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  • Writer's pictureTulika Publishers

Happy Parent's Day: A whole lotta love for all the pet, plant and human caregivers!

‘Appreciate all parents throughout the world’ read this year’s global theme for Parents’ Day.

Looking beyond the conventional notions of father-mother parenting, we’re recognising and celebrating all the awesome, paw-some, blossoming parents out there, their wonderful extended families and many supportive communities, who together help build a healthy and safe support system for the children in their lives. Across cultures, parenting by choice is usually regarded as very rewarding journey, though we fully acknowledge that people’s pursuit in life might vary. On this occasion, however, we pause to wonder… What makes someone a parent? Is parental care boundless or restrictive? Is it a role that comes in one size and fits all or can it be customised to suit us best? If one were to opt for it, is birthing the only route to parenthood?

“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother,” said well-known television host Oprah Winfrey. Then there’s ‘alloparenting’, a term coined by socio-biologist Edward Wilson. This is when an individual gives care, time and/or resources towards a non-descendent young – like a parent, to humans or even plants or animals. Alloparents could be teachers, mentors, grandparents, extended family members, babysitters, domestic workers or caregivers who, in the bigger picture, share the parenting role. Psychologists in fact believe that inter-generational and collective living is vital for a child’s development. So we see how in many traditional cultures where family is considered supreme, caregiving is less centered around the primary birth or legal parents. Older or younger siblings, cousins and experienced caretakers like grandparents play an active role in bringing up children. Several of Tulika’s books reflect that…

Zakir and His Tabla: Dha Dhin Na The famous tabla maestro’s first guru was his father Allarakha. Breaking many parenting conventions, he enriched little Zakir’s life from when he was a little baby – murmuring tabla bols or beats in his ear as a ‘prayer’! The Lonely King and Queen Here’s a one-of-a-kind bedtime story about adoption. With gentleness, humour and charm, it leads to a wider understanding of ‘family’. More, it reaffirms the right of every child to be loved and to have a home.

Anya and her Baby Brother A very special picture book on sibling rivalry and sibling love. With a bit of sci-fi, a bit of humour, a large bit of inventiveness, and cheerful pictures that bring it all together! I Will Save My Land Her grandmother refused to give up her fields when faced with the social prejudices of her village, so it is no wonder that Mati will not give up her own little patch of land when the big ‘company’ comes to snatch it away for mining. An irresistibly told story that has at its heart a little girl’s relationship with her grandmother. Gone Grandmother Another grandmother story, except here she’s gone… Somewhere up in the sky, Nina’s mother tells her. But HOW? Nina wants to know, and comes up with her own answers. An award-winning picture book, where a little girl finds her Nani through the warmth of memories, the comfort of imagination – and a little bit of natural science!

The Trickster Bird Renchu is sick and she begs for a story. So Daadi obliges, as grandmas always do. But through her affectionate rendering of the tale of how Renchu’s grandfather was once tricked by a partridge, Daadi also brings in the world of the Paardhi tribals and how families who once were happy forest dwellers are now reduced to ragpicking – perhaps so Renchu knows where she came from. The Boy with Two Grandfathers Not everyone has two grandfathers quite like Amol’s! From the way they look to the way they speak, the food they eat and the way they think, they couldn’t be more different. But when the going gets tough, Amol couldn’t ask for a tougher twosome to stand by him. A bittersweet novel for pre-teens which speaks volumes about the diverse parenting roles of two grandfathers, from a Bal Sahitya Puraskar winning writer. Just a Train Ride Away Santosh craves the space for both parents in his life, and decides to do something about it. A short, quick-read novel, winner of the Bal Sahitya Puraksar, which explores the delicate web of relationships with a light and honest touch.

The last few years have seen an interest in the idea of sustainable parenting, where families or individuals chose different paths based on their mental and physical health, lifestyles, time and resources. With the pandemic, there’s also been an increasing societal shift towards positive change. In the various paths to parenthood, several millennial parents have moved from ‘owning’ pets or plants to ‘parenting’ them. As an inspirational trend, children, who have been indoors for over a year now, are getting weaned away from the screens to care for other living beings intuitively. Showing us that people, across all age groups, cherish caring, protecting and nurturing living beings. Many of our books convey that young ones – whether human, furry or leafy – need lots of love, sunlight, water and care! These are deeply meaningful relationships and we are happy to share a list of books that embraces parenthood with open and wide arms! Aloe-lujah! Our favourites that root for you, green thumbs!

The Seed I Planted A Seed Let’s Plant Trees Woof woof! Purrr-fect reads for pet parents:

Pooni Pooni, Where are You? Appaka Catch That Cat! Pooni At The Taj Mahal Where’s That Cat? Maoo and the Moustaches Our Incredible Cow Little Anbu Shabana and the Baby Goat

A popular African adage says, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.' We in India know that well – for don’t our children grow up within a buzzing community of people! And bringing this idea to life full-size is everyone’s lovable ele-friend Gajapati Kulapati! With four books about him already crowd favourites, find out what he is up to in our new fun-tastic activity book Gajapati Kulapati’s Big Day – Colour, Count, Create. Get all the yummy snacks ready, gather the village and celebrate this BIG day with Gajapati Kulapati and his friends! BUY NOW! Soulmates or soil-mates, they’re all purr-fect for showing love!

July 24, 2021

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