Published By: Tulika Books
Story: Nandini Nayar
Illustrations: Srividya Natarajan
‘Are you inside, Amma?’ Kiran asked. There was NO REPLY.
In a Sentence: Little Karan’s amma is missing from the house, and he looks for her everywhere, including inside the fridge!
What is it About: Those moments of sudden insecurity that beset a little one when the mother suddenly disappears from in front of his eyes! Imagine a little one assuming the worst for the whereabouts of the mother –what if she’s locked herself inside the fridge and is polishing off all the goodies, one by one!
Form and language: Easy prose, just the way a child’s mind would work: ‘Isn’t it cold inside? What are you doing?’
What makes it snuggly: This one is a visual treat, and just the kind of thoroughly-thought-out illustrations our picture books should aim to have. A casual look shows simple water colour spreads, but look closer, and you’ll find hidden delights scattered all over the page. Look at what all the cat does with the lost amma’s duppatta, and the way they imagine her inside the fridge gorging on the barfis and jam (I found the thought particularly endearing). Look at the book that the cat snuggles with in bed, sad smiley-fridge magnets which turn happy once amma is found, or look at the boy dragging the stool from near the wash basin, or even the cat longingly holding the computer mouse, all ready to gobble it up!
What Stands Out: The gentle genuine honest and oh-so-real innocence that characterizes both the text and the illustrations. The way the boy and his trusted general, the cat, look for amma everywhere is truly heart warming! The most touching moment – ‘It must have been very cold inside the fridge and you didn’t even have a sweater!’
Will be best enjoyed by: 3-5 years.
Ha Ha! Quotient: 3
Touches The Heart Quotient: 4
Cuts Through The Clutter Quotient: 3
Visual Appeal: 4
Encore Quotient: 4
Thank God it’s not moral science: 5
Show, don’t tell: 4
Hey, this is a really important book!: 3