Kolam Kanna is heartwarming, entertaining, and fun children’s fiction about inclusivity and disparity.
Kolam Kanna by Vibha Batra
Publication Date : July 24, 2023
Publisher : Puffin
Read Date : July 22, 2023
Genre : Children’s Fiction
Age : 8+
Pages : 136
Disclaimer – Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy.
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The exciting Kolam Kondattam Kontest is right around the corner. And Bharathi can’t wait to participate and show off, er, showcase his creative skills. Encouraged by his friends, Tabassum and Alagu, he registers for the contest (with a ‘k’).
Alas, the Residents’ Welfare Association, led by the fearsome Mrs Subramaniam, won’t hear of it. The contest is open only to the residents of Pravin’s Paradiso Apartments. And while Bharathi hangs out at the apartments all the time, he’s not exactly-technically-actually a resident.
Now it’s up to Bharathi to hatch an ingenious plan. Will he be able to get around the rules, get past the building bullies and get a shot at his dream?
Kolam Kanna is a lovely and entertaining children’s fiction about inclusivity.
This is a story of Bharathi who wishes to be part of Kolam Kondattam Kontest but he is the son of parents working in ‘Pravin’s Paradiso Apartments’ and the contest is for residents only and also for women only. It was interesting to see how he would convince the apartment’s RWA (Resident’s Welfare Association) committee to make an exception.
Writing is easy, fun, and entertaining for kids. All characters are interesting and kids will love Bharthi and his friends– Tabassum who is daring and blunt and Algu who puts on his t-shirts the wrong way- having fun in the park, having funny names for residents of the apartment and teaching lessons to bullies of apartment whom they called PPT ( Pravin’s Paradiso Thugs) and Bharthi’s idea of it was hilarious.
Bharthi is smart of the three and also very creative and compassionate. It was lovely to see him learning Kolam art at such young age and caring for his parents. It was heartwarming to see him winning only the second prize in the contest so he could take his parents for dinner at a five-star restaurant and not first prize as they never had the money for dinner at a fancy hotel. It was sad to see the adults of the apartment being insensitive and rude.
I love how the author woven the theme of class disparity, bullying, friendship, embracing diversity, and inclusivity along with the story and how it opens the discussion to breaking the gender and class barrier and seeing the person for who they are and appreciating the art and talent.
There are so many emotions throughout the book. The best scenes were Bharthi’s idea of teaching a lesson to PPT, Bharthi’s conversation with his mother, contest time and what happened after it till the end.
I loved the pictures in book, especially Kolam art pics. That final one Bharthi made for the contest was beautiful. End is lovely, uplifting, and joyful. I absolutely loved how the fiercest woman of the apartment embraced Bharti for his skill and talent.
Overall, Kolam Kanna is heartwarming, entertaining, and fun children’s fiction with the theme of inclusivity and disparity.
[ If you don’t know, Kolam is a floor drawing made from colored flour/sand, and is used for ornamental or ceremonial design during traditional Indian festivities. South Indians call it Kolam and I think they draw small designs every day regardless of festivals. In Gujarat (That’s where I am from ) and Maharashtra, in Western India and also in Northern India, it is known as rangoli. ]
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