India

I is for India
by Prodeepta Das

Using the same formula as the highly acclaimed 'A is for Africa', we move continents for an alphabetic and photogrpahic insight into India, a land 'of surprising contrasts'. Prodeepta Das's colourful photogrpahs cover many different aspects of Indian life, including agriculture, entertainment, religion, food and clothing. We encounter quiet villages and lush green tree plantations, and meet interesting characters such as holy men and peacocks! As with 'A is for Africa', the images focus mainly on rural life, and are extremely useful as a starting point for topic work in both KS 1 & KS 2 geography.

The People Who Hugged the Trees
by Deborah Lee Rose

A beautifully retold version of an Indian legend. Amrita's village lies next  to a forest in the middle of the Rajastani desert. She loves the trees, as she knows they provide shelter from 'the hot desert sun' and 'howling desert sandstorms'. When the Maharaja's men arrive with orders to chop down the forest to build his new palace, Amrita tries to defend her favorite tree and the villagers follow suit, each hugging a tree. At first furious, the Maharaja gives the forest back to the villagers when a violent sandstorm forces him to seek its protection. Although the ending has been sanitised for a younger audience (in reality hundreds of villagers lost their lives) a note about the original ending and the Chipko Movement is included, providing scope for further investigationof environmental issues and movements.

The Village by the Sea
by  Anita Desai

A story of survival set in a small fishing villlage near Bombay. Lila and Hari, aged 13 and 12, struggle to keep the family, including two young sisters, going when their mother is ill and their father usually the worse for drink. When Hari goes to Bombay to find work, Lila seems to be responsible for everything. Although the book paints a picture of extreme poverty, it demonstrates the strength of the family even in the most extreme circumstances and offers a powerful picture of another culture.

Stories from India
by Anna Milbourne,  illustrated by  Linda Edwards

Retells sixteen traditional Indian tales that will engage and amuse young children. Featuring old stories of trickery and cunning, fable-like tales of animals, and inspiring stories of the battles and feats of different Hindu gods.

Seasons of Splendour
by   Madhur Jaffrey, illustrated by Michael Foremans

India is particularly rich in colourful folkore. These stories, told by parents to their children for many generations, make a rich and dazzling collection of mythological tales drawn from a great heritage of Hindu epics - from the life of the great god Krishna to how the monkey god Hanuman helped defeat the Demon King Ravan and a host of other magical and spectacular creatures. The stories are arranged according to the sequence of the Hindu year and each is prefaced with a short personal anecdote from the author's childhood. Beautifully illustrated throughout in black line and tone by Michael Foreman.

Dindy and the Elephant
by Elizabeth Laird

Bored with her little brother Pog’s childish games, Dindy decides that she’s finally grown-up enough for a real adventure. While her mother is sleeping and the servants are busy, she takes Pog deep into the tea gardens, a place they are never supposed to go alone.

Terrified by wild animals and snubbed by the local children, Dindy starts to realize how little she really knows about India, even though it’s the only place she’s ever called home. But little does she know her life is about to be turned upside down when her mother is taken ill and her father tells her they are leaving India, for good.

Set in the 1940s as India is about to shake off British rule, Dindy and the Elephant is an accessible and beautifully written story about a young English girl faced with leaving the only home she has ever known, while at the same time realizing that many of the things she has been raised to believe are wrong.

The Tiger Child: A Folk Tale from India
by  Joanna Troughton

This lively folk tale from Orissa, India, explains why tigers eat their food uncooked and why cats live with people.

The tiger child is sent to fetch some more fire from the village, but on the way he gets distracted by his friends. By the time he gets to the village, he has forgotten what he has been sent to fetch

The Jungle Book
by  Rudyard Kipling

Mowgli, the wolf-child, is famous around the world, read Kipling's original story and meet beloved characters such as Baloo the bear, Bagheera the panther and Shere Khan the tiger. Follow Mowgli as he tries to discover where he belongs. Plus, become immersed in Kipling's other jungle stories; meet Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the heroic mongoose and Toomai, the elephant handler.

Viku and the Ivory Thieves
by  Debu Majumdar, illustrated by  Lynn Wolfe 

Viku and the Ivory Thieves is the third installment in the Viku adventure series begun with Viku and the Elephant and continued in Viku to the Rescue. Viku lives at the edge of a forest in India. He becomes friends with an elephant by saving him from a snake. The elephant makes only two sounds, a happy trumpet and a sad cry, but the two friends understand each other very well. Stories of their adventures together unfold quickly. At the end of Viku and the Elephant, Viku and Haatee escaped ivory poachers, and left them on a tiny island surrounded by crocodiles. In this continuation of that story they realize the forest is not safe as long as poachers and ivory thieves are free. Viku and Haatee help the police round up and capture clever ivory thieves. These Viku stories of friendship and adventure tell us about life in another culture.

Rama and Sita
by   Malachy Doyle, illustrated by  Christopher Corr

Rama and Sita live happily in the forest until Sita is abducted by the demon king Ravana. Can Rama rescue her - and who is the little white monkey who offers to help? Retelling of a tale from the Ramayana with wonderful, bright illustrations by Christopher Corr.

Elephant Dance: A Journey to India 
by Theresa Heine, illustrated by Sheila Moxley

Ravi and Anjali are fascinated by their grandfather's stories of India, where the sun is like a ferocious tiger, the wind is like a wild horse, and monsoon rains cascade from the sky like waterfalls. Ravi particularly loves to hear about the festival of Divaali, where parading elephants take pride of place in their grandfather's memories, and he dreams of having an elephant dance to the tune he composes on his flute. In addition to an evocative, beautifully written story, Elephant Dance also contains endnotes on the cultural heritage of India, making it a perfect introduction to Indian life and traditions.

The Tiger and the Wise Man
by Andrew Fusek Peters, illustrated by  Diana Mayo

When a tiger plays a trick on a wise man, how will he escape being eaten, especially when it seems that all the animals are against him? Will the jackal help him, or is it simply another trick? This traditional Indian tale, retold with a twist by Andrew Fusek Peters, provides an opportunity for talking about man's impact on the natural world.

The Elephant's Friend and Other Tales from Ancient India
by Marcia Williams

hese eight individual stories form a magical collection of India's best-loved animal folk tales. Taken from the three books of Indian folk tales – Hitopadesha Tales, Jataka Tales and Panchantra Tales – the stories are beautifully illustrated and packed with humour and warmth.

© 2017 The Literacy Classroom