My Incredible India

My Incredible India

I am utter­ly mes­mer­ized by this book!

Writ­ten by Jas­binder Bilan, born on a farm near the Himalayas, and illus­trat­ed by Nina Chakrabar­ti, a woman raised in Kolkata, their love for the won­ders of this vast and many-faceted coun­try shines from each dou­ble-page spread, irre­sistibly invit­ing the read­er to dis­cov­er more for the sheer joy of learning.

The nar­ra­tive finds Thara and her Nani­jee going through this grandmother’s carved wood­en trunk of mem­o­rable objects she has col­lect­ed through­out her lifetime.

I was delight­ed to find Nek Chand’s Chandi­garh Rock Gar­den here. I first learned about this by read­ing The Secret King­dom (Barb Rosen­stock, Claire A. Nivola, Can­dlewick Press), which res­onates many years after my first read­ing. In My Incred­i­ble India, each fea­ture is revealed on two pages and yet I have the same urge to go see the Gar­den in person.

illustration from My Incredible India

The illus­tra­tions are breath­tak­ing for what they accom­plish. Small vignettes, flo­ra, vis­tas with peo­ple young and old, depic­tions of gods and god­dess­es, all com­posed on each spread to lead our eyes from one descrip­tion to another. 

I admire that you can dip into this book or read it straight through. The nar­ra­tive works either way.

My Incred­i­ble India is a mix­ture of his­to­ry and mod­ern-day sites, from the Taj Mahal to the Satish Dhawan Space Cen­ter and every bit of it is deli­cious. Sports, cloth­ing, food, geog­ra­phy … it is 72 pages filled with marvels.

Back mat­ter includes a time­line, a trib­ute to “Father of the Nation” Mohan­das Karam­c­hand Gand­hi, and an index. Thank good­ness for that index and num­bered pages.

This is a trea­sure, sure to be enjoyed by the curi­ous of all ages. It belongs on your bookshelf.

High­ly recommended.

My Incred­i­ble India
writ­ten by Jas­binder Bilan
illus­trat­ed by Nina Chakrabar­ti
Can­dlewick Press, 2023
Sug­gest­ed for ages 6 and up
ISBN 978−0−5362−2501−3

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