Book Review: 366 Words in Mumbai
The latest release from children’s book publishing house FunOKPlease, 366 Words in Mumbai aims to be both a learning tool as well as a kid-friendly guide to the city. In the book, two children Neel and Sivana act as guides who take the reader through landmarks such as the Gateway of India and Shivaji Park; festivals such as Ganeshotsav and Eid; and “places of work” such as the Stock Exchange and Dhobi Ghat. Since there can’t be a guide to Mumbai without at least one reference to Bollywood, writer Mirabelle D’Cunha includes Film City in the list of places of work. On every page, the reader has to find a set of word-picture combinations in the illustration that they see. For instance, they’re asked to find the tourists, the ferry and the ticket counter in the illustration depicting a scene at the Gateway of India.
D’Cunha’s writing is simple and the illustrations, by Suhita Mitra, are evocative of familiar Mumbai scenes. However, we wish the publishers had paid greater attention to detail. There are inconsistencies in spelling (even D’Cunha’s name is spelt DaCunha on one page), and the font size of the text is a tad small for younger readers of the book, which D’Cunha says is suitable for ages three and above. Nevertheless, 366 Words in Mumbai—which is part of a series that includes similar titles for cities such as Bengaluru, Kolkata and Delhi—is a good way to get a child interested in and curious about his or her city.
366 Words in Mumbai by Mirabelle D’Cunha and Suhita Mitra, FunOKPlease, Rs150. Buy it from Flipkart.com.