Top critical review
Hajaar Hype. Zuk Value
24 October 2018
Given the size of these books, i have no idea how they have got their high rating. As a father who reads everyday to a three year old, i found these stories of much lower educational, contextual and imaginative value than other picture books from Indian authors/publishers like Ms Moochie, Salamander, Sandhya Rao, Ashok Rajagopalan. It's a pity that in this segment it's the marketing budgets that overrun the content
What are picture books:
They are read along books where the child looks at the images in the book and you tell them a story along with the images they see
Why are picture books good:
They enable the child to imagine contexts outside their own daily lives. You can bring their attention to different parts of the image they are looking at and tell them whatever you want about it. You can use this to educate them on societal behaviour, animals, family relationships and even teach them morals (simple ones like don't lie or help others)
A few minutes of stories with a picture book every night will enable them to go into their dream world imagining that they are the hero heroine of the story you just read them.
What age group are picture books for:
A child under 5 may not be able to read on their own. Therefore their world lies in the images they see. Cartoons are ubiquitous but they are bad because a) they are physically bad for the child (assuming cartoons are on tv/laptop screen/mobile screen) b) They leave little to the imagination, unlike a book.
Why is this set of books bad:
These books are small. The stories one can tell get over in 2-3 minutes. Further there is very little going on in each of the pages. Therefore one's ability to bring out many different nuances (however simple) goes down. One cannot weave stories out of the images one sees in the pages.
Why is this set of books good:
The quality of print and binding is good. The child will not be able to tear the pages or anything. Also getting a picture book is better than not getting any book. It is good for gifting for a birthday as it looks posh. But...
In my opinion, it is not something recommended to a discerning parent. There are much better Indian picture books available from Little Book Lovers (my daily use storybooks) or Pratham Books. Those publishers may not have the same wherewithal as Ladybird but produce excellent books, especially stories for the Indian context.
All in all if you buy these books, the only thing you will be educating your child on will be on Peppa Pig and his family characters so that your child will watch more of Peppa Pig cartoons. Self-fulfilling commerce