WRITING: 4/5 ILLUSTRATIONS: 4.5/5 ENTERTAINMENT: 4/5
On the lookout for some children’s fiction on Kindle, I came across Prabhu Viswanathan’s Paati Goes Viral. Of late, I have been more inclined to pick children’s books that reflect Indian childhood, and all things associated with it.
One look at the cover and the book seemed like an ideal read, conveying through a single illustration what many would fail to convey through multiple paragraphs. Hence it was only natural that I picked up the book with eager anticipation.
What to expect?
Expect a children’s fiction that is set in a Tamil household with a joint family setup. Expect a book whose main character is Paati (grandmother). Expect a book that can be read by children aged 6 to 9. Expect a book that is just under 50 pages and comes with some gorgeous and wholesome illustrations.
Dhruv loves his Paati and cares deeply for her. When, after the death of her husband, Paati is pursued by her family to carry on the trip to Europe, exactly as she had planned it with Dhruv’s grandfather, she agrees but only reluctantly.
Dhruv is sad to see her go, as it is difficult for him to even imagine a single day without his Paati. So, with a heavy heart, he bids her goodbye.
But contrary to what Paati had expected, she enjoys the trip and clicks many pictures with her husband’s old camera, spreading happiness and creating memories wherever she goes.
Alas, her happiness is short-lived for she loses her camera in the last leg of her journey, and comes home without the physical proof of her precious memories.
Seeing her all gloomy and dejected, Dhruv gets a brainwave and devises an ingenious plan to help his Paati out. This plan involves a journalist, a heartfelt plea, and the power of the internet.
Will Dhruv be able to help his Paati out?
Will Paati get her memories and camera back?
What is Dhruv’s plan to help his Paati?
The story is a heartfelt tribute to all the grandmothers of the world and is bound to be loved by anyone who can fondly recall their childhood days and associate it with the love of their grandparents. It not just teaches one the importance of family but also shows us what a selfless act of love looks like.
It has all the good ingredients of a good children’s fiction – elements of fun, adventure, wholesome entertainment, familial love, and the message of hope, love, and goodness. The illustrations are like the icing on the cake, with each of them carefully curating and packing Indian childhood in many layers. All in all, a fun and entertaining read, which I would recommend to all children aged 6 to 9 years.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Paati Goes Viral using the link below.