Also if you are looking at fun ways to read with your kids or wondering how to get them to read then watch author Payal Kapadia’s recommendations in our video below. A list of Indian books that challenge stereotypes, fire the imagination and create a healthy space for discussions, besides being a nice reading challenge for kids who can read themselves.
A recent post on Flavorwire on 50 books every parent should read to their child went viral, causing us to wonder if there is an Indian version of the same and wouldn’t that be useful to every parent looking for good books to read to their children? In Asha Nehemiah’s book, Granny’s favourite saree has been blown away by the wind! Ashok Rajagopalan tells the story of a big temple elephant catching a cold after getting wet in the rain.
In this story by Premola Ghose, join the animals of Janwar Dosti — Tunnu the tiger, Zero the giraffe, Lucky the rabbit and all their jungle friends — on a magical history tour through Delhi. In this book by Ruta Vyas, ride with Toto, the autorickshaw and his driver Pattu as they go about solving problems, helping others and having loads of fun along the way. Suchitra Ramadurai narrates the delightful escapades of a charming little black peppercorn Kuru Molagu (in Malayalam and Tamil), that manages to run away one day.
Former Chief Justice Leila Seth makes the words of the Preamble to the Constitution understandable to even the youngest reader. Inspired by the Spastics Society of India, this little book by Sheila Dhir is a celebration of the normalcy of the differently-abled. Pika Nani tells of stories and fascinating facts that take you on a double-decker ride across 15 states in India. Learn 366 words and concepts through the landmarks, parks, places of learning, places of worship, festivals, culture, experiences and cuisine of Bengaluru. Suniti Namjoshi features Aditi and her friends – an ant, a one-eyed monkey, an elephant and two dragons.
Radhika Menon’s collection is a series of theme based books focusing on various topics.
A collection edited by Githa Hariharan and Shama Futehally, featuring 10 stories that look at the India our children live in with clear, steady eyes. By Rudyard Kipling and as equally delightful as the movie, it is probably one book that many children are going to read after they have seen the movie and fallen in love with it. An attempt to introduce young readers to history, make it come alive and accessible, without confining it to history textbooks where history is dry, dull and boring.
An endearing Marathi folktale by Sandhya Rao about two sisters: Ekkesvali who has one hair on her head and Dhonkesvali who has two and thinks she’s great.
Boondi, Bhoomi, Beeji, Gitti and Dhooli (Tulika) – These five books are perfect for a child’s first look at science, because they were born as pictures.
A collection of stories by Ruskin Bond about a boy, Rusty, who is quiet, intelligent and longs for love. A Trail of Paint by Anjali Raghbeer introduces kids to the paintings by Jamini Roy, the famous artist from West Bengal. By much loved author Anushka Ravishankar, the story is about a tiger who wanders from shore to field, is a scaredy-cat tiger and suddenly finds himself up a tree. Kanchil is a trickster character in Indonesian and Malaysian folklore, a small mouse deer who uses his wits to survive.
By Aravinda Ananthraman, the book presents the journey of the Dalai Lama in a very interesting way. A collection of 30 letters written by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1928 to his daughter Indira Gandhi when she was 10 years old, talking about natural history and the story of civilisations. Samhita Arni shifts the point of view of the Ramayana to bring a woman’s perspective to this timeless epic. In this story by Priya Ramanathan, Nekgaon is a perfect village, but one wily man arrives and changes everything about Nekgaon with his strange demand. Tabish Khair tells a story of a turquoise peacock who decides to give away all his flamboyant colours, till he is left with only a chic grey. Anushka Ravishankar is illustrated with rich quilts put together with Indian textiles, this whimsical story in verse is an unusual book of travel-through a child’s imagination.

