Books bring people around a story and a common heritage revealing its intricacies through different languages. Taking into consideration the inclusiveness a culture requires, the two latest releases from Mango Books, A Thud in the Middle of the Night by Arathi Menon and Why Series by Sheila Dhir starts speaking to the reader from the candid titles that don’t hide a cue from the readers. While the former is a piece of fiction the latter is non-fiction that creates awareness in people about various concerns that must matter.
With a distinct style of conversing with the reader, Sheila Dhir in Why Series gives answers to questions that act as a reflection on contemporary sensibilities. It aims to sensitize children on topics that are considered taboo. AIDS, Autism, Cancer, and Asthma may not be pleasant to the ears but needs to be discussed. The book captures three sensitive conditions powerfully and beautifully through simple visuals and direct lines. Running on the themes of courage and condition, the book gently explains ways, not to groupthink and helps create a dimension where these subtle topics can be understood from a very young age.
Set in a village in Kerala, A Thud in the Middle of the Night by Arathi Menon is a clever and earthy piece of fiction. It’s a highly relatable tale of three cousins on their vacation, spawned with fun and frolic. They plant mud bombs and play hide and seek. That thud in the middle of the night sets them on a mission for the rest of their vacation.
While the former is grounded in simple reality presented in an ingenious way, the latter is creative fiction. It serves as an escape to a sphere of adventure while we remain grounded with the gravity of the characters and the deft stokes we picture them in.