Mister Jeejeebhoy and the Birds
Anitha Balachandran
age group: 
7+ yrs
Number of pages: 
Young Zubaan
value education birds
picture book, fantasy


Two sisters, one very strange Aunt, Mister Jeejeebhoy and a flock of escaped birds... Each page of this spectacular picture book will attract any child’s rapt attention. The quirky text with the use of intermittent Indian words, gulab jamuns, burfis and rasagullas gives it a real world feel.

The use of words like “IM-possible”, “IN-disputable” and “crunchagious” will make any child, leave alone adult, want to say them again and again. Aunt Ninamasi's house is strange. The mirrors have mood swings, the photographs speak and the clocks go backwards. Tara’s hair turns into “twisty branches” and "sprouts leaves".  Quaint isn’t it? The book is a veritable delight to the senses with words like “bustling, hustling, crinkling, crackling, creaking...” scattered across pages making your eyes dart around gleaning each word and illustration.

The illustrations are brilliant and the attention to detail is worth a mention as each picture frame in Ninamasi’s house and each jar in Mister Jeejeebhoy’s shop has been filled in. The font of the text has been twisted and turned leaving you to experience and relish the words.

A “must-have” book that reiterates respect for one another and respect for the very qualities that make one different. 

Reviewed by Donna Reen