Where is Amma?
Nandini Nayar
Srividya Natarajan
age group: 
3+ yrs
Number of pages: 
mothers family
fiction, picture book

THIS is the kind of story that will make you smile; innocence and ingenuity jump out of the pages and quickly make friends with you.


Kiran is looking for his mother in the house and quite innocuously decides she is inside the fridge, because her slippers are next to it. He imagines she is eating all his favourite food inside, even while worrying about the cold. Nandini Nayar manages to present the innate vulnerability of a child in an endearing manner - whether it is looking through a paper telescope, standing on an overturned pot, jumping on the bed, dreaming in front of a computer, or sitting earnestly on a stool in front of the fridge. You relate to Kiran immediately because of his nature.

The story effortlessly carries you forward and the bulk of the responsibility for that goes to Srividya Natarajan for her illustrations. She captures Kiran's expressions perfectly, and gives equal attention to the cat that follows Kiran around. Her attention to detail is exceptional, including even a faint shadow as Kiran jumps on the bed, the cat playing with the computer 'mouse', Kiran's unruly hair, or fridge magnets that mirror Kiran's emotions and therefore the story's itself. I suspect these details are a result of several collaborative sessions between the author and the illustrator and we are thankful for that.

This is a must-read for children, who can pore over every page and delight in a space that makes the familiar exciting.

This book is also available in: Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati and Bangla



Reviewed by Praveena Shivram