In the News

Here’s where you can read what other people say about my books and what I have to say about reading and writing and how I write and why I write.

 

Reviews

Pranav’s Picture

Pranav ends up teaching us a valuable lesson, sometimes there is more to what you see and adults have to respect the process and not the product.

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What Shall I Make? / What Should I Make? (Published in the US and Canada)

There are far too few books on the shelves of children’s bookshops of this pedigree… there are thousands of children in nurseries in the UK who will be able to identify with this story immediately – the mother is making dough and gives a piece to her child. Neeraj starts by making a snake, then a mouse, a cat and a lion before the round dough ball is rolled out by him into a chapatti. His mother puts on the stove and it puffs up!… it will be a delight to find a book on the shelves of their setting which tells a story so familiar to them. For those children who do not know about chapatti, they will learn about them in a fun way, being reminded of the many things they have tried to make out of dough or pastry when their mothers were baking. They will also have an opportunity to try to make chapatti as the book has both a pictorial and word recipe on how to make them…a must for every nursery, the clear text and appealing illustrations are an ideal introduction to India cooking as well as Indian culture. 
– Barbara Isaacs, Academic Director, MCI, London

 

What Shall I Make has a strong cultural context but it depicts the kind of activity shared within families all over the world. It is an appealing picture book that is sure to be a hit with young children.

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A regular day and what fun can a boy and a piece of dough have!

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A book my daughter could identify with. 

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It’s a little chapati of a book!

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Where is Amma?

THIS is the kind of story that will make you smile; innocence and ingenuity jump out of the pages and quickly make friends with you.

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Do get the book !

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 Easy prose, just the way a child’s mind would work.

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The Red Umbrella

A multilingual book that provides a rainy spin to the age old tale.

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My Grandfather’s Stick

It is books such as these, that help unleash the child’s imagination, making them realize, and parents too, that playtime does not need any gadgetry; a little bit of imagination can work wonders.

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What Could it Be?

A guessing game that spurs imagination.

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What Will You Give Me?

A delightful offering that not only promotes imagination, but refreshingly includes Indian characters as well.

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Where Shall We Go?

The third offering in the Curious Sameer series from India invites readers to consider all the fun to be had during school vacations.

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Nandini Nayar’s strength lies in seeing the world from a child’s point of view, and that view has been beautifully captured by her in words, and in the illustrations by Francesco Manetti.

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A charming little tale of a boy who’s SO EXCITED for school vacation! He gets into a guessing game with his mother about this TERRIFIC place he’s headed, and the book ends with a big smile.

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What Will I Be?

What stands out is the sheer delight that Sameer and his Amma (mother), pictured in a pink sari, exude as they appear in glowingly painted scenes that feature unusual perspectives. 

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Apoorva’s Fat Diary

 

This story is good to get the conversation started on sexual assault. There is nothing explicit or gory in the book but it brings up the issue quite forcefully.

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I loved the book because I could relate so much to Apoorva. I just wished I could have read this book as a tween. It would have done so much to my faltering self esteem at that time.  

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Every fat girl will find herself nodding to this book. But Apoorva’s sensible head, the take everything in your stride attitude and her value for true friendship in school life were the takeaways for me.

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I recommend this book to all kids aged 11-14. For the “healthy” kids and all other kids who are teased for superficial stuff like weight or height or pimples or body hair, it will be like finding a friend. It will show them how true friends will never judge you on your physical appearance. For the thin, athletic kids, it is a good perspective from the other side- they will understand how difficult it can be to lose weight or stay thin. Likewise for the teasers and the bullies- they will hopefully understand how it feels to be targeted for ridicule, and will hopefully stop going after other kids. The style of narration in the form of succinct, honest diary entries and the short length of the book (it is just 76 pages long) makes this a perfect read for reluctant readers as well.

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Meanie.Com

During the online discussions, the members share some tantalising insights about some well known stories and poems that can get kids curious enough to look them up and read them. The discussions also mention some well known authors and poets kids are likely to want to know more about.

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Nandini Nayar manages to take up topics like online presence and the real meaning of friendship and blend it together to create an absolutely delightful diary. What I loved about Apoorva is the fact that she is real. She is not the perfect kid and she knows her faults. She knows what she is doing is not right but she cant help it.

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Dear Aunty

The book may help kids, open up about problems they may be facing in school or among friends, and also learn to understand themselves better. It may encourage kids to examine their own behaviour and motivations and see through self deception, that we are all sometimes guilty of. 

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The book is fun to read without being preachy, but it sure makes you think a lot – about life in general. About how people have problems, and there are definitely solutions to them. What is important is the will to find these solutions.

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Laugh out Loud, Apoorva

Apoorva’s way of coping with tough times, without losing her sense of self and the her values, is quite inspirational.

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Each character is  well etched and I loved the way Apoorva deals with each of them in her own special way. Her thoughts, her actions, her way of speaking, everything is so adorable.

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As a reader, you feel for Apoorva but you don’t pity her in any way and the credit goes to the author for creating such a lovable character like Apoorva and narrating the story the way she did.

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The Great River Magic

It’s a great book for both kids and parents alike.

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The Chicken that Started it All

The author has taken up a very important issue and written about it in a humourous way without poking fun of anyone. She doesnt advocate doing this way or that, but just lays forth the fact about how exactly the chicken lands up on our plates. Whether children will get influenced enough to turn vegetarian, I dont know, but they will definitely learn compassion and the fact that you need to listen to people. That this world belongs not only to humans, to but all living creatures.

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Don’t Tell Your Mother

What we can tell you is, when we first read Don’t Tell Your Mother, Nayar’s evocation of the bittersweet feeling of flipping through childhood memories took us back to that place of unfiltered emotion only children and teenagers know.

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The Curious Case of the Sweet and Spicy Sweetshop 

You just can’t afford to give this book a miss. Take a bow, Nandini Nayar! You’re a magician, and you cast spells with your words.

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The Curious Case of the Sweet and Spicy Sweetshop is proof that good writing does not have to be complicated. The book is a perfect blend of wit and emotion.

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Published by Puffin, The Curious Case of the Sweet and Spicy Sweetshop is one of those delightful books that you just cannot put down. It has everything – funny, interesting and endearing characters, a fabulous and quaint setting, a fast-paced plot, and enthralling sub-plots. It’s like JK Rowling’s Harry Potter, Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and RK Narayan’s Swami and Friends all combined into one fabulous feast!

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INTERVIEWS

Where I discuss why writing a diary is so much fun!

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Where I discuss my writing schedule and monsters! 

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Writing and writing for children!

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Where do writers get their ideas?

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Where I answer some very curious questions about my Curious Sameer series!

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Where I spill the beans on The Chicken that Started it All! 

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Of Sweet and Ghosts  – a melt-in-the-mouth interview about sweets, ideas and sweet ideas!

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