Reclaiming the lost era through picture books

Image courtesy :Pixabay

I am a book person and no place fascinates me more than a library and a bookstore. I picked up serious reading pretty late in life after completing my formal education. My school and college life was about academics alone and in those days hobby reading comprising of comics, Tinkle (used to be my favourite) and occasional story books was just limited to summer vacations and Dussehra holidays.

I grew up in the pre-liberalization  era of India and none of my relatives had ever ventured abroad. Therefore, I as a kid had no access or knowledge of the international titles meant for kids. My father did buy story books for me but he never had the time to sit and read to me or with me. He was, however, keen on giving instructions which was the thing he could easily manage in his busy work schedule about making note of new words in the diary and finding out meanings for them. This made the reading part more of a core rather than a fun activity.

Ironically, I have talked about not knowing international titles but my first book, a birthday present from an acquaintance, was David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.

Later, moving to UK when my son turned 2 was a revelation to me. Our (Dhruv and mine) favourite place in the whole town, undoubtedly, was the town library which we used to frequent 3 times a week. And the part of the library I loved most was the colourful and inviting toddler and kids area. It was as if the millions of picture books, lift the flap books, sound books, pop up books stacked there exerted a horizontal gravitational pull on me.

Modern Reading Room Image courtesy: Pixabay

Both Dhruv and I picked up on our reading journey starting with books based on his interests in cars, trucks, trains and other modes of transport subsequently moving on to dinosaurs. Attending kids story telling sessions in the library became a regular for us as I enjoyed them although Dhruv was never able to figure out what was happening. Besides, reading books to Dhruv at home topped my priority list.

Incidentally, I discovered the author Julia Donaldson in one such visits with her book Room on the Broom. The rhyming and sing-song style of words and the friendly witch made that book Dhruv’s favourite and Julia Donaldson my favourite author.

Other authors we got introduced to in due course of time were –

She creates interesting collage works about all things which interest Dhruv like the trains, the life of a car, boats, bus, excavators and many more. The first book that Dhruv picked up by himself was Red Car Red Bus

  • Tony Mitton and Guy Parker Rees.

Tony Mitton’s style of rhyming funny words along with the riveting illustrations of Guy Parker Rees make their books immensely loved by 2+/3 year olds. Our first pick was Bumpus Jumpus Dinosaurumpus. Dhruv loved dinosaurs and words like bonk-bonk, thwack-thwack were more than catchy for him.

What is childhood without Dr. Seuss? We got introduced to the early beginner series of Dr. Seuss books with The Cat in the Hat and Hop on Pop. 

Since that time we have been collecting hoards of other works of these authors and savouring them.

In between, we also collected and read a lot of simple bed time story books and theme books available at throw away prices from a nearby store.

For myself, I got the chance of exploring the magical stories of Roald Dahl with BFG & The Minpins and the amusing Horrid Henry series.

On our return to India, I do miss the town library a lot but our reading voyage refuses to slow down. We have kept up with our explorations and discoveries of new titles and new authors. The newest gem is Eric Carle whom we got to know about by The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Bad Tempered ladybird. Here, the reading dens we visit regularly are Lightroom Bookstore and The Reading RoomBoth these places have an amazing collection of books. If in Bangalore, these 2 places deserve a visit by every book lover.

On a closing note, I can say I am having a ball of a time at present since motherhood opened up a vast universe of a genre of books which had remained oblivious to me during the part of my life when it mattered and I have no reasons to complain.

Originally posted on World of Moms


  1. Reading and telling stories is a great way to spend time with your little one… Sometimes I too feel we lost out a lot in the 80s and 90s! But I did enjoy my dose of champak, gokulam and chacha chowdhary, pinky-billu comics … did you read these as a child?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It just goes to prove that if parents read to children, their effort will bring a reward. Your experience of no interaction with your father affected you badly, but you’ve rectified that with your own child. Books are wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Books are wonderful. They carry a lot of wisdom. I have realised though our parents make us believe they know something about life and how to live but is microscopic.


  3. I still wonder, how did i reach the blogging world. I never used to read books. My parents used to pester me, but I wouldn’t touch nor glimpse at one. I agree to Francene. Now i realize the blunder committed.


    1. Never been used to reading and doing a fabulous work in blogging….you are gifted in that way. 🙂
      Our parents (or atleast one of them) knew the importance of reading books but they were occupied to find time to sit and read to their children.


  4. I agree with you about the magical world of books. Indeed my favourite time of day was storytelling time and later on every Friday evening my father would take us to the book store where my brother and I were allowed to buy two paperbacks each. Yes they cost only Rs. 2.50 a piece then and it was a treat we both looked forward to. I also loved my birthdays when friends only gave me books. Sadly one monsoon we lost a whole lot of books when the garage they were stored in got flooded and a few years ago my daughter insisted we get rid of some clutter and the only things we could really get rid of were books. My heart broke with this decision and I literally closed my eyes as I took them off the shelves and piled them up. Each book was a different memory, an experience I couldn’t forget and parting with them was as painful as saying goodbye to an old friend.
    Today with the lack of space and time, I hardly get to read and prefer to borrow from a library rather than collect friends I’ll have to part with.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As I read your post, I kept thinking how many similarities there are between you and I. Books, books, books! I love the smell, the feel, the look, and oh the library and book stores give me goosebumps! I have read to my kids since they were in the womb and we haven’t slowed down one bit! Last year we read the Top 100 Children’s books of all time and this year we are reading the Top 100 Most Inspiring Children’s Books. You can find the links for them over on my blog The links are in Summer of Fun activity number 6! Thanks so much for sharing this; it was wonderful!


    1. I am glad we share this similarity called books 🙂 I would definitely visit the link of Top 100 most Inspiring Children’s books on your blog. Hope you have a very good time on your vacation.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love books and book stores are my favorite place. I wasn’t exposed to many books during my childhood, but I did read Malayalam bimonthly magazines for kids, twinkle, reader’s digest, etc as a kid. And I always made sure to read whichever books I got my hands on. It is a blessing that our kids are exposed to so many books this early in their life. 🙂


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