In collaboration with Tulika Books, we present book reviews every month of new age stories and age old fables, to preserve and promote the habit of reading amongst all children.
On the cover of I Didn’t Understand! is a child smiling at readers, upside down. For us, this image perfectly describes the essence of the book—the world as viewed by a child with Down’s Syndrome.
I Didn’t Understand! based on award-winning author Mini Shrinivasan’s experiences of working with special schools in multiple cities, is a story of bullying and friendship in the life of Manna, a child with Down Syndrome.
Originally, the story was a part of an anthology of multiple short stories, in which children with disabilities play lead characters, put together by EKansh Trust, Pune. Soon, Tulika Books learnt about the story and published it along with illustrations by Shubham Lakhera.
Manna studies in an integrated school. She cannot read and write, yet; hence, she has asked her teacher to write down three incidents that she didn’t quite understand.
This soulful story delivers the lessons of empathy, sensitivity, kindness, innocence, friendship and so many other values with incredible ease and subtlety. In addition, the book attempts to introduce crucial and thought-provoking subjects such as developmental disorders and the self-identity of differently abled children. The simplistic and uncluttered illustrations aid the narrative perfectly, leaving much to the reader’s imagination.
Tulika Books has delivered yet another gem with this meaningful children’s book.
With the purchase of I Didn’t Understand! parents can present their children with the gift of sensitivity. Rest assured that you will understand what Manna didn’t and will, hopefully, leave with a renewed way of looking at things.