Excuses Excuses
Gabrielle Manglou
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
Tara Books
humour excuses elephants
picture book, verse


Excuses. Excuses. Jaded parents, teachers and even bosses, are time and again served inane excuses for tardiness, assignments not being completed on time and so on. However, quite possibly none of them could ever succeed in beating those concocted by Neel, the protagonist of this utterly delightful book.

Neel is a precocious little boy  who wants to be good, in fact, tries very hard to be good, but in spite of his best intentions,  repeatedly fails to stay out of trouble. And so, he is forced to make excuses for his lapses – both at school and at home.

The story begins with a list of resolutions Neel makes throughout the week. Unfortunately, each one of them falls by the wayside. Children and adults, too, will be highly amused as he comes out with perfectly crazy, rib-tickling excuses that only he could possibly dream up.

In fact, every adult in Neel's life seems to be expecting some far-fetched excuse. They ask..

Late again? What is it now?
Chased by a lion? Kicked by a cow?

Narrated in verse, by one of India’s best storytellers in rhyme, this whimsical story is sure to delight the hearts of children, for most of them have undergone a similar dilemma of whether to cook up an excuse, and, if so, what could they come up with that would get them off the hook, be it  for coming late to school, homework not done and other misdemeanors.

Cleverly done partly with photographs to give it a real-life feel, the laugh-out-loud illustrations, suitably complement the whacky narrative.

A fun read!


Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee