A Puzzling Tour Of India - Book Review | Summer Reading | Multicultural Kids | MapleandMarigold.comMy husband and I have lived away from India for 18 years. In the early days it was easier to stay connected with family and we had only ourselves to consider. Since the kids arrived I find we want to make even more of an effort and the trips back to India have become regular and even longer in duration.

In our years away a lot has changed about us and the country we used to call home. What hasn’t changed and perhaps has only been reinforced with our travels, is our desire to help our kids grow up to become responsible global citizens. Books and stories is one of the great ways to bring the wild and wonderful world a little closer to our little bubble in Toronto.

A while back I was sent a copy of “A Puzzling Tour of India” and because last month has been crazy with work and the end-of-school year routine it has been sitting and gathering dust in my bedside drawer. And then last week my older one found it, and before we knew it an hour had passed, and she was hooked.

A Puzzling Tour Of India – Book Review

The book is full of puzzles and activities intended to introduce children to the diverse sub-continent of India. From the maze in the streets of Jaipur to “spot the mangoes” in the Taj Mahal to the rolling tea hills of Assam in the Eastern part of India, the beautiful illustrations really bring the culture and people to life. Over the past week, my kids have inadvertently learnt a lot about India through this book, just in time for our summer holiday to meet the grandparents.

I highly recommend this book.

Printed by Yali Books of New York, the publishing house focuses on books of South Asian cultures and has done a great job with this one.
A Puzzling Tour Of India - Book Review | Summer Reading | Multicultural Kids | MapleandMarigold.com

Appropriate for ages 5-12. The publishers recommend 6 and up and I see how some of the activities require the ability to read to fully understand and complete them. But my 5 year old loves it (not just because she sees her older sister, who’s 10, working away at it) and so I read the descriptions out to her and then translated them in Hindi. She can’t understand Hindi as yet – barring a few simple words – but she loves the sound of it.

Why this book instead of others?  

Many reasons.

  1. Each page is well thought out and beautifully illustrated. The content is interesting and captures children’s imagination and will help them learn about India without feeling like that it’s an “educational book.”
  2. The activities are fun and keeps young minds engaged and entertained. Spot the two matching turbans, anyone?
  3. I would recommend this book for anyone who would like to take a peek at the diverse country that is India and learn a little about it’s architecture, culture, people and even biodiversity.
  4. #WeNeedDiverseBooks. We live in a world that is full of interesting differences in thought and behaviour and so much else. It is that real and diverse world that needs to be reflected in the books that our kids read on TV and even video games. Our kids need to see the diversity in the world they interact with every day. Yes, We Need Diverse Books. #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Buying The Book

In the US it is available online through Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com and a few other websites starting from US$ 9. In Canada it is available online through Chapters and Amazon.ca at CA$11.69

Disclaimer: While I received a complimentary copy of the book, I have not been compensated for this post in any way. The views expressed here are my own.