The post on Tulika Books was very received according to Google Analytics. In keeping with that popular topic, I wanted to highlight another wonderful publisher from India that is a little more visible in terms of popular store availability and star power- Karadi Tales. Karadi Tales is old to the game in the sense that it came to existence when I was still a college student. I didnt give them a second look until a few years ago when my research oriented wife brought it to my attention with their website and their book offerings. I revisited their portfolio with much more interest and ordered a bunch of book-audio CD sets appropriate for 3 year olds. Before I go further with our experience, I will take a few lines to explain how the Karadi setup works.
Karadi Tales are typically Panchatantra, Jataka or local folk stories that are tweaked for the right age group. It is usually in the third person format narrated by the namesake Karadi. Many stories involve animals and carry a strong moral that a toddler can understand. A very cool element of Karadi Tales is that most of them come with an audio CD where the story is narrated in a very engaging manner. The voice of Karadi is of the highest calibre- Saeed Jaffrey , Girish Karnad or Naseeruddin Shah. The rest of the characters are very well vocalized. There is a strong folk classical music that elevates the listening experience with the occasional song. The music of the entire series is set to tune by the classically inclined Three Brothers and a Violin. The book art features the vision of Thotta Tharani. As I was researching more about the books, I came to know its now a TV show on India’s Disney channel and Rajshri has made videos of some of the stories.
The stories are fun to read and tagged age appropriately. For example, the stories for 3 year olds avoid obvious references to violence. The 4 year old ones have themes of hunting and such. It also seems to echo very well with the little guy. I recommend these books highly for the kid in your house or in consideration of a purchase. Like with Tulika Books, we have been able to order books online and receive them at home in India in a day or two. There seems to be books for kids until their early teens but it remains to be seen how far the little guy keeps his fervor for the simple stuff until Playstations and tablets invade his life!