The Kirkus review of ‘Tales from the Himalayas’

Thrilled to receive another fabulous review for my illustrated collection of short stories,’Tales from the Himalayas’ – this time, from the prestigious Kirkus Reviews. Here’s what it has to say:

The adventures of kids living in the Himalayan mountain region are recounted in this debut collection of short stories for children.

These 17 tales are set in the Northern Indian state of Uttarakhand among the Himalayas. In several stories, kids develop character through learning confidence and facing fears. In “The Villain,” for example, a girl talented in drama is distraught when her dark skin isn’t considered “pretty and dainty” enough to play the hero. Her sister convinces her that she’s special, beautiful, and strong—perfect for the fierce demon king, and she’s a huge hit in the role. Some pieces are ghost stories, as with “Daak Ghar,” in which village children test rumors that an abandoned post office is cursed. Other tales are based on inspiring, real-life figures, like the explorer and surveyor Nain Singh Rawat, or events. While several stories are set in the present day or recent past, others feel timeless: A little girl helps a dangerous animal, in this case a snow leopard, who later proves grateful; a king holds a contest to make a princess smile. Others subtly teach moral lessons, as when a girl learns the value of taking pride in any kind of work.

Pradhan—a journalist—cleverly weaves Uttarakhand culture and traditions into these entertaining stories. In one tale, for example, TV sets are among the loot of bandits who get trapped by a circle of traditional Choliya dancers celebrating the Holi festival. The stories also hold together well, as when the haunted post office’s function connects with its spookiness: Any trespasser “gets a mysterious letter in his name, which means he is the next victim of the blood-sucking ghouls that live there.”

Well-written, varied tales that draw on universal motifs and offer an appealing setting.” – Kirkus Reviews

*Kirkus Reviews are independent and unbiased, written by carefully vetted book reviewers from amongst a group of writers, librarians, educators and editors.

Buy the book on Amazon or Flipkart India. (International shipping for the book to open next week).

Pre-order now on Flipkart!

I’m thrilled to announce that, ‘Tales from the Himalayas’ is now available for pre-order on FLIPKART (India). Click on the link below and pre-order your copy right away!

Tales from the Himalayas

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Book cover reveal!

I’m thrilled to reveal the cover of my book, ‘Tales from the Himalayas’, published by Rupa Publications, India.

The cover depicts a scene from one of the stories in the book called,’The Explorer’, which is about a real-life hero from Uttarakhand. Main Singh Rabat was one of the first Indian explorers of the 19th Century in British India, who hailed from a small village in Milam, Uttarakhand and went on to survey the Himalayas, not only in India but also in Tibet. He single-handedly determined the altitude of Lhasa, without the use of any professional equipment, uncover as a monk. He also contributed to the ambitious ‘Trigonometrical Survey of India’ and was decorated for his achievements.

The cover design has been made by Mugdha Sadhwani and the illustrations are by Mohit Suneja.

The book has garnered a lot of appreciation, especially by renowned writer, Ruskin Bond, who had picked this manuscript and awarded it, ‘ The Ruskin Bond Promising Writer Award’, at the Dehradun Literature Festival in October 2019.

His quote on the front cover reads,”Enchanting tales, straight from the heart of the mountains. Vivid storytelling and striking themes make it a delightful read.”

Actor Freida Pinto, who was one of the first few to read the manuscript commented,”Tales from the Himalayas has this unique and special storytelling quality that can transport you and your imagination into another world, where the wanderer’s heart and sol truly reside.

It is at once, an entertaining, heart-warming and delightful read for both, adults and children alike.

Themes of family, belonging, loss, wonder and nature dominate the pages.It is the perfect escape from the mundaneness of city life and the urban burden. Even the re-read of the same story is as pleasurable as the first read.”

Front cover of tales from the Himalayas
Front cover of Tales from the Himalayas
Back cover of Tales from the Himalayas