grab them. They are fun!

9. The adventures of Toto the Auto. Again, another must keep in houses which have kids. Practical stories with small morals. Cute illustrations. Gettable humor. Pattu and Toto are almost like members of our family.

10. Monday to Sunday by Sowmya Rajendran, illustration by Pratik Ghosh. On Monday Mani is a monkey, on Tuesday he’s a crocodile, on Wednesday… A super book to teach days of the week to the kids. Cute illustrations. We love it.

There are so many more but because it is Tuesday, I’ve limited the number to ten. Heh. Do you have any more children’s books suggestions?