Through this article, I am glad to recommend a few Indian books for kids that I have personally enjoyed reading with Rey. I have listed here 27 storybooks by Indian authors that are sure to entertain the tiny tots and can be introduced at an early age.
Let me start with one of my favorite Dr. Seuss quote, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Kids are always fond of stories especially if they have colorful pictures that attract them. Book reading is sure to ignite the imagination of a child. Rey and I enjoy reading books and we have our best time together. We enact, we laugh, make sounds, travel along to different places, meet so many people and enjoy the spectacular world through illustrations. I would say there is no right age to introduce books to kids. Earlier the better as it would teach kids to recognize the sounds and rhythm of language and would also bring them into the world of imagination. I would opine to make book reading or storytelling as interesting to your little ones that they fall in love with more and more stories.
♦ Read: 10 Benefits of Storytelling
The making of a children’s book is not an easy task. The time, efforts, imagination, and skill to hold the attention of tiny ones through 8-12 pages of a book is commendable. It is an art to see the world through their eyes, put it in writing and pictures, and at the same time make it sound real. Simple texts paired with delightful illustrations are sure to captivate the young reading enthusiasts.
27 Indian Books for Kids by Indian Authors
Having a selection of Indian books for kids in your home library is highly recommended. It teaches your child about our past and present, culture and festivals, flora and fauna, and much more. Knowing our motherland and embracing its richness, chaos, and diversity through beautifully illustrated Indian books for kids is sure to help them develop a sense of pride and respect for who they are and where they belong.
The below list of Indian books for kids are in no specific order, all are our favorites.
#1. Gajapati Kulapati
Gajapati Kulapati series by Ashok Rajagopalan is a fun picture book with a beautiful storyline for kids. The main character of the book, Gajapati, is a very cute and friendly elephant and is surrounded by cheerful and good-natured people. The illustrations are entertaining making the reading fun.
The author relies heavily on the natural rhythm of words and sounds and has used it effectively, thus making the storytelling super fun. The series includes four books for now: GAJAPATI KULAPATI, GAJAPATI KULAPATI KALABALOOOSH, GAJAPATI KULAPATI GURRBURRRROOOM, and GAJAPATI KULAPATI KALICHA KULICHA. This is one of the Indian books for kids that has captured the hearts of many.
#2. The Lion’s Feast
The book is written by Lavanya Karthik and illustrated by Chetan Sharma. Promised for a delicious meal of dosa, sambar, and chutney to the lion, Muthumama and Muthumami started preparing for the same. The smell of the hot dosa and sambar that wafted from the kitchen couldn’t be controlled by Muthumama and Muthumami and they generously started eating with the intention of having a few. But who could stop the lip-smacking delicious South Indian food? What goes wrong in this tale of hospitality is well illustrated by Lavanya Karthik and is sure to tickle your funny bones and taste buds. Rey and I had fun making a lion’s face with idli and also had our favorite dosa, sambar, and chutney as we couldn’t resist after reading the book.
#3. Flying High
Written by Geeta Dharmarajan, Flying High is a lively picture book that tells the story of Sunita Williams, the astronaut, who with her sheer determination, passion, and hard work reached the stars. With minimal texts, vibrant illustrations, and real-life pictures of the courageous female astronaut, this book is sure to leave you with a sense of pride, hope, inspiration, and happiness. This book would help motivate young readers with lots of positive thoughts. It is also available in Hindi titled Udaan.
#4. Sonam’s Ladakh
The best part of book reading is, they take you to different places and introduce different people. Sonam’s Ladakh by Manish Lakhani is one such book that takes you to the picturesque view of Ladakh. Sonam, a 10-year-old girl, who belongs to the nomadic Changpa tribe takes you to the magical land of Ladakh and introduces the readers to exotic wildlife, the traditional wool weaving talent of their tribe, and the agriculture they do. The beautiful monasteries, the starry nights, and the frozen waterfalls she talks about are truly breathtaking. This book is also available in Hindi titled Sonam ka Ladakh.
#5. Daddoo’s Day Out
Daddoo’s day out by Prabhjot Kaur is a fun story about a little frog named Daddoo who lived with her mother. Every day being the same, she decides to do something different. With this thought, she plans to have a day out all by herself trying to explore life outside the small pond. In the journey, she meets various animals of different colors, sizes, and nature – good and scary. She later takes help from a sweet dragonfly and requests to be taken home. Upon reaching home safely, the dragonfly asks Daddoo to never ever leave home alone. It is also available in Hindi as Daddoo Nikala Duniya Ghumne.
#6. Birds in my Garden and Beyond by Bulbul Sharma
To start with let me tell you, I instantly fell in love with the cover page of this book as it gives a very warm feel. Birds in my Garden and Beyond by Bulbul Sharma would take you to a delightful garden full of birds, bees, nests, trees, flowers, and other creatures in abundance. The author talks about the fascinating facts about birds and insects, their mannerisms, adaptation to the environment, and their features like for eg. the beauty of a tailorbird building its nest on a tree or an aquatic bird with help of its webbed feet navigating the water faster. A pop of humor interwoven into words makes this book one of a kind. Filled with glorious color illustrations, this book is sure to be loved by young nature lovers.
#7. Princess Easy Pleasy
Written by Natasha Sharma and illustrated by Priya Kuriyan, this rip-roaring picture book will guarantee many laughs. Princess Easy Pleasy is difficult to please and is crazy in throwing tantrums. She drives the royal packer up the wall with her quirks that are as seasonal as her royal vacations. From her palace grounds in India to a whirlwind trip around the world, the king and the queen have been fulfilling all her desires on every trip taking all she wants in the plane until it becomes overloaded. It’s a fun read. Rey and I thoroughly enjoyed the story with her comical name.
#8. Grandma’s Bag of Stories
The book is written by Sudha Murthy who is truly an inspiration for all of us. She has written many Indian books for kids that are very simple and fun to read. Grandma’s Bag of stories as the name suggests is about a loving Ajji narrating tales of kings and cheats, monkeys and mice, bears and Gods, princesses and onions, and so on. The story starts with four children arriving at their grandparents’ house in Shiggaon. The very happy Ajji and Ajja get the house ready. Ajji prepares some delicious snacks for the little ones, and finally, all of them sit to listen to Ajji’s bag of stories. The cute narration by the lovely grandmother makes the stories sound perfect. The colorful illustrations and simple language of the book make reading a pleasure.
#9. What Should I Make?
Written by Nandini Nayar and illustrated by Proiti Roy, this book is not only fun but can also turn out to be quite an engaging one. Most of us can relate to the book, I did, as we often ask our little ones to make different shapes with the chapatti dough trying to engage them while we make chapatti. This is one such story where Neeraj’s mother gives a ball of dough to him which he morphs into a snake, a mouse, a cat, and a lion until it takes the best form of chapatti. It’s an easy read and the illustrations make it really interesting. It is also available in Hindi by the name Main kya banaoon?
#10. Where is amma?
The book is written by Nandini Nayar and is illustrated by Srividya Natarajan. It is a very cute story of an innocent boy named Kiran who looks everywhere in search of his amma, even at the unlikeliest of the places. He finally decides she is inside the fridge because her slippers are next to it. He imagines she is eating all his favorite food inside, even while worrying about the cold. It’s a fun interesting read for the little ones with lovely illustrations. This book is sure to leave a smile on your face. I love playing hide and seek with Rey, so Kiran’s question of Where are you amma was quite relatable. We have enacted this story quite a few times.
#11. Junior Kumbhakarna
Written by Arundhati Venkatesh and illustrated by Shreya Sen, this book is the story of Kumbhakarna from Mythology. He is known for his legendary deep slumber for months and love for food. Kukku loves his bedtime stories and it is no wonder he asks his Appa to repeat the story of KumbhaKarna again and again. Kukku dreams about everyone trying to wake up this giant in different ways but Kumbhakarna never gets up. A beautiful retelling of an episode from the Ramayana with rib-tickling pictures. Rey and I started enacting the story right from our second read and our favorite part is to make the snoring sound. Reading with kids is always best and relaxing.
#12. The Clever Tailor
The Clever Tailor by Srividhya Venkat, illustrated by Nayantara Surendranath is a contemporary Indian adaptation of a European folktale by the name Tales and Buttons. The story is about Rupa Ram who is very talented and famous yet a poor tailor. Though he has stitched umpteen clothes for many people and is loved by all for his work, he was so poor to stitch any for his own family. This remained an unfulfilled dream until he was presented with a turban/ safa at a wedding. This story conveys the value of being resourceful and finding creative ways to minimize waste. It is a wonderful read accompanied by a glossary of Hindi words.
#13. My mother’s sari
Written By Sandhya Rao and illustrated by Nina Sabnani this book is an interesting read and would take back to memories of your amma’s sari. While I was reading this to Rey I could only think of my childhood days and how I used my mom’s sari for different reasons. I always admired her sari and still do, the multipurpose usage we all can relate to from using it as a wipe to clean our face or hands, to just shy away from someone, or even as a replacement for an umbrella. It has always been special. In this book, the child has described imagining her amma’s sari from a rope to a river and train. At the end of the book, you may find the instructions on how to tie a sari in the traditional manner. I must say this has given me the spark to wear sari quite often, who knows Rey might write about my sari tomorrow and I will be in the books☺
#14. Padma goes to space
The book is written by Swetha Prakash, and illustrated by Shreya Sen. “The Time Travel Adventures of the Amazing Eight” is one of Padma’s favorite books, and as she reads it, she is in the flight of beautiful fantasy, she truly lives in the book. Amma is calling out for her to eat bhindi, and Padma doesn’t want bhindi. Instead, she prefers the Star-rock salad from Galaxy Stellar 5689 and the delicious natural ice cream that is made from fruit juice erupting from volcanoes detailed in her favorite book. The whimsical illustrations would take you to the world of imagination.
#15. Thatha’s pumpkin
Thatha’s pumpkin written by Lalita Iyer and illustrated by Proiti Roy is a beautiful book conveying a few life lessons. I strongly believe in the magic of simple things, thus this story truly touched me. Tia’s Thatha has got the biggest pumpkin from his harvest which he is really happy about, a pumpkin bigger than the size of our head which barely fits on the table. He is quite eager to make halwa with a big piece from it. He feels this big of a pumpkin must be shared and thus the thought, sharing brings so much happiness and joy and so does growing your own veggies. The delightful illustrations map the eventful journeys of each lovely slice. The words are easy and lucid making it simple for the young readers.
#16. Thatha at school
The book is written by Richa Jha and is illustrated by Gautam Benegal. It is Grandparents’ Day at school, and everyone is excited. But not our little Oviyam, who is embarrassed at the thought of her school mates seeing her grandfather in a dhoti. She tries her best to convince Thatha to skip the function but he insists on attending. She tries all possible ways to skip the function but in vain. The realization Oviyam has at the end is beautifully portrayed in the book. Gautam Benegal’s soft playful color palette with the caricatured look to the characters and the scribbly fonts on crumpled paper gives the book a ‘rough-notebook’ feel, which is so relatable to young readers.
#17. BulBuli’s Bamboo
The book is written by Mitra Bordoloi and illustrated by Proiti Roy. Bulbuli lives in the world of Bamboo and thus giving the book a fresh and eco-friendly read. She wakes up from a Bamboo bed to spend the whole day doing every bit which has bamboo in it and at the end of the day back to her bamboo bed to get some good bamboo dreams. There are quite a few scientific facts that the book conveys about Bamboo which our little ones should be told about. This book is also available in Hindi by the title Bulbuli ke Bans.
#18. Dorje’s stripes by Anshumani Ruddra
Written by Anushumani Ruddra and illustrated beautifully using striking watercolors by Korean artists Gwangjo and Jung-a Park, Dorje’s Stripes is not just a beautiful story – it is a real work of art. This book gets you across a Royal Bengal Tiger named Dorje, in a small Buddhist monastery in Tibet, who is missing stripes. Dorje seems to be unusual because he has only two stripes on his body. One fine morning, a third stripe appears on his body and thus starts the quest to know the reason behind it. Kids learn about the mystery behind the tiger without the stripes. Master Wu, a gentle-hearted monk tries to understand the secret of Dorje’s missing stripes. It is a touching story and something kids should be told about.
#19. Whoopee… Hyperloop
Written by Sreelata Menon and illustrated by Satya Krishna Prakash, Whoopee…Hyperloop is an absolute must-read. The excitement, the innocence, the learning, the urge and happiness of exploring the dream a child has, is beautifully shown in this book. Vishnu loves to read and travel but hates to wait at airports, stations, or so on. He wondered if we can have the fastest mass transport system. As any curious child, he shared his thought with his parents and teachers but none seemed to have convinced him. His joy knew no bounds when he reads about this futuristic mass transport, the Hyperloop. Vishnu and his friends read all about it in the newspaper and discuss the upcoming mode of transport. This book is translated into Hindi by Madhubala Joshi. Rey is longing to see the hyperloop when I read this to him.
