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Anita Roy

From Land to Sea By Vinita Singhal. Translated by Kumar Vikram. Illustrations by Binay Sinha.   Pappu’s Problem By Shashiprabha Das. Translated by B.S. Walia. Illustrations by Utpal Talukdar.   Playing Together By Bharat Bhushan Aggarwal and Bindu Aggarwal. Translated by B.S. Walia. Illustrations by Jagdish Joshi.   The Great Balloon Story By R.K. Murthy   The Coming of Wheels By Anup Ray   The Lost Ant By Kamal Kant Koner   The Lion and the HedgehogS By J.B. Sharma. Illustrations by Arya Praharaj   A Friend Forever By Aindrila Mitra. Translated by Neera Jain. Illustrations by Pronabesh Maity.   Anandi’s RainboW By Anup Ray   Shera and Mithu By Manorama Jafa. Translated by Neena Goyal. Illustrations by Jagdish Joshi All from the National Book Trust, New Delhi   Today is MY day By Anushka Ravishankar. Illustrations by Piet Grobler   Alphabets are Amazing Animals By Anushka Ravishankar. Illustrations by Christiane Pieper   One, Two, Tree! By Anushka Ravishankar and Sirish Rao. Illustrations by Piet Grobler, All three from Tara, Chennai.   At the start of P.L. Travers’ classic children’s story, Mr. and Mrs. Banks are looking for their ideal nanny: “Will she be firm?” asks Mrs. Banks anxiously. “Will she mould our young breed?” The children, Jane and Michael, fervently hope for someone who “must be kind and fairly pretty, very sweet and very witty,” who will “sing songs and bring sweets.” The person who arrives, neatly flying in beneath her parrot-headed umbrella, is the perfect combination. Mary Poppins is the archetypical good nanny. Delightfully full of surprises, magic and treats, she is also firm. She is, as she smilingly admits, “Practically Perfect in Every Way.”   The National Book Trust clearly aspires to a Poppinesque ideal. “A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down” might well be their guiding principle, for the authors of the books in question clearly believe that if the sugar coating is sweet enough, the little dears will swallow up the moral or factual medicine whole. Take, for example, Vinita Singhal’s From Land to Sea (pp. 36, Rs. 25.00) A little boy, Anshu, is taken to the seashore by his loving grandfather. He frollicks in the waves like any normal child, and kicks up a fuss when it’s time to go home. But then he asks his grandfather: “Dadaji, suppose there had been only sea water all around. Then?” “Then, neither of us would have existed...” his grandfather ...

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