Letter From Bangalore

The best time to be a young reader in India

Children’s book publishing is seeing a revolution with stories reflecting India’s multicultural reality

Storybook time at an elementary school in India. PHOTO: PRATHAM BOOKS
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BANGALORE - Ms Nirosha Pulikal watched her seven-year-old sprawl on the floor with her stack of books to be devoured on a single Sunday afternoon. In just a few hours, her daughter Maya would meet an ambitious princess, an erudite pig, an elephant with a sneezy cold, and a bespectacled grandmother just like her own in Kerala.

"I was suddenly jealous of my daughter!" says Ms Pulikal, a 38-year-old virologist in Bangalore. The characters in her own childhood books were kings and suspiciously obedient little boys with saintly morals.

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