Coonoor Kripalani, Hindi Books for Children
Author and Singapore resident, Coonoor Kripalani, has long felt that we need to raise the bar on the production of Hindi books. Her inspiration came through her own children, who would gravitate to English books, as the Hindi books for their age were, in comparison, less appealing and attractive. The conventional books to teach children the Hindi alphabet seemed time-worn and less relevant to the urban child of the 21st century.

Coonoor decided to create beautiful books in Hindi that children would want to hold and have, to play with and carry about with themselves; first books that would leave a lasting memory of fun, cheer and colour; durable books that would withstand the rough handling of toddlers. Such books would create a love for books and learning, and give Indian children pride in learning their national language.

So the series of four books - akshar (k, kh, g), ginti (ek, do, teen), rang and aakaar - was born. Published by the Global Indian Education Foundation's (GIEF) Global Indian International School in Singapore, the books were edited and vetted by Hindi teachers and experts. Production was a global effort, with illustrations done by the young Vienna-based artist, Yasmin Mehra, and the page-design by the well-known Hong Kong-based graphic designer, Meenakshi Chandiramani, with assistance from Singapore-based Prashant Patel. The overall concept, design and text was led by Coonoor Kripalani.

All four books are printed in bright colours, on laminated art card. The books appeal to young children, who delight in holding the books, flipping the pages, and carrying them about with themselves. They serve not just as learning tools, but almost as toys, that provide children hours and hours of pleasure as they repeatedly turn the pages.

Anna helped to get publicity in different types of media, English and Chinese, and to help organise a book launch aimed for children at a local bookstore Bookazine. Some of the media coverage includes the following:

"Beautiful Books to Make Hindi Appealing to a New Generation", SCMP, March 17, 2007

"Mahatma, Mao and the Morphing Butterfly", Daily News & Analysis, April 17, 2007

Coonoor Kripalani in the Hong Kong Economic Times, Parent Page, March 7, 2007

Pages from Hong Kong Economic Times' English Street Lite "Hindi Books for Indian Children in Hong Kong"

Coonoor Kripalani in HKET

Coonoor Kripalani in English Street Lite