Kanna Panna
Zai Whitaker
Niloufer Wadia
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
Tulika Books
blind courage disabilities


How different is a differently-abled child as compared to an abled one? Well, really not much, for both are abled or one can confidently say, dis-abled – each in their own way.

The author sets off to prove her point in this touching tale of Kanna Panna – although, he is different from the other boys, generally staying to himself, quiet and introspective, although he could not see, he was the only one who could save the day for the entire family, when they had been on an excursion to a cave and the power failed whilst they were still inside.

The book raises a very important issue as to how one should treat a differently-abled child. With sympathy, or with empathy, or, better still as a normal human being – who feels the same angst, worries, joys, happiness as any other child..

So, why should ze be treated differently.

“As a teacher, I once had a blind student and was amazed at how he took life in his stride,” Zai Whitaker said.
This student was partly the inspiration for Ms. Whitaker’s latest children’s book Kanna Panna , whose protagonist is visually challenged.

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee