Graphic Biographies

We love nonfiction books for children, particularly those which do a fantastic job of presenting information in interesting ways. We already have several works of nonfiction on our shelves, but we always keep an eye out for new and engaging titles to add to our collection. Here’s a round-up of some of the most fascinating graphic biographies in our store.

Bhimayana (Navayana) 


Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891–1956), one of India’s foremost revolutionaries, grew up untouchable. Battling against the odds, he gained multiple doctorates, campaigned against social discrimination and the caste system and went on to draft the Constitution of India. Throughout his life Ambedkar faced routine discrimination: in school at the age of 10; in Baroda after his return from Columbia University; and while travelling in later life. The discrimination experienced by Ambedkar continues to haunt a majority of India’s 170 million dalits as many are still denied water, shelter and the basic dignities of life.

In this ground-breaking work, Pardhan-Gond artists Durgabai Vyam and Subhash Vyam interweave historical events with contemporary incidents, infusing fresh energy into the graphic idiom through their magical art.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Scholastic)

great lives mohandas karamchand gandhi

Read about the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also known as The Father of the Nation. Presented through both comics and text as part of Scholastic’s Great Lives series, this book takes a look at the life of one of India’s most daring, driven and radical personalities ever.

Malala, A Brave Girl From Pakistan/Iqbal, A Brave Boy From Pakistan (Simon & Schuster)

malala iqbal jeanette winter

Meet two heroes of Pakistan who stood up for the rights to freedom and education in these inspirational nonfiction tales from acclaimed author-illustrator Jeanette Winter. Two stories of bravery in one beautiful book.

One country: Pakistan. Two children: Iqbal Masih and Malala Yousafzai. Each was unafraid to speak out. He, against inhumane child slavery in the carpet trade. She, for the right of girls to attend school. Both were shot by those who disagreed with them—he in 1995, she in 2012. Iqbal was killed instantly; Malala miraculously survived and continues to speak out around the world. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her work…

A Gardener In The Wasteland (Navayana)

a gardener in the wasteland

In 1873, Jyotirao Govindrao Phule wrote Gulamgiri (Slavery), a scathingly witty attack on the vedas being idle fantasies of the brahman mind which enslaved the shudras and atishudras. A hundred and forty years hence, Srividya Natarajan and Aparajita Ninan breathe fresh life into Phule’s rather graphic imagination, weaving in the story of Savitribai, Jyotiba’s partner in his struggles.

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam: The People’s President (Scholastic)

great lives a p j abdul kalam

Trace the remarkable journey of a small-town boy from a struggling family, as he rose to become the President of the country, earning along the way the epithets of The Missile Man of India and The People’s President. This book is a part of Scholastic’s Great Lives Series, presented through a unique mix of both comics and text.

Hana’s Suitcase: A True Story (Jyotsna Prakashan)

hana's suitcase

In March 2000, a suitcase arrived at a children’s Holocaust education center in Tokyo, Japan from the Auschwitz museum in Germany. Fumiko Ishioka, the center’s curator, was captivated by the writing on the outside that identified its owner: “Hana Brady, May 16, 1931, Waisenkind (the German word for orphan).” Children visiting the center were full of questions. Who was Hana Brady? Where did she come from? What was she like? What happened to her? Inspired by their curiousity and her own need to know, Fumiko began a year of detective work, scouring the world for clues. Her search led her from present-day Japan, Europe and North America back to 1938 Czechoslovakia to learn the story of Hana Brady, a fun-loving child with wonderful parents, a protective big brother, and a passion for ice skating, their happy life turned upside down by the invasion of the Nazis. Photographs and original wartime documents enhance this extraordinary story that bridges cultures, generations and time.


New Poetry Books at Kahani Tree

We’re thrilled to have some fantastic new (and old) poetry books on our shelves. The quirky verse, the unusual ideas and the brilliant illustrations make reading these poems aloud an absolute delight. And, of course, they prove that poetry can be a whole lot of fun.

Book of Beasts: An A to Z Rhyming Bestiary (Duckbill Books)

book of beasts

The hispid hare
is rather rare—
in fact, outside north-eastern east
it lives nowhere,
and even there
it is a most uncommon beast.

With scientific facts, quirky verse and gorgeous illustrations, this is a most unusual alphabet book! A writer and an artist, M Krishnan was one of India’s best-known environmentalists.

Beastly Tales From Here and There (Puffin Books)

beastly tales from here and there

From the impish to the brilliantly comic, Vikram Seth’s animal fables in verse can, like Diwali sweets, be enjoyed by young and old alike. Of the ten fables told here, two come from India, two from China, two from Greece, two from the Ukraine and two, as the author puts it, ‘from the land of Gup’.

This Book Makes No Sense (Scholastic)

this book makes no sense

Stop making sense and embrace the nonsense poems (and worse) in this book, a tumble of oddball superheroes (and their superdog), mudpie masters, tree-climbing buffalos, a galloping Wollop, and pesky disobedient pants. Classic nonsense writers like Sukumar Ray, Rabindranath Tagore, and Edward Lear join forces with the new generation, including Anushka Ravishankar, Samit Basu, and JonArno Lawson to launch crazy characters, curious creatures, and heaps of nonsense in these hilarious and melodious poems and stories. You can even learn to write your very own nonsense, with the help of nonsense superstars from around the world.

The Fried Frog and Other Funny Freaky Foodie Feisty Poems (Scholastic)

the fried frog

Have you ever heard of fabulous beasts that are garbage trucks? Have you ever met a person called Shampoo who talks in frothy bubbles? Have you ever wondered whether sails are happy or surly? Have you ever ridden a word balloon? Or seen a blue heron? If you haven’t here’s your chance! The Fried Frog is full of all kinds of strangeness- hilariousness and seriousness.

The World Through Children’s Books

There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.

– Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Books can show children a different part of the world – one that exists beyond the the one they occupy – an important eye-opener for both children and adults. We’ve rounded up a list of books which give young readers a glimpse into parts of the country and the world which they might find unfamiliar, but which they are sure to find fascinating.

Okaasuma Otousama (Tulika Books)

Age: 2+

okaasama otousama

A joyful tribute to multilingualism that says Mother and Father in 18 different languages – from Japanese to Kikuyu, Spanish to Finnish, Tulu to Tagalog… In addictive rhythm, just waiting to be read aloud, the text reflects amazing similarities across far-flung languages, while the illustrations capture the multi-ethnic, multicultural spirit with sensitivity and skill.

Jafta (Katha Books)

Age: 2+


Meet Jafta, a little boy growing up in an African village, who describes some of his everyday moods and feelings by comparing his actions to those of various animals. Filled with vibrant illustrations and clever similes, the book will transport young readers to the beautiful environs of African wilderness. Early readers will find themselves reading aloud to this delightful story.

Aamu’s Kawandi (Katha Books)

Age: 4+

aamu's kawandi

Aamu is a little Siddi girl from Karnataka who loves to collect interesting stories from around her village. She has stitched them together to make her own kind of quilt. Do you want to see it?

Treasures From Tibet (Katha Books)

Age: 4+

treasures from tibet

Homes – are they really special? What does it mean to belong? What makes one feel at home? Find out with this simple story of Pema and her Momo-ley as they uncover, share and cherish their secret treasures from places they call home.

Brownbox Roadtrip Series (Brownbox)

Age: 6+

brownbox roadtrip peru

The Roadtrip series is an interactive travel adventure full of fun activities. Each book takes you through a different country and introduces you to its sights, food, people, history and culture. Go on an armchair adventure to exciting new destinations! The three countries available in this series are Peru, Kenya and Italy.

The Why-Why Girl (Tulika Books)

Age: 6+

the why why girl

Moyna lives in a little tribal village. She cannot go to school because she has to tend the goats, collect the firewood, fetch the water… But she is so full of questions that the postmaster calls her the ‘why-why girl’!
Mahasweta Devi is one of India’s foremost writers. In this delightful story, her first picture book, and the only children’s book she has written in English, she tells us how she meets Moyna (and her mongoose!) and helps her find answers to all the why-whys – in books, that Moyna herself learns to read.

Bumboo: The Donkey Who Would Not Budge (Eklavya Publications)

Age: 7+

bumboo the donkey who would not budge

Bumboo is a playful and loving donkey in Ladakh, adored by young Padma. As he grows up and the tourist season approaches, what does the family discover about him? Why does he behave differently as night falls? Why does he not move at all? Will Padma’s father now sell him off? Find out how the care of a loving Ladakhi girl and the resourcefulness of an ingenious Ladakhi boy help Bumboo deal with his unusual ailment in this story inspired by a true incident.

My Facebook Friends (Tulika Books)

Age: 8+

my facebook friends

A young monk who likes playing football, a professor who has been studying earthworms for 40 years, a designer with a passion for tap dancing… My Facebook Friends, as the title suggests, is inspired by the virtual phenomenon of social networking. Kavita’s imaginative take on it combines her love for travel with an uplifting offbeat perspective, colourfully map diverse stories from all over the world – India, Nepal, Korea, Kenya, Spain and more…

My Two Great-Grandmothers (Pratham Books)

Age: 8+

my two great-grandmothers

This is a story about a little girl who learns about the two very different great-grandmothers and their two very different worlds. She has never seen the great-grandmother who lives in Gambia, but she sometimes visits her Norwegian great-grandmother. A warm tale rich with the sounds and scents of two countries, bound with the comforting bonds of love.

Tiger Boy (Duckbill Books)

Age: 10+

tiger boy

Neel’s parents want him to win a scholarship, and go to the big city to study. But Neel doesn’t want to leave his beloved Sundarbans, with its beautiful trees and its magnificent tigers. And then a tiger cub goes missing from the reserve! The evil Gupta wants to sell the cub and sets his people to search for it. Neel and his sister Rupa are determined to find the cub and take it to safety before Gupta and his goons find it.  Racing against time, and braving the dangers of the dark, will Neel succeed in saving the little tiger cub?

Books and Boxes for a Creative Summer

Apart from reading books at Kahani Tree, we love anything that keeps us curious and creative. Small Brown Box designs activities which are decidedly not paint-by-number, but which are open-ended enough to allow kids to ask questions and explore their imagination.

We have a bunch of Small Brown Boxes in our store which we can’t wait to try out. To keep bookworms creatively engaged this summer, here’s a round-up of the boxes with some books from our shelves which we think would make a perfect match.

Air Travel Kit


Princess Easy Pleasy (Karadi Tales)

princess easy pleasy

Princess Easy Pleasy is all but easy to please. She drives the royal packer up the wall with her quirks that are as seasonal as her royal vacations. Where does it all stop? The royal aeroplane is filled with increasingly bizarre things including a cow and an elephant!


Starlight Lantern

sbb starlight lantern

Amma, Tell Me About Diwali (Anjana Publishing) 

amma tell me about diwali

The book features two stories about Diwali, both narrated in rhyme.The first one explains why the festival is celebrated by describing Prince Rama’s victory over Ravana. The second story introduces Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.


Glowing Firefly

sbb glowing firefly

Basava and the Dots of Fire (Tulika Books)


Every day, Basava goes to the forest to collect firewood for his mother. But one day it grows dark and he can’t find his way home. That is when Basava sees the glowing dots of fire that light up the forest.


Launch Your Rocket and Hanging Galaxy

sbb launch your rocket & hanging galaxy

Intergalactic Idol (Karadi Tales)

Intergalactic Idol for glow cover.cdr

The story features a boy’s adventures in outer space: ‘I know I am in trouble, and I know you might not believe what I am about to tell you. But I swear that all of this is true. I could have got out of trouble by inventing some convenient and completely believable lie, but you know I’m not like that. Okay, maybe you don’t know I’m not like that, but it’s true. I could have died. I could have been stranded on a galaxy a gazillion light years away from here. Worst of all, I could have been married. Anyway, this is my story.’

Print Making

sbb prints and presents

What Can You Do With Red Yellow and Blue (Little Latitude)

what can you do with red yellow and blue

Whimsical illustrations and lilting verse take Anahi and Vir into the magical world of colours. They have fun mixing paints with their exuberant artist friend and discover the amazing variety they can create by starting with just yellow, blue and red. Moving from primary to secondary to tertiary colours, the happy trio zooms from one humorous scene to the next, splashing glorious colours along the way.


sbb kaleidoscope

Fledolin Upside Down (Katha Books)


All bats hang with their heads down but Fledolin — he stands firmly on
the ground! And when you are downside-up, how do you think the world will look? Read this upside down book and find out how it’s great fun to be topsy-turvy just like Fledolin!

Jungle Safari Hunt

jungle safari hunt

Walk The Rainforest With Niwupah (Katha Books)

walk the rainforest

Join Niwupah the hornbill on a tour of his rainforest home, where the sights we see and the sounds we hear, the scents we smell and the creatures we meet, are like nothing we’ve ever imagined! A tour guide, introducing children to the sights and sounds of the rainforests.

Pom Pom Pets

pom pom pets

Anokhi’s New Friend (A & A Book Trust)



Anokhi would love to have a dog in the family, but her parents have other ideas. When Banjo the dog does arrive in her house however, everybody is happy. Then suddenly, it turns out that they have to send him away! What will happen to Banjo now? And more importantly, how will Anokhi cope?

A Nature Walk With Picture Books

Long summer days are perfect for a nature walk!

Arm your children with a magnifying glass (for a closer look at nature), an empty jar (if tempted to collect specimens), a notebook (if the walk inspires writing or sketching), a big bottle of water and a picnic snack (to keep the spirits high).

Use books which feature plants and insects you’re likely to find in your area. Then, take your children on a walk and help them identify plants, birds and insects from the books.

Here are some books from our shelves which would make the perfect addition to any nature walk.

Dancing Bees

Rs 75

dancing bees

Did you know that bees make a real song and dance over honey? And delicate butterflies can frighten fearsome birds? Superbly comic pictures exaggerate funny but true facts about the mad, mad world of creepy crawlies.The Magical Web Bridge

Follow the Ants

Rs 120

follow the ants

Across the room, over a table, under a chair… Anita follows a long line of ants. Where do they take her? Zestful pictures capture the curiosity of a lively little girl and introduce young readers to some simple, everyday vocabulary.

Help! Help!

Rs 75


‘Help! Help!’ calls the big black ant when the little black ant falls into the water. But the only answers it gets are ‘crokk’, ‘isspiss’, ‘aaaanh’, ‘cheek’, ‘miyawwwwn’ and ‘woaw’. Who will save the baby? Unusual sounds add excitement to a familiar pattern in this folktale-based story.


Rs 160


Something’s fluttering around! It settles on a shoulder here, on a nose there … Where did it come from? And where is it going? Follow the splash of orange to find out! Lively illustrations with a vivid pop of colour put you on the trail of a story that needs no words.

Flowers of India 

Rs 150

flowers of india

India is home to a rich variety of flowers. Some are local to the region, while others travelled thousands of miles and have since found a home here. This full-colour board book introduces both rare and common Indian flowers to the very young. Each book comes with a list of each topic’s words in English, with space to add words in your own language. This series takes children on a visual journey that is at once exotic and familiar.

The Bee Master

Rs 115

the bee master

When rock bees build a bee colony in Gowri’s balcony, her mother asks Mr Ramaiah, a bee expert, for help. As Gowri learns about bees and the environment, the reader is drawn into a contemplative journey of discovery.

The Coral Tree

Rs 150

the coral tree

Captivating photographs and simple text reveal the life in the Indian Coral Tree and around it. Informative and enchanting.

The Spider’s Web 

Rs 100

the spider's web

When Ali focuses on a spider’s web through a camera, he understands the difference between looking and seeing. Photographs and illustrations take the understanding further.

Kahani Tree Celebrates World Wildlife Day

The United Nations celebrates World Wildlife Day on March 3rd.

“World Wildlife Day is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to people. At the same time, the Day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.”

The theme for 2016 is – the future of wildlife is in our hands.

We help you prepare junior bookworms for World Wildlife Day with our themed book sets available at the Robin Age online store. You can also drop by our store to choose your own books.

robin 1

This March, celebrate World Wildlife Day with a collection of books featuring Anushka Ravishankar’s hilarious animal-themed rhymes. Follow a tiger who gets stuck up a tree, meet an elephant who thinks he’s a buffalo and find out what happens when a crocodile finds himself in a village. Through their dazzling verse, the books gently touch upon the pressing need of environmental conservation and preservation.

Age: 4+

Price: Rs 720 (includes shipping)

robin 2

This March, celebrate World Wildlife Day by setting off to explore the wild. Join a hornbill guide on a tour of his rainforest home and a pygmy hog who will lead you through the grasslands. Discover unknown sights, sounds and scents as well as a horde of fascinating creatures. Then, Sultan the tiger cub takes you on a photographic journey around Ranthambore forest while Ali, a little boy, brings you closer home by revealing the wonders an ordinary spider is capable of.

Age: 7+

Price: Rs 740 (includes shipping)

robin 3

This World Wildlife Day, celebrate the wild with some magnificent stories where you will meet:

  • Dokkhin Rai, Sundarban’s mythical fierce monster, who has to face Bon Bibi, the forest’s guardian
  • A legendary elephant named Makhna who protects the forests from tree-cutters and poachers
  • A rare black panther in the Western Ghats who is spotted by an Irula tribesman
  • Daydreaming Dev who finds himself on the Amazon River and has to escape its terrifying alligators, tarantulas, piranhas and an enormous anaconda

Age: 6+

Price: Rs 635 (includes shipping)

Book of the Week: The Rupaiya Paisa Series

Every week, we celebrate a book we love by suggesting ways to make the story come alive. 

This week, we’re featuring the Rupaiya Paisa series, written by Mala Kumar, illustrated by Deepa Balsavar  and published by Pratham Books.

rupaiya paisa series

Image courtesy here

This series on financial literacy introduces children to the concept of money and its usage. Playful illustrations make it easy understand the concepts of saving, earning, budgeting, banks, self-help groups etc.

Listen to:

(As suggested by Playing By The Book)


The RBI Monetary Museum in Fort, Mumbai

From the website:

Money is an intrinsic component of the cultural heritage of a country mirroring its socio-economic history. India was one of the earliest issuers of coinage in the world and has been home to many-a-monetary experiment recorded in history.

The RBI Monetary Museum aims at documenting and preserving this heritage.

You can read an article chronicling a visit to the museum here.


Chocolate coins

coin chocolate


coins in the classroom

Your own coin. The Royal Mint Museum offers a fantastic guide to teachers to help students understand how coins are designed. It also helps students create a coin which represents their own identity. Although this comprehensive resource focuses on British currency, with a little bit of research about Indian coins, it can easily be adapted for use in Indian schools and homes. Click here to access the guide.


Book of the Week: The Party in the Sky

Every week, we celebrate a book we love by suggesting ways to make the story come alive. 

This week, we’re featuring The Party in the Sky, written by Jane DeSuza, illustrated by Prashant Miranda and published by Little Latitude.

the party in the sky

Your child’s first understanding of the Solar System will be thorough because it will be fun. Each planet waltzes in with a different personality in memorable illustrations. Written in rhyme that little children will love to chant – this book will make sure the planets are friends – and the facts about them – unforgettable.

Listen to:


Your nearest planetarium. And, if a planetarium isn’t handy, head up to your terrace for a night of stargazing.


Fruit Rockets


fruit rockets 1

Click here for directions


fruit rockets 2

Click here for directions



A Flying Saucer

flying saucer

Click here for directions


Cooking the Books: A Silly Story of Bondapalli

Cooking the Books is a brand new feature on our blog which suggests book-related recipes to make the story come alive.


A Silly Story of Bondapalli


There was once a prince who hated food. One day the royal cook gave him something new to eat… a hot golden ball, crisp outside, soft inside… a bonda! After that there is no stopping either the prince or this mad tale that rolls its jolly way to an inevitably happy, bondaful end. The jaunty illustrations pick up all the comic clues along the way, to make it a truly ‘silly’ story.


To find out how you can make a delicious plate of bondas to go with story time, click here.
mysore bonda


Book An Activity: The Great Race

Book an Activity is a feature on our blog which suggests book-related activities to make the story come alive. 


The Great Race

the great race

“I’m the fastest animal in the forest!” boasts Kanchil the mouse deer. “And I challenge any animal to race me!” Who will step forward to accept the challenge, and can Kanchil be beaten? The Great Race is an exciting retelling of an Indonesian folktale, featuring the trickster Kanchil. Illustrated in the Mata Ni Pachedi style of ritual textile painting from Gujarat, this is the first time that this rare form of traditional art has been used to tell a children’s story.


We found a fun snail craft idea over on Make and Takes which would go perfectly with The Great Race.

Coiled Paper Snails

coiled paper snails

What you need:

  • Strips of coloured paper
  • Stapler, glue, or tape
  • Colouring materials (crayons, markers, etc.)
  • Small hole punch
  • Pencils
  • Straws cut into 3″ pieces
  • Green paper for leaves (optional)

What to do:

Start by making the snail’s head. Fold a small piece of the paper strip under and secure it in place with stapler, glue, or tape. This will create a small loop for the snail’s head.

snail 1

Time to decorate your snail’s shell! You can color the top of the paper (inside of the shell), as well as the bottom of the paper strip (outside of the shell). Make your snail as colorful as you like!

Once your snail is all decorated, you can start coiling the paper into a shell. With the snail right-side-up, lay a pencil on top of the paper strip and roll the paper around it.

snail 2

Pull the pencil out and adjust your coil as tight or loose as you like. Now your snail has a fancy spiral shell!

snail 3

The finishing touch for your snail is a pair of tentacles. Punch two small holes in the top of the head loop. Thread a piece of straw, about 3″ long, down and up through the holes. Adjust and curl the straw tentacles.

You can also make some leaves for your snails to crawl and nibble on using the green paper.

snail 4