Salman Rushdie’s delightful tale is about a storyteller who loses his skill and struggles against mysterious forces attempting to block the seas of inspiration from which all stories are derived. Subhadra Sen Gupta narrates an affectionate account of Bapu, the man, and his life, and why he will inspire generations to come. Daily Dump in its Ouch and Moo books address the plastic bag issue at different levels of complexity. By Anushka Ravishankar, this is a story about Ana, who gets fish as a birthday gift instead of a puppy. Shreya Pareek is a development journalist who is passionate about grassroot change and sustainable living. My first interaction with children’s books was at the hospital when I delivered my first daughter. My first interaction with Indian authors for children was when the daughter was 18 months old. The way a lot of mothers choose books are typically at local book stores, book readings or must read book lists. A big thank you to Lubaina Bandukwala, a journalist by profession but a children’s writer and editor by inclination.
Lights, action and Sunu along with stunning illustrations is what makes it such a favourite book among kids. This book by Geeta Dharamraj narrates the sad story of Dinosaur who is cursed by the three little children.
An unusual book on travel through a child’s imagination- this one by Anushka Ravishankar portrays the story in verses. This tale by Natasha Sharma portrays the story of Icky, Yucky, Mucky with illustrations by Anitha Balchandran and it will have your kids laughing and yelling throughout the story. The book is about a little girl who imagines her Mother’s Saree to be a river when its blue and a train when its red. A book by?Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond, this award winning book is perfect for beginners and story time. This picture book classic by Maurice Sendak is based on a boy named Max, his fantasies and the consequences he has to face due to his mischief and all the wild things he does.The book continues to be one of the most loved books for kids and has even been a source of inspiration for movies and opera. A best selling book for kids by Bill Martin, Jr.and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert. A new age alphabet book that introduces kids to alphabets and adds up as an aid to imagination while playing dressing up.The Rhymes and the colourful illustrations make the book a must read for all Indian kids. This book published in 1972 revolves around the story a boy named Alexander, as he wakes up with gum on his hair, and everything else gets worse as the day progresses. The story revolves around the lives of Gaskitt Family.The book has short chapters and great illustrations and funny moments which makes it hugely entertaining.
A series of children’s books by Stan and Jan Berenstain provides a moral and safety lesson at the end of each story. This Classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett published in 1910, portrays the story of a 10-year old orphan named Mary, a spoiled brat. This book by Robert Louis Stevenson published in 1883.This adventurous novel narrates the story of Buccaneers and buried gold. This means you love books and just need a little more referring while picking your next lot. That’s a good number and we would love for you to comment below and let us know your other favourites too. It also implies that you love books and reading all about them before you pick it off the shelf. Jai offers to help him find them and the two take off on a crazy journey, zooming in and out of paintings, through milestones in M.
Each story sets the brain ticking, encouraging problem-solving skills with a high quotient of fun!
I and II by Roshen Dalal, are books on Indian History which start from the Indus valley civilisation, traverse through the various kingdoms and dynasties of India, take us through the freedom struggle, and shed light on  the years following our Independence.

Children will thoroughly enjoy unravelling the mystery and will be thrilled as they grasp the many clues along the trail. This fosters a sense of perspective and inquiry, so necessary to understand the “complete” story. It is a picture book for kids, designed, illustrated and written by Eric Carle, published in 1969. The story begins with a pirate who has his favorite book along with Goldilocks and knight who have their own favorite book. Kids love the name Sunu Sunu and the little snail will create a space in your child’s heart forever.
Little Sophie has a tiger visiting her one day and the story is about how he manages to eat every morsel in the house leaving Sophie surprised and hungry.
The book talks about the journey of the Rabbit as he visits the library to borrow the book based on Wolves. The story revolves around a hungry little mouse and the difficulties one faces after the mouse shows up at your doorsteps. And, also it’s a story based on the love between daddy and his son, as such stories are very rare to find. Boskys panchtantra by Gulzar is a set of five different books comprising from stories from Panchtantra.
Read this story that revolves around a boy, who with his purple crayon has a power to create a world of his own by simply drawing with it. The book is based on the two boys named Dick and Sally who are having a sad day, until a cat in the hat shows up and makes it an adventurous day. I would also encourage you to read our list of   75 Books Every Child Must Read With Indian Authors because that also includes Indian landscapes, stories and nuances that are typical to us and growing up in Urban Indian cities. Of course after reading all over the web about how the child absorbs everything that he listens and sees, I wasn’t surprised that reading would begin soon for me and my kid. The global must read lists are great but it’s important to include the books by a lot of Indian authors who are doing a fantastic job in creating stories that have Indian values, culture and an urban Indian set up. I hope this list will serve as a guide in buying great books for your children and inculcate the love for reading early on. What we often miss out on and what I figured out much later is that it’s not just a book that you can use while the kids are young. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson is based on the story of a mouse, who is the central character of the story, taking a walk in the woods. The story creatively gives wings to a child’s imagination- with volcano erupting out and fresh juices that freeze into ice-creams. A picture book for kids written and published in 1964 by Shel Silverstein is touted to be one of the most divisive book in Children’s literature. It is a list compiled by some of the best literary experts including authors, publishers and parents in India. Richa Sethi, mom and co – founder of The Junior Writers Bug  for taking out time to share their best books for Indian kids ( Indian authors included). The book is a joy to read and an eye-opener for many young kids who don’t respect their older ones.
But before that you must let us know how many of these have you read with your kids with our poll below. Well, once a young man heard this noise everywhere and he thought it was a ghost… until he found out what the noise really was – and it was not what he expected. First it’s a story, then you learn about different foods, different colors, counting, days of the week and finally about match concepts about small, big, bigger and finally about the life-cycle of a butterfly. With many different stories and experiences with activity books as well- Gruffalo makes a soft spot in your heart forever.

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