Aana and Chena
Sowmya Rajendran
Renuka Rajiv
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
value education self image elephants
picture book (fiction) bi-lingual


In the elusive search for perfect looks and figure, people tend to be self-deprecating. They often take stock and find themselves wanting. Too tall, too short! Too thin, too fat! People feel the need to confirm to pre-conceived notions of beauty and rather unrealistic notions of size and figure. Notions that often damages their self-esteem and sense of self. And what is alarming is that nowadays even children seem to be affected by this malaise.

So, this little book will be a great asset to parents and teachers who want to make children realise that each person is different and that the attributes that one berates might be the very same ones that gives each one of us our own very special identity. There will always be differences - of colour, of features, of size and so on. Differences exist not just in our physical attributes, but in all other aspects, as well. In fact, differences are good for it is this diversity makes for an interesting world.

In this story, Aana, the elephant laments at his looks. His nose is too long, his eyes too small, ears too big, tail too thin, body too fat.

But, says Chena the little yam, you are perfect! Because,

Your nose is so long,

Your eyes so small,

Your tail so thin,

Your ears so big,

And, your body so fat,

And that is just how an elephant looks.

A simple bi-lingual book that drives home a big message - that each child is special and that each one is perfect just as they are.

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee