There's something different about Sakshi Singh's beautiful new book
posted by Shweta Sharan, June 25, 2019
Sakshi Singh is one of our favorite Indian poets! Her first storybook, Tauji Ki Chuhiya, turns a child's memory into something truly mesmerizing. We think you should not miss it!
We love Sakshi Singh's poetry for children. We reviewed her Jalebi Jingles and her book If I Could Teach My Teacher is another lovely collection of poems about growing up, learning, teachers, ice cream carts and childhoods in India and in other countries. What we really admire about Sakshi's poems is that it is so much fun to recite them!
A brilliant children's writer and poet with a true ear for the language, Sakshi's poems are rhythmic and fun experiments with words and sounds! She mixes Indian language words with English words, and the result is natural and universal.
Her first storybook, Tauji Ki Chuhiya, is pretty special. The book is about a child named Sakshi who always finds herself around squeaky little rats. Terrified? Curious? Well, it all starts when Sakshi's uncle plays a little game with her with a handkerchief, a few knots, and lots of laughter! Sakshi's tauji always has a trick up his sleeve and Sakshi loves to see his magic tricks and listen to his stories. In the book, Sakshi recounts how he would perform his best magic trick -- conjuring a rat from his handkerchief! Sakshi the author reminisces about Sakshi the little girl and the fun times she had with her uncle.
Tauji announced, "Yeh dekho, bani chuhiya ki poonch," as he made a small knot at one end of the handkerchief and tightened it with his long fingers. He then made a big knot at the other end. Tauji made the knots easily.
The chuhiya was slowly coming alive. Sakshi's heart started beating faster. It sounded something like 'lub dub, lub dub!'
The child's imagination truly sees her uncle conjure a real rat from a handkerchief. With a child's view of the world and what's possible, a handkerchief can turn into an animal! Sakshi, the author, brings Sakshi the child alive in the pages of her first picture book. She also brings sounds into the mix, be it the 'pach, pach' of tauji's rubber sandals on the floor, or the 'lub dub' of Sakshi's beating heart when waiting for her favorite magic trick!
Finally, we applaud Sakshi's use of Hindi in the story, and how she mixes two languages. I read somewhere that when a child shifts from one language to another, they even experience emotions differently. Isn't that amazing? My daughter is learning Hindi in school, and this book was a magnificent way to get her to absorb the language's musicality and tone. The last time Hindi made her so excited was when she kept shouting the word 'jal hasti,' which she encountered in Nandana Dev Sen's 'Not Yet!'
Don't miss this book!
Want to buy this book? Sakshi Singh is running a special book bundle offer all through the monsoon season! You can get Rat-a-Tat, Tauji Ki Chuhiya and If I Could Teach My Teacher at a special price! To order, mail firstname.lastname@example.org! Follow Sakshi Singh on Youtube! You can watch her read her poems out, deliver brilliant sessions on therapeutic writing, interact with children, and more.
Featured image credit: Sakshi Singh