By Amrutash Misra. Illustrations by Zainab Tambawallah
Pratham Books, 2019, pp.16, R40.00
Teaching Pa is the story of Diya and her father, unfolding how she managed and succeeded in teaching her father, in spite of his efforts to skip the maths sessions. It is sweet of Diya to decide to teach her father and make all the efforts to make it happen. Another interesting thing is how she makes use of pea pods, and other examples from kitchen that her father is familiar with. The concept blends well with the theoretical knowledge and its implications in real life, thereby facilitating conceptual clarity to the young readers. Pa’s constant attempts to run away from the math classes was something I enjoyed the most. Isn’t it something all (well, most) of the young readers and even us can relate to?
I loved how it portrays a family that believed in sharing of responsibilities, including the one concerning kitchen and cooking. This is something new that I am discovering in recent picture books where both the parents are shown sharing chores and giving a subtle lesson in gender equality. Pratham has introduced this book for level 3 readers i.e., those who can read and make meaning independently. Keeping the reader group in mind, the language and difficulty level of the vocabulary seems appropriate. The ‘Do you know’ section at the end is another interesting read.
However, in spite of these strengths, the story has scope for improvement. Somehow, it fell short of keeping me interested while reading. It seems that the story has been shaped strictly keeping in mind the format that Pratham has been following, and perhaps it affects the flow of the story. Also I feel that the story rather goes flat without much scope for engagement and excitement.
Apoorva Raje is working with the editorial team at Eklavya Foundation, Bhopal. She loves stories and listening to songs.