Tag: differences

Celebrating Differences – A Book Review

Celebrating Differences – A Book Review

We’ve done stories from this book at the book club. I’ve shared it at almost every children’s reading forum and with every mum I know. I wonder how I left out talking about it here.

Celebrating Differences – Stories for the Children of India, is a book every child should read, every Indian child, most definitely. That’s because the setting of the stories is Indian the ideas, however, are universal.
Seven authors come together with seven stories about people with disabilities and their interactions with others. It talks about perceptions and prejudices. Sometimes we (specially children) are impatient with or unkind to people because we don’t think about the difficulties they might be dealing with or have pre-conceived notions about how they will behave.
This delightful melange of stories is an attempt to set that right. 
All it takes is the story of Ritika a hearing impaired girl who learns to stop feeling sorry for herself.
The Perfumed Prowler is about Amtan a speech impaired boy who earns the respect of an aunt who had always pitied him.
Who is Faster talks about Rudra who learns that a boy in a wheelchair could be just as smart and as much fun as his other friends.
The New Neighbour is about an old school teacher who helps a little boy being bullied by his older brothers.
I Don’t Understand It is perhaps the most touching story of all. It is told from the point of view of a mentally challenged child and his perception of good and bad.
Leaf Feel is another fun story where a visually challenged girl teaches some kids a new fun game.
And finally Wheels from Kerala talks about a young girl Priya and how she learns to empathise and bond with her arthritic grandfather.
Each of these stories embodies a world of wisdom and helps to sensitise children, making them empathetic to people with differences. The print is comfortably large and the stories are suited for kids between 7-8 years of age. Though they can be read out to younger kids.
The book comes with interesting nuggets of information and also some fun colouring pages.
Priced at Rs 125 and Published by Ekansh Trust Pune, this book is absolutely invaluable.
Here are the details in case you want to get a copy: email info@ekansh.org
Phone: +919503715015
We had some of the most amazing sessions at our book club when we took up a story from this book. The children learnt a little bit of sign language – they learnt to spell their names as also simple phrases like I am sorry, Thank you and of course I Love You, which they continue to use even today. I think this is a good exercise for all children.
Like in the story Leaf’s Feel they tried to recognise trees, leaves and flowers with a blindfold on their eyes simply by feeling them. That was great fun because they got to run around and touch and feel.
And lastly for the story Wheels from Kerala we got them talking to their grandparents and got back with fun tales of their parents’ childhood.
This one is a must read.

Linking up with Pragmaticmom  for her wonderful linkup on #DiverseKidLit.

DiverseKidLit
On accepting differences

On accepting differences

When the twins were babies I heard a lot of ‘Oh she looks so much like you’ or my mum would say, ‘That’s exactly what you used to do when you are a baby’. And that would fill the new mother in me with such happiness. If you’re a new parent you’ll know exactly what it feels like. Is it vanity? Perhaps. But more than that it is a sense of reinforcement of the fact that the babies are part of me/us – the better, sweeter, most innocent part of me.
Then they begin to grow, as babies are wont to do.
They are no longer as innocent as they used to be. They will be sweet still but they will also be frustrating. They will have a personality quite their own. They will take a bit of you and a bit of your husband and some of your dad and some of his aunt till it is all wrapped up in a wonderful, exasperating, loveable mix.
Try as you might they will be different from what you ever were, because they are different. They are different people with different likes and thoughts and wants and needs. The sooner we as parents realise it and learn to appreciate them for what they are, the easier life will be for us and even more for our children.
This is what my post at Parentous talks about. Do take a look.