Story by Nandini Nayar
Ilustrations by Proiti Roy
Read alone: 6+
Read aloud: 3+
Simple and playful, two words that sum up yet another production from Tulika. Neeraj is a small boy, self-questioning what shall I make?, with a rotund piece of roti dough squeezed between his palms. His creative juices in full flow, he shapes the ductile dough to give birth to lively creatures. His mother joins the fun. A snake at first, then a mouse, anatomically close to perfection, with a pair of eyes, a body and a tail. Then a cat that soon morphs into a fierce lion. All seem realistic and fully animated in the creator’s eyes. Neeraj is quick to deform the scary lion back into its initial state and start afresh with a small soft ball of dough. This time, he flattens it and generously rolls it into a neat circle. His mother then proceeds to toast it on the tava, completing the culinary procedure. The grand finale is when a round hot puffy chapati lands on his soft palms, ready to be eaten!
The book is more than a book – a down-to-earth culinary project for small children; the making of a chapati, a favorite that has withstood the wrath of time in the Indian household. Ample scope for turning kitchen interference from small children into wholesome fun! Needless to say, a play doh equivalent, the dough is like a blank canvas. It triggers creativity in little minds and acts as medium to help them give shape and life to their favorite objects and scenes.
For those who have not yet had a chance to discover the hidden power of chapati dough, the idea is fresh, hot and totally Indian!