Tales of Historic Delhi
Premola Ghose
Premola Ghose
age group: 
7+ yrs
Number of pages: 
Young Zubaan
monuments historical Delhi
picture book, creative non-fiction


Many Indian books for children have listed the various monuments of Delhi, but few have succeeded in making them into a book that makes learning about this great city - fun!

Animals from Ranthambhore, including a giraffe (perhaps, it was visiting its short-necked quadriped friends in India, all the way from Africa), ghosts from the Moghul period riding on horses, Mongul warriors from Ulan Bator, witches on brooms, Ooo Lala the owl, Mayurdas the peacock, Tota the parakeet and others, share tit-bits of information about the various historical monuments of Delhi, in a funny and irreverent manner, to reach out to children, to whom a historical non-fiction would have been a definite no-no.

The child is taken on a sight-seeing tour of the city, much the same circuit as tourists do today and learn all about the history of the Qutb Minar, Siri Fort, Humayan’s Tomb, Lal Quila and others. They also get to stroll down the bustling streets of Chandni Chowk and finally reach India Gate in New Delhi where the tour ends with interesting nuggets of information on the British rule, India’s Independence movement and on contemporary Delhi, as well.

The timeline of Delhi at the end pages of the book highlights the importance of this city through the ages right from 1000 BC to 1947 when India gained her independence and provides all the information that a knowledge-seeking reader would need.

The illustrations make the book come alive. Inspired by the Mohgul miniature style, the author cum illustrator has juxtaposed realistic images of the monuments with quirky ones of its vicinity.

A great way to educate children through this medley of the real, the fantastical and the historical!


Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee