Slide toggle

Welcome to Bookistaan

Bookistaan is India’s first recommendations based online children’s bookstore

As a small town bookstore, we have an inclination towards Indian publishing and writing, that hasn’t been able to find the routes into smaller towns. We believe it’s important for children to be exposed to their own literature for them to grow into empathetic individuals, proud of their own roots.

Have a Question?

9AM-6PM Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India +91 9711541107 [email protected]
Bookistaan Whatsapp

Indian Publishing

Books about being a book lover

Hello fellow bookworms! Do you remember the exact time when you fell in love with reading? Or the exact book that had you hooked? I do, I was in fifth grade and a friend of mine recommended that I read a Nancy Drew and that was it. I was in love. I read one Drew book after another, I just couldn’t stop! And I swear those books taught me so much, to not give up, to trust your instinct above all and most importantly they taught me how to be a good friend. That’s the power of books!

So getting to the topic at hand, what does a reader love more than reading books? Reading books about the love of reading books.

Haha! Lost?

Well, these books are a reader’s soulmates, they understand what being a bibliophile is like, they put into words exactly what reading means. Here are some books about being a book lover! Oh and this list has something for every age group, so if you’re a parent and want to share your love with your child, we have something for you too.

A Book is a Bee Lavanya Kartik

Age: 3 

Picture Book

This book knows exactly how we bookworms feel about books. It talks about the power of books, the power of imagination. It talks about how a few words can come together to take you on an adventure.

books about being a book lover @bookistaan

The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers

Age: 3 

Picture Book

Henry like many children loves books. But unlike many children who like reading books, Henry likes eating them! Talk about a voracious appetite for books! This delightful book by master picture bookmaker has a lot to say in a few funny words, a style that is typical of Oliver Jeffers.

IMG-0328

The Boring Book by Vasanti Unka

Age: 4

Picture Book

This beautiful, crafty picture book is about the titular book that no one wants to read and the ones who dare to read it end up falling asleep. The book is so boring that even the words inside the book feel irritated and so decide to run away!

I Can Read With my Eyes Shut

Age: 5

Beginner Reader

Master storyteller Dr. Seuss’ rhymes are a great way to introduce children to reading. He wrote this book at a time when his own sight began to fade. The book talks about the magic that words can weave, about curiosity and the places it can take you in life and about how there’s no end to learning, “The more you read, the more you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

books about being a book lover @bookistaan

Bookasura by Anushka Venkatesh

Age: 7

Novella

This funny novella brings together mythology and book loving. The story follows Bala, a young boy who breathes stories and devours (not literally) books. He’s happy because it’s finally summer and he gets to visit his grandparents, at least he’ll be able to read in peace. But what happens when he encounters an enormous, multi-headed, book devouring (literally) monster? 

Read our full review here.

Matilda

Age: 8 

Novel 

Roald Dahl’s classic about the power of reading. Matilda is the precocious misfit in her family that consists of a swindling father, a neglectful mother and an over indulged brother. Since she would rather read when they would rather stare at the idiot box, she is neglected, under appreciated and often even ill treated by her family. Her only recluse is her books and then she befriends her teacher Ms Honey. 

Dahl’s signature combination of unusual and strong friendship and crazy adult characters make it the most delightful and witty read.

books about being a book lover @bookistaan

Horoun and the Sea of Stories

Age: 10 and above

Novel

Rushdie’s brilliance is unchallenged. In his first book for children, we meet Horoun a boy who lives in a town so old that no one remembers its name anymore. He is the storyteller’s son but one day he discovers a water genie come to detach his father’s imagination. Thus begins Horoun’s journey to the Sea of Stories to restore his father’s creativity.

Even though this book doesn’t talk about books, it does touch upon the importance of stories and imagination. The narrative is so atmospheric and there’s so much open to interpretation in this book that reading it once is just not enough.

The Book Thief

Age: 13 and above

Novel

Set during the second world war, Germany, the book follows Liesel, a ten year old girl’s encounters with the Nazi regime. Having lost her brother to death, Leisel has to live with a new family to stay alive. She is just learning to settle in when her family start hiding a young Jew in the basement. The story touches upon the themes of freedom and humanity, morality and compassion, love and hope and of course the right to read. 

Picture Books for Diwali

It’s the most luminous time of the year. The week of celebrating has begun and if you have kids at home who eagerly want to participate in the home cleaning and the cards playing, you must also be on the receiving end of questions like what is Diwali all about. If you don’t know how to get started on those questions and are looking for a way to pass on the rituals and stories that define the biggest Hindu festival of the year, look no further, we have a list of recommendation for you today about the festival of lights:

Hurray for Diwali

Author and Illustrator: Anita Raina Thapan and Alankrita

Age group: 3 years and above

The book tells the story of Gittoo, who wakes up on the day of Chhoti Diwali is super exited to see all the decorations and colorful treats waiting for him. The story follows Gittoo and his cousins the next two days as they learn the significance of the festival, why it’s celebrated, and participate in all the activities around the house like making rangoli, exchanging gifts etc. The book also talks about the Diwali Puja and why we worship Goddess Lakshmi! I love that the book covers everything that Diwali is all about, I’m certain every child will end up tallying whether they did everything the book said.

Amma Tell Me about Diwali

Amma Tell Me about Diwali

Author and illustrator: Bhakti Mathur and Maulshree Somani

Age group: 5 and above

I’m a big fan of this series, it has a title explaining almost every Hindu festival and Gods and Goddesses. The illustrations are so beautiful and colorful and the stories simple for young children. The book, again takes children through the celebrations of the festival and also tells the story of Ram’s victory over Ravana and return to his kingdom after years of exile. It also tell the story of Goddess Lakshmi and how she came to be worshipped on Diwali.

The series also has a lot of other books like one about Durga Puja, about Hanuman’s adventures in Lanka and one about the Ramayana that you can also consider based on what your child would like.

Hanuman's Ramayan

Hanuman’s Ramayana

Author and illustrator: Devdutt Pattanaik and Nancy Raj

Age group: 3 and above

Master mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik in this picture book takes us to the time when Valmiki had just finished writing the epic Ramayana only to find out there is another version, one by Hanuman. The news devastates Valmiki and he sets out to see what is so special about Hanuman’s Ramayana. As expected Patnaik weaves a witty, funny story as the mystery unfolds, one that leaves the reader with the lesson that there are always more versions to a story than one, especially in myths, every version is it’s tellers truth, a part of the narrator and as it is passed on the narrative changes a little with every narrator.

Happy Diwali all! Have a bright year ahead!

Why read bilingual books?

My Grandmother knew three languages, all of them Indian. She passed on all three to my father, who is fluent in two of them, understands the third and also acquired a fourth language, English. I also know three language, but two of them are foreign and of course my mother tongue, Hindi. My point is we are the global generation with Google Translate on our fingertips but does that mean that it’s alright to lose the languages that ran through generations go?

A language on a community level is a medium of communication but on an individual level it is as much a part of our identity as our name is. Which is why it is crucial to keep it alive and pass it on, and what better place to start than the young generation. In short, I think it’s imperative that we preserve our languages because they are very important.

That said, let me come to the point of Bilingual books. Bilingual books are dual language books, where the story is simultaneously told in two languages.

Not only does a bilingual book give parents a chance to read to their child in their mother tongue but also they help children develop a love for said language. Bilingual books present an equal case for two languages, while also introducing them to another culture, it’s practices and rituals, in a lot of cases.

The human brain tends to think in the language that is spoken more at home, so supposing you talk to your child in Hindi they will think in Hindi. So when they start going to school and are introduced to English, what happens is that the brain starts translating these thoughts into English. Our brain is constantly making switches between these languages that we know but this comes with time and practice. When you introduce your child to a bilingual book, say Hindi and English, you are showing them a connection between these two languages, you are enhancing their brain’s ability to switch between the two languages making their communication skills stronger.

While reading a bilingual book you’ll find your child anticipating the next sentence, making their own translations. You can also open a discussion in both the languages once you are through, which again helps bridge the gap between the two generations. It’s a fun and enriching experience in that sense.

The best part is that there are bilingual books in a lot of Indian indigenous languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati. So all you have to do is fix a reading time with your child.

 

Manya Learns to Roar

Have you ever been in a crowd and felt like you were losing your voice amidst all the noise? Like your voice was drowning, like it wasn’t important enough to be heard?

In times like these it’s important to not lose faith in yourself because the moment you do, you lose yourself and become the crowd.

Moving on to today’s book, Manya Learns to Roar is about a girl who dreams of shining out and making her own place in the world. Manya studies in the 5th standard and is absolutely thrilled to hear that her school is preparing a play on The Jungle Book. She knows the role that she wants to play and completely believes that she’ll be great at it. There’s only one problem, a lot of people don’t believe she can pull it off because she has a stammer. Soon Manya starts believing these other people more than herself and her stammer begins to worsen. Will she be able to reinstate her faith in herself or will be lose herself in self doubt?

 

Why read it?

Manya is a strong character, reading the blurb I’d expected a meek character, but she came as a welcome surprise. She knows how to put up a brave face in times of crisis and holds her ground even when it’s shaking beneath her feet.

The book covers issues like disability, bullying and bias and aims to make its reader conscious/sensitive about them. The idea is not to incite pity but empathy, and the book does that job well. It aims to make its reader into a considerate citizen without making the person with a disability a victim.

Also, the book will resonate with a lot of readers, young and adults, because it talks about the road to your dream, the hurdles that come along the way, the criticism, the doubts, everything. It’s quite an inspiring read in that sense.

Who is it for?

Bookistaan recommends this roar some book for younger readers, ages 7 and above.

 

 

Introduce your young ones to these books this Independence Day

We celebrate 70 years of freedom today! Needless to say we’ve come a long way and while it’s important to celebrate the joy of independence it is as important to remember the struggle, to look back at the road we’ve traveled and reminisce the changes that have happened along the way. It is also important to pass on everything that we as a nation stand for to our young ones, to introduce them to the past so they can appreciate and understand the present. What better place to start than books! Which is why we have some recommendations for you all today, books to introduce to your young ones this Independence Day:

My Gandhi Story
Author: Nina Sabnani, Ankit Chadha
Illustrator: Rajesh Chaitya Vangad

This book takes the readers through the life of Mahatma Gandhi, how he grew up from the boy who did not much like school to the man who believed in a cause so much that he lead an entire nation to work with him, a man with undettered determination, a man who taught us to fight but humbly and with the utmost respect for ourself and our opponent. The story is painted through Warli art and highlights all his ideals and ideas as well as some major events in the Nationalist movement. The text is simple for children and the illustrations both amusing and elaborate.

Age group: 5 years and above

Bhimrao Ambedkar The Boy Who Asked Why
Author: Sowmya Rajendran
Illustrator: Satwik Gade

This is the story of the first Law Minister of our country and how his ‘whys’ brought the first wave of consciousness about equality to our country. The book very innocently explains and questions untouchability and discrimination. It’s a great way to sensitize your child to such a complex topic and make them empathetic enough to ask their own whys.

Age group: 6 years and above

Mukund and Riaz

Author and Illustrator: Nina Sabnani

Mukund and Riaz is a simple story of two friends who are forced to part when a nation is spilt into two. The book very subtly introduces children to partition and how it uprooted citizens and relations, it hints of a dark time, a time of bloodshed and heartbreak but most of all it talks about friendship that transcends religion, borders, distance, friendship that survives with people even if they never see each other again.

Age group: 4 years and above

We The Children of India
The Preamble to our Constitution

Author: Leila Seth
Illustrator: Bindia Thapar

Written by the first woman Chief Justice of India, this is a detailed and simplified explanation of our constitution. It introduces children to concepts of a Nation, of Democracy, freedom of speech etc while also taking them through the history of our country and how the constitution came to be. Most importantly it explains what this nation stand for and what it expects from us as citizens.

Age group: 7 years and above

When in Delhi

Author: Mamta Nainy
Illustrator: Jayanto

This picturesque book takes you around the capital, giving the readers a little history and lost of trivia. The travel  guides takes you through all major attractions in the city like Jama Masjid, Chandni Chawk, India Gate, Parathe Wali Gali etc.  providing little snippets as to what awaits you, what to do, what to eat and lots more. The pictures are the most curious part of this book, they are photographs adorned with quirky caricature drawings. For those who have been to Delhi this’ll be a trip down memory lane and those who haven’t can enjoy it as there guide into the wondrous city.

Age group: 5 years and above

Unbroken by Nandhika Nambi

How things unfold?

There are two things about this book that’ll throw you off balance; one that the protagonist of this book is someone with a disability (trust Duckbill to do something like that!) and second that this character with the disability does not elicit admiration in the reader, not for a very long time in the story. She is a character who wants to be hated, she’s much rather be hated than be pitied, she feels no one understands her but she makes no attempt to give people a chance to understand her. According to her, she is a monster and she’s accepted that.

Her life is pretty normal comprising of parents who want her to lead a normal life, a do gooder brother who dotes on her (and everyone else), two friends who have stuck around through the thick, school, homework. exams. But everything, no matter how normal, seems to infuriate her more and more and more. How much anger can a teenager have? And what happens when the anger reaches the tipping point?

Why read it?

 For the awkward topic

Let’s admit it, disability is an awkward topic that most of us don’t know how to address. It’s almost a taboo which is why you’d hardly find it in books. So reading about a topic like that does educate you in terms of how to deal with it and this book does more that, it gives you insight into the thoughts of a person with a disability like its the most normal of circumstances. It makes disability normal not awkward. Kudos to the author for that!

For the fiesta character

Aakriti (that’s our main lead) is quite a rebellious character full of sarcastic come backs and mean (honest) opinions that she doesn’t shy from voicing. She can seem even heartless sometimes but her journey is enlightening (not to mention very satisfying). The book in that sense is an epiphany, telling you that all it takes is one person, one moment, one little thing to change your life, to change you and when that chance comes you should accept it.

Open your mind

I don’t wanna give out spoilers but there are a few other issues that the book takes on in a thought-provoking manner. It will open your mind about a lot of things, so give it a try.

Who is it for?

Bookistaan recommends this one for young adults, ages 13 and above.

 

 

 

A – Z Detective Agency

How things unfold?

Ashwin is on a mission to make money this summer so he can go on the School trip and make friends. All he needs is a business plan. As he jumps from the nimbu pain business to selling hand made crafts, all without much success, he stumbles upon a piece of paper that changes his life.

Next thing you know, Ashwin learns how to summon a Djinni, and start yet another business The A-Z Detective Agency. Only as luck would have it the Djinni who comes to  his rescue seems to be in need of rescue herself. Will this school going, forgetful, novice of a Djinni, disguised as a 9 year old girl be able to able Ashwin? Will Ashwin succeed in his mission?

Why read it?

For Ashwin’s entrepreneurial ideas

One reason I loved this character is for his many business ideas and his financial independence, his eagerness to earn his own money and pay for the trip himself.

For loads of anecdotes on Djinnestan

Parinita Shetty paints a mystic and intriguing picture of the world of Djinnies.

For friendship that happens

Just like how the best things in life just happen, the best of friends also just happen. They are not planned, they are happystances that you stumble upon.

Who is it for?

Bookistaan recommends this one for ages 8 and above, all you young readers out there!

The House That Spoke

Reality can be a little harsh, perhaps even dull which is why it is sometimes you want to escape it and what better way than in the worlds of words? My favorite kinds of books are the ones that don’t sugar-coat the reality but that set it in a magical ambience while giving it a human quality.

How Things unfold?

Perhaps that’s why I loved today’s book.

Written by a 15 year old fantasy lover, The House That Spoke is about 14 year old Zoon, living in a heavenly house in Kashmir with her mother. She knows that her home is more that its beauty and right before her 15th birthday, she finds out the secret that her house has been guarding, a secret that unravels her heritage and her powers.

But with these powers and the magic she also discovers an enemy that she must defeat to save her home, as well as her Kashmir.

Why read it?

For magical Kashmir

Zuni Chopra’s Kashmir is magical both for its beauty as well as its reality. She paints a Kashmir majestic in its beauty, soulful in its suffering and colorful even in its darkness.

For a magical reality

As I said I like to read about a reality that is enveloped in a wrapping of the unreal. I like that the author has presented a morbid reality in such an endearing and imaginative setting. She gives Zoon a talking house as an ally in her fight against evil.

Imaginative and Hopeful

The narration is not just imaginative but also full of hope. One thing that I’ve learnt with this book is that darkness is always waiting around the corner to take charge and blow your world out of its balance but then there’s a fight waiting right inside you to defeat the darkness and find hope again.

Who is it for?

Zuni Chopra voice is fresh and mature, fun and rousing at the same time and Bookistaan recommends this eloquent read to any one above age 12.

Amir Khusrau: The Man in Riddles

It has to be something else to be able to influence lives even after you’re gone, to leave an imprint on the surface of the globe so deep that it becomes a monument to be worshiped by generations to come.

Today’s book celebrates one such monumental, poetic life. Amir Khusrau, the royal poet of the 13th Century, aka the Parrot of India, has over a 90 books to his credit. His lyrics adorned the court of seven ruler of Delhi and he is considered the founder of Qawwali and Ghazals, one of the many things he gave to our country. But what was his life like? To find out give Ankit Chadha’s Amir Khusrau: The Man in Riddles a try.

Why read it?

For a glimpse into the life of the mystic
The book gives the reader a sneak peak into the life of the poet, just enough to make the reader curious. It doesn’t drone about his life and achievements but talks about his beliefs, desires, likes and dislikes.

A little bit of riddle, rhyme and reason
Another thing that makes this book unique and stand apart from other books about history is that it uses riddles to take the reader through the life of a legend, riddles all attributed to him. You have to decode the riddle to find out more about him, it’s an interesting way to decode a life.

For a taste of the Sufi language
Khusrau wrote mostly in Persian or Hindvi which was a combination of Persian and Bhojpuri and which later developed into Urdu and Hindi. The book offers the Urdu lyrics along with translations, giving the reader a taste of the glorious language as well as more challenge.

The illustrations deserve a special mention for Urmimala Nag’s colorful illustrations add to the beauty of the book. This book is a collector’s dream.

Who is it for?
Bookistaan recommends this beauty for the middle reader, age 10 and above.

Gulbadan

Ever wondered what life is like as a royal? Is it as velvety and silvery as it seems or is it a struggle a day?

Well, life as a Mughal wasn’t all that dreamy and today’s book gives us an exquisite tour of the world.

Rumer Godden’s Gulbadan: Portrait of a Princess at the Mughal Court is the story of Princess Rosebody, Babur’s youngest daughter and author of the Humayun-nama. A loyal supporter of the Mughal royal line, Gulbadan Begam lived through the rule of three kings – her father – Babur, her brother – Humayun and her nephew Akbar, as first a child in the confines of the zenana and then as an accomplished scholar and royal adviser. Did she have a favorite? Of course!

But that’s not the only reason to give her story a chance.

Why read it?

For in depth details of the first three Mughal Kings
Did you know that Humanyun spent most of his life as King, fighting his brothers for his throne or how Akbar was the most liberal Mughal King even though he never could read and write? There was so much more to their life than conquering and dying.

The Mughal Women
Also get an insight on how women of the Mughal Era lived, how their days were spent, how they lived with their co-wives and just how much influence they had in the society or even the household.

The struggle of the climb
The Mughals gave us so many wonders like the Taj Mahal, Red Fort, the city fort of Fatehpur Sikri and it is something else to go back in a time when none of these existed, all that was there was a thirst to rule. How they reached the zenith is a story to not be missed.

Who is it for?
Bookistaan recommends this timeless masterpiece to the history loving young adult, age 15 and above.

show