No! / Nahin!
Story – Cheryl Rao
Pictures – Samidha Gunjal
Translation (Hindi) – Veena Shivpuri
Fresh off the Tulika press is a very endearing picture book titled ‘NO!’, which is the story of the naughty little girl Annika, as well as the story that happens every morning (or probably at all hours of the day) in most households consisting of at least one child less than 5. Simply because, the kids take such a liking to the word that their parents have come to dread – everything starts, and occasionally ends with a resounding ‘No!’.
The story is the attempt of Annika’s father to wake her up so that they can go to her grandmother’s house. All the requests, temptations and cajoling are met with a ‘No!’, until Annika is faced with a scenario that makes her jump right out from the bed. Children will identify with the story very easily – they will be shouting ‘NO!’ with you before you know it, as you read the book aloud with them. I think Cheryl Rao will get extra brownie points from the fathers for making the story an interaction between a daughter and a father! Cheryl has chosen the simplest words, and the most familiar situations for the young ones, which makes the book an ideal pick for children in the age group of 2-4 years. The fact that it is bilingual also makes it a good introduction to the sight words in mother tongue.
The illustrations are captivating, I love the realistic postures in which Annika is sleeping – well, realistic certainly for a young child, as any parent of a toddler will testify. They complement the story really well. The mimicking cat is a great addition, but her disappearance from the last couple of pages might lead on to an interrogation from a little older and more observant child. The translation is satisfactory except for a misspelling.
Don’t say ‘No!’ to this book – read it aloud with your child and see her smile to herself 🙂