Surprise Gifts
Asha Nehemiah
Sujata Bansal
age group: 
3+ yrs
Number of pages: 
value education humour family


"Aunt Farida's house was so far from town that she had to travel two full days to reach the nearest shop."  Thus the story begins, giving the reader a sense of the remoteness and isolation of Aunt Farida's house.

But that did not bother Aunt Farida one bit.  A gumptious and resourceful woman, she makes do with the materials available at hand and makes her own shoes, clothes, and even furniture - by using old crates! 

One day, she decides to make birthday gifts for her favourite niece and her family.  A lampshade from scraps of fabric, a pen-stand from a long piece of bamboo, a hair clip with feathers found in her garden and a bottle of home-grown apple jam.  But somehow by the time the gifts reach their destination, the labels all fall off and the gifts get mixed up.

Yet in the end everyone is happy. They all seem to have got just what they wanted.  Bright and lively illustrations with a lot of detailing will have kids poring over the pictures in the book. Indian 

A funny, and yet at the same time, warm and tender story of self-reliance, caring and giving. Ind

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee