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Good to see, Good to Hold

Saraswati Datar Dhamdhere

By Jill Hartley
Tara Publications, Delhi, India, Rs. 120.00

By Helmut Wolf
Tara Publications, Delhi, India, Rs. 120.00

By Jill Hartley
Tara Publications, Delhi, India, Rs. 120.00

VOLUME XXXIV NUMBER 11 November 2010

Bright colourful images, well lit, glossy photographs, and a convenient pocket size are all the many positives of the photography books by Tara Publications. All three books have high production values that add to the pleasure of browsing through them. Fruits of India makes a mention of all the important seasonal fruits in our country. The good old yellow banana, luscious mango and the slightly more exotic strawberry, fruits of every size and shape, find a place in this book. While familiarizing the children with the fruits of the country, this book also helps them build visual and phonetic associations with the word, by looking at the picture and saying the word aloud. This helps to create a connection between a sign or a word and what it means or signifies. Vegetables of India and Flowers of India also score high in terms of the visual appeal of the books, and include popular vegetables and flowers from across India. In this day and age when most people prefer living in apartments and lush, well manicured gardens are a thing of the past, Flowers of India is a good way for kids and even adults to learn the names and appearances of the blossoms which we rarely get to see now. It may have been better for the kids to have the names of the flowers/fruits/vegetables printed alongside the pictures rather than towards the end. This might have made the associations easier and could possibly result in a more holistic way of learning. For children who are visually challenged, the names could be printed in Braille or accompanied with a touch and feel a strip of paper so that they can get an idea of the texture or shape of the object. Alternatively, the publisher could have the names of the fruit/vegetable or flower printed overleaf with a little information about which season it grows in or which part of the country it is found in. This could be added in a variant of the same book for slightly older children who are able to read this information. The books are small and convenient to keep a child occupied at odd times. Since it’s a board book, where the pictures are printed on hard bound paper, it is easy for a child to hold the book and turn the pages without any damage to the pages. It ...

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