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Malala’s Magic Pencil

Malala is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.

When Malala was a child, she wished for a magic pencil. She would use the pencil to draw a lock on her door to keep her brothers out and sleep an extra hour every morning by stopping time.

When Malala’s right to attend school was threatened, she picked up a real pencil and wrote about life under the Taliban. People all over the world came to know about the atrocities under the Taliban regime.

What amazed me when I read this book and her biography is her father. He was an advocate for girls’ education and Malala studied in his school. He supported her education and her desire to write and publish about life under the Taliban. The world would not have a Malala if he forced her to stay at home, cook and clean for their family, as expected in his community. Instead, he gave unflinching support for his daughter, stood by her and made sure she did what she felt was right.

This Father’s Day, I wish for more fathers’ who help their daughters realize their dreams.

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The life-changing magic of tidying up

In schools, they teach Science, Math, and English but they never teach about how to keep our surroundings organized. The most essential lesson of life is not taught.

Marie Kondo’s book is about cleaning up once and keeping it that way for a long time. The first principle is that we need less to live in an organized manner. Second, there has to be a place for a thing and a thing in its place. Third, decluttering will also change your life, you prioritize your life goals as well.

The most useful tip she provides in this book is to clean by category, not by room. Start with non-personal items such as clothes. Pile all the clothes in the center of the room. Each piece of clothing evokes a certain feeling, joy, doubt or distaste. Only keep the clothes that spark joy. Repeat the process with other categories such as books, papers, miscellaneous and sentimental items. Marie Kondo calls this approach as the KonMari method after her name.

This book is truly life-changing if we put the principles outlined in this book into practice. I took the first step in cleaning my closet. My new organized closet put a smile on my face and fills my heart with pride.

Top 5 kids’ books I read in May

The below descriptions are book blurbs from the books.

Julian is a Mermaid

Every Saturday morning, Julian and his brother go swimming. But the day Julian spies three women on the subway, everything changes. He is entranced by their beautiful hair, their swishy, shimmering mermaid gowns, and their total confidence. When Julian gets home, all he can think of is becoming a mermaid himself.

But what will Abuela think?

Utterly mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love’s author-illustrator debut is a radiant celebration of individuality and triumphant win for unconditional love.

Published: 2018 by Candlewick Press

Magic Ramen The Story of Momofuku Ando

Amid the rubble of Japan after World War II, Momofuku Ando encountered people lined up in the bitter cold waiting for the smallest bit of food. The world is peaceful only when everyone has enough to eat, he thought. Haunted by this memory, Ando worked in a little shed in his backyard, experimenting and trying to create a new kind of noodle soup that was quick to make nutritious and tasty in order to feed the hungry.

Ando worked day and night but still came up short time and again. He kept tinkering with different formulas. Through persistence, creativity, and inspiration, he finally succeeded!

Slurp up the true story behind one of the worlds most popular foods!

Published: 2019 by Little Bee Books

When Granda Give you a Lemon Tree

You asked for a new gadget for your birthday, but what do you do when grandma gives you a lemon tree instead? Definitely, don’t make a face.

Try caring for the tree, and if you wait patiently through the seasons, you might be surprised at what blooms.

The perfect book for Mother’s Day or grandparent’s day this clever story subtly extols the virtues of hard work, celebrating community, and putting down electronic devices for a while.

Published: 2019 by Sterling Children’s Books

The Dragon Slayer

How would a kitchen-maid fare against a seven-headed dragon? What happens when a woman marries a mouse? And what can a young man learn from 1000 leaf cutter ants? Famed Love and Rockets creator Jamie Hernandez asks these questions and more as he transforms beloved myths into bold, stunning, and utterly contemporary comics.

Guided by the classic works of F. Isabel Campoy and Alma Flor Ada, Hernandez’s first book for young readers brings the sights and such stories of Latin America to a new generation of graphic novel fans around the world.

Published: 2017 by Toon Books

Music for Mister Moon

All Harriet Henry wants to do is play her cello in the privacy of her room. Nothing makes her more nervous than the thought of playing for a crowd. So when a noisy owl interrupts her solitude, Harriet becomes upset. She throws her teacup the window and inadvertently knocks the moon out of the sky.

Curiously enough, Harriet and the moon become fast friends and spend a memorable evening together doing things the moon has only dreamed about.

But can Harriet work up the courage to play her music for Mr. Moon?

Published: 2019 by Neal Porter Books

Holiday House/New York

Download the complete list below. Follow my Instagram profile @soumswriter for stories about these books.

Kids_books_I_read_in_May

Badger’s Perfect Garden

A badger wants to plant the perfect garden. He collects many seeds of different colors, shapes, and sizes and asks for his friends’ help to plant the seeds. His friends Red Squirrel, Dormouse and Weasel offer help willingly; they weed, rake and plant. But nature has other plans for the badger’s garden, which disappoints the badger. How did badger deal with his disappointment? Was his garden as perfect as he wanted it to be?

This is a good book to teach children about how to persevere when things don’t happen according to plan. This book is written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki. The illustrations were beautiful and animated.

Rating: 5/5

Published: March 15, 2019, by Sleeping Bear Press

What is the traditional dress of your country?

What is the traditional dress of your country?

In this pic, I am wearing a saree and colorful bangles on my hands. Saree and Punjabi suits can be considered as the traditional dresses of India. But, these days women wear sarees only for traditional occasions. Jeans and tops have replaced traditional wear. Compared to jeans and tops, sarees are a lot more colorful and eye-catching.

 

Circe

Circe by Madeline Miller is a novel about one of the Greek mythological character, Circe. Circe is a goddess and is also known as the witch of Aiaia. She was exiled to an island for converting her fellow nymph Scylla into a sea monster. She is also the famous witch who is mentioned in Odyssey. She was the lover of Odysseus and also had a son from him.

This book is like an autobiography of Circe and covers her childhood, youth and the final years. I loved the motherhood experience of Circe. Being a new mother myself, I could understand the challenges of raising a newborn and her sacrifices for her child.

I did not understand the hype around this book and felt that it was not worth reading. First of all, Circe is a minor character in Greek mythology, so I did not understand why I should spend my time reading 350 pages about her. While Madeline Miller’s narration is flawless, it would have been best used for other important Greek mythological characters.

Rating: 4/5

Published: April 10, 2018