#20. Farmer Falgu goes on a trip
Farmer Falgu Goes on a Trip written by Chitra Soundar and illustrated by Kanika Nair is the recent addition to the Farmer Falgu series. The message conveyed via this book is very thoughtful and much needed at this tough time. An engaging story paired with appealing artwork, Farmer Falgu is sure to be loved by all kids. I love the beautiful and simple way in which the message about learning to appreciate the simple things of life and being happy is put across. I would recommend all the books in this series for the ones looking for good Indian books for kids.
#21. Why the elephant has tiny eyes
The book is retold by Pow Aim Hailowng and illustrated by Priya Kuriyan. Written in verse, this folktale from the Tai Phake tribal people of the Northeastern part of India is a funny and interesting read. This is one of the many unique and distinctive animal stories, those people tell kids. They usually pick on storylines to explain why things are the way it is. Eg. Why the sun comes out when the cock crows, how the tiger got its stripes, are a few to list. It has got rhymes and tribal terms which make it a fun read. Priya Kurian as always with her minimal palette of colors has got a life to this book. With her unique flair for animating characters, her illustrations have beautifully captured the entire folktale creating the region’s landscape.
#22. Little monkey gets lost
The book is written by Kuntie Ramdat Balkaran and illustrated by Anitha Balachandran. It is a beautiful book for children explaining the habitats of animals. A little monkey has got lost and is trying to find his way back home. On his way, he stops to ask various creatures if that’s his home. As we go through the jungle in search of monkey’s home, we meet various animals and learn about their homes. The lively colored illustrations bring out the beauty of the book and make reading fun for kids.
#23. Ammachi’s glasses
Ammachi’s glasses by Priya Kuriyan is thoroughly an entertaining wordless book sure to be loved by kids.
Ammachi can’t find her glasses one morning and everything goes topsy-turvy. The entire mess caused by Ammachi without having found her glasses is humorous. Who must have flicked her glasses is a fun suspense for the little ones. As you read you may be lucky to find the culprit with the way Priya Kuriyan has illustrated this hilarious tale about Ammachi’s glasses.
#24. Fun in Devlok Omnibus
Written by Devdutt Pattanaik, this book is a collection of six tales that takes you to a few learnings in Hindu mythology. The author would take you to the world of gods and demons in this beautifully illustrated omnibus. Stories like why Identity cards are important for lord Krishna too, Dumb charades with Shiva, fight between Kama and Yama; are a few to list. A fun way to introduce a few basic things of mythology. The language is easy and lucid which makes it a nice read for kids.
#25. Amma Tell Me Series
The book is written by Bhakti Mathur and illustrated by Maulshree Somani. Amma tell me series, is a collection of wonderful Indian books for kids that teaches about Indian festivals, traditions, and values with captivating illustrations. In addition to lighting diyas, making sweets, family gatherings, decor there’s more to the festivals we should convey to our kids and that’s the importance of these festivals. With brightly colored, bold, detailed illustrations and an easy to understand texts, the books in the series are informative and appropriate for kids. It is sure to capture the attention of little readers.
#26. Maharani The Cow
Written by author Christy Shobha Sudhir and illustrated by Nancy Raj this book is sure to entertain the young kids. Often we would have come across situations where a cow holds responsible for the traffic. On a busy street are noisy motorbikes, honking cars, crowded buses, impatient autos, and in the midst sits our Maharani the cow. Her highness takes her own special time to unseat herself amongst this chaos. Don’t miss to introduce Maharani the cow to our tiny tots. They would have the best time laughing.
#27. Monsoon afternoon
Written by Kashmira Sheth and illustrated by Yoshiko Jaeggi, this book walks you through the beautiful monsoon of India. It is a beautiful story on a lovely and cute conversation between a child and his Daddaji about rains and every moment of the monsoons that they enjoy from making different types of paper boats, admiring the peacock spreading its beautiful feathers, to clean leaves of the banyan tree and many more. There couldn’t have been a perfect ending without ginger-cinnamon tea that dadima gets for them after their monsoon exploration. The illustrations would take you to the real world as every detail in it is so commendable.
There are plenty of Indian books for kids you can find to introduce from a very young age. I have listed a few authors with their books in this article. I haven’t age defined the books here as I feel all of it can be read to kids from 3 or 4 as they are easy to understand. Have fun reading with the little ones as it truly is comforting and a great way to bond with kids. Book reading at a young age would also help develop language skills and would bring the interest in reading.
Now that we are stuck at home, let your kids travel and explore different places through books, they would never let us down.
Let me know in the comments your favorite Indian books for kids and favorite Indian authors.