Cheenu's Gift
Sridala Swami
Sanjay Sarkar
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
Pratham Books
value education livelihoods


Cheenu's gift is a delightful story of a segment of society, hardly ever represented in children's literature in India - street vendors, sweepers, servants and such.

We see them, yet we don't see them!

Cheenu is the son of a kabadiwala, a vendor who goes from door to door buying old, unwanted articles, newspapers and more.  He is a happy boy, who, instead of feeling embarrased that his father is a recycling vendor, actually feels privileged that he gets picked up from school by his father in his bandi - his cycle cart.

We see Cheenu cheerfully helping his father carrying sacks, loading goods, and riding up an elevator - a rare treat! The book has a strong underlying message that one does not need to be rich to be happy (as is often believed). Happiness is a state of mind and can be found everywhere.

The book is well laid out and has a font that will appeal to kids. Big, bright, true to life illustrations are an added bonus!

Pratham Books also publishes books in these languages - Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Punjabi, Urdu and Oriya.

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee