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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Anushka Ravishankar
Age Range: 6-8
Neel always has the best of intentions but somehow nothing ever seems to go right. Despite knowing the importance of rules and the consequences of breaking them, he still manages to get into trouble.
For each day of the week Neel announces various ways he will try to improve himself. When this proves impossible he comes up with the most amazing, and at times ‘fantastical’, excuses as to why he wasn’t able to do what he said.
On Monday Neel decides he will arrive on time for school:
“I had an early dinner/I went to bed at eight
I set the clock for five because/I didn’t want to be late …”
“At night my clock began to tick/In an anti-clockwise way
And by the time I woke up/It was noon, of yesterday”.
On Thursday Neel intends to complete all his homework but when the teacher asks why it is all soggy and wet he launches into an absurd excuse about how his homework hopped away and landed in a pond! By Sunday Neel is forced to reflect on the error of his ways but protests that “it’s not at all fair” when he is not allowed to go out.
Anushka Ravishankar is one of India’s best-loved children’s poets and she has produced another delightful book of nonsense verse that will have children giggling from the moment they open the book.
The unusual zany art by Gabrielle Manglou, an artist from the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean, uses a combination of tinted photographs, watercolour, graffiti, and other media that creates a surreal backdrop that enhances the imaginative rhymes. Children will really enjoy Neel’s attempts to be good and find his excuses hilarious.