Book 5 : Dora’s Storytime collection

Book name : Dora’s Storytime Collection

Synopsis (from Goodreads )

Dora and her best friend, Boots, go on more adventures than you can count. Now Dora fans can enjoy many of their favorite Dora stories all in one book! This best-selling collection includes:

Dora’s Backpack
Little Star
Happy Birthday, Mami!
Meet Diego!
Dora Saves the Prince
Dora’s Treasure Hunt
Good Night, Dora!

We we thought: 
Beanie is a big big fan of Dora. She loves watching the Dora shows on TV and I must admit that I have found them adorable at times as well. She started jumping around when she spotted this really worn and misused book at the library. Now who is to argue with a three-year-old with an iron will? 
I was pleasantly surprised at how engaging the book really was. All stories are constructed like tasks where Dora needs to follow three steps for getting a goal accomplished. I have seen this format on TV on another show – the Mickey Mouse Club , but  have never encountered it in a book. All stories were loads of fun and involved some form of counting. I am not sure this series will appeal to her six month down the line now that she can count upto thirteen. The best story was the one that had them counting in Spanish! With a little prodding , Beanie can count upto six in Spanish now . I learnt a lot of Spanish words – like Vamanos (that means let’s go!).  I have realized that she has a flair for languages. We were at a restaurant eating, when she suddenly quipped ,”Excellente!” Both hubby and I couldn’t stop laughing. Sometimes she says hola when she is meeting someone new.Thanks to Dora, she now acts like some precious little European princess and uses a lot of these words she learnt in her everyday conversations.  We have read the book three times in the last ten days That’s how much she likes it ! 
 She keeps repeating the word ‘Quatros’ and breaks into peals of laughter every time I say it the way she wants me to. It was almost like a new ‘Ickky word’ that kids this age love laughing to (for the uninitiated the Ickky word is  stuff like burp or it’s more offensive cousin ;)) By the way , this is more like the 20th book we’ve read for this challenge. Lots of books remain to be written about ! We picked up a few basic books from Pratham and LLLOOOOVVEED it . We also went second-hand book shopping and we(more like I) got overboard by picking up 30 odd books. There were a few copies of books on nursery rhymes and fables from the 70’s in the bunch! Will share the pics some other time 🙂 
 I  know I am not a Parent-zilla , but sometimes I wonder if I am thrusting my unfulfilled ambitions on her. It’s just that I realise that 90% of a child’s potential is realised by the age of nine and I want to make sure that she is not lacking  in any opportunities.The thing with my generation was that we weren’t exposed to so many things and didnt miss anything because we were just blissfully unaware. Playing outdoors sufficed.Things werent so cut-throat back then. Kids were still kids. Things are so much more different now. There is so much more pressure on these kids to ‘learn stuff’ and do well. I see so many career-mamas who are hell-bent on making sure that their child goes to every single class available on earth. Which is why the activity classes of the world are flourishing.  Poor things, these kids are! 
Anyway, back to the book. Overall a slightly formulaic volume, but extremely enjoyable for both the parent and the child. Great for early learners who are just mastering counting skills.  
Verdict : 
Bedazzled: “Vamanos!” 
Beanie : Can we read it again , Amma? 

Meddling mooli and the Blue legged alien by Asha Nehemiah

Book name : Meddling Mooli and the blue-legged Alien 
Author: Asha Nehemiah ; illustrated by : Sayantan Halder
Genre: Children’s literature
Age group: 7 + yrs
Publisher : Puffin 
Source : Publisher 


Murali Krishnan aka Mooli:  a boy whose meddling ways get him into trouble all the time. Supriya George aka Soups:  a girl who loves reading and has plenty of smart ideas.

They are best friends on a mission.To win a prize on the website WAYOUTS  [World’s As Yet Original Untried Tricks and Stunts]So they try out many untried tricks and stunts. And mess up the house. And trouble their parents. And create ruckus in their neighbourhood. 

But do they eventually win the prize?  

Pick up this easy- to- read book and find out how Meddling Moolie and Soups ‘shoot’ a neighbour, discover a blue-legged alien and have some awesome, super cool adventures.

My thoughts: 
Children’s books have a way of lifting one’s spirits and makes one appreciate the simpler, uncomplicated things in life. Asha Nehemiah’s book is no exception to that rule. This endearing story of Mooli and his friend soups doing crazy stunts to win the WAYOUTS competition is both zany and out-of the box. Mooli’s mother makes cookies for a living and is appearing on the television on a cookery show. But her whip goes missing- is Mooli responsible for this ? The neighbor, Mr. Reddy’s prized Zinias that he was growing for a competition goes missing- again is Mooli  responsible for this? umm.. Maybe. Maybe not 😉
I didn’t realise that Asha was a big name in the world of children’s books when i agreed to review the book , and had my doubts about this one as it is normally not the genre i review. But i needn’t have worried , because Asha story is extremely engaging and fresh. The story  is told in simple words,  which i am sure children will find easy to read and enjoy. Sayantan’s illustrations makes the book more fun than it already is. The characters, be it the naughty Mooli, Soups , Mooli’s parents or the neighbour are extremely believable.  But I am sure you’ll fall in love with Mooli more than anyone else for his naughty antics and ideas. Asha packs enough material in the book to whet an inquisitive child’s mind- something that is essential considering the age group  that the book targets.Kudos to her imagination ! 
I am looking forward to the next book(forthcoming) in this series-  Meddling Mooli and the bully on Wheels. 
Overall, a super book that I’ll recommend to adults and children alike. 
My rating: 4/5 

    Lil’ miss Sunshine

    Almost 100 years back, Eleanor Porter wrote this classic story of an orphan,Pollyanna who made people around her feel glad about their circumstances in life .. and 100 years later,the book is just as popular.Miss Polly is a stern disciplinarian who takes in Pollyanna,the child of her late Sister, in her care only as a duty. Miss Polly frowns upon open windows and banging doors, seldom smiles and is a classic case of a touch-me-not.Pollyanna breezes into Miss Polly’s life and therein starts an adventure.Not just for Miss Polly,but also for the other folks in town.

    Pollyanna’s “Glad game” (a game that her father taught her to look at brighter side of everything) spreads like wild fire and starts making a difference in people’s lives. Pollyanna’s unbridled enthusiasm for life coupled with her innocent demeanor makes her the darling of the town.Pollyanna endears herself to the people in the town by teaching her glad game to them.She helps Mrs Snow become less grouchy,makes a grouchy man,Mr Pendleton smile,rescues a stray cat,dog and a homeless boy,reunites a couple,makes her aunt “gladder” and causes several other minor miracles .However,a terrible accident threatens to ruin Pollyanna’s game forever,and everyone wonders how they can teach her to be glad.This forms the rest of the plot.

    I loved reading this book and really want to see the movie adaptation as well.Several other sunny characters have preceeded Pollyanna like Anne from Anne of Green Gables or Heidi or Mary Lennox from Secret garden.However,the theme of all these books is the same. A bright,cheerful girl transforms cheerless adults through her own joie de vivre.. And everytime,the theme works. Pollyanna’s character has caught the fancy of people so much that the word Pollyanna can be found in any dictionary.It means “An excessively or a blindly optimistic person”.

    Overall, an endearing read. 4/5 from me for this timeless classic.