We, the Children of India
Leila Seth
Bindia Thapar
age group: 
9+ yrs
Number of pages: 
Preamble to the Constitution historical
Picture book, non fiction


An absolutely gorgeous example of a fact-filled book that converts a dry and presumably boring subject into one that engages.

Written by Leila Seth, the first female chief justice of an Indian state, the book de-mystifies the Preamble to the Indian Constitution and is sure to appeal to both children and adults alike. The first few words of the preamble read, “WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved…” Seth breaks them down into “All the people in our country, including children, having taken a firm decision…”

She then goes on to define sovereign, socialist, secular, and democratic republic. Every word and phrase is lucidly explained. Democratic Republic is explained as ‘a government without a king or a queen---which is run by people who are elected by the people for the good of the people. This is further clarified by informing what other forms of government mean e.g. monarchy and dictatorship.

Seth continues, explaining what the terms justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity, mean to us. Sidebars and speech balloons give further background and context. By the end of this slim volume, we learn not only what the Preamble is but also how it was written, the people behind it, when and how it was signed and a little about how we won our freedom and the way forward!

Delightful illustrations by Bindia Thapar effectively complement the text and are sure to engage and amuse the child making him want to return to the book – over and over again.

Indian books for children on similar lines have turned many a young reader off, but this book succeeds in grabbing the eyeballs - and how!

A must have for every school and home.bo

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee