A Silly Story of Bondapalli
Shamim Padamsee
Ashok Rajagopalan
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
humour food
picture book (fiction)


There was once a young prince who hated food. A series of comic turn of events led the royal cook to create a soft, crisp, golden ball, which again, by a funny twist of words gets to be called a - Bonda! The prince loved them and ate them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Soon enough all the people in the kingdom started to eat the round Bondas. And as you would you expect, they became round, just like the bondas.

From there starts the story of the round and happy people, in the land that soon became known as - Bondapalli. As the title suggests, it is a silly, rib-tickling story of the people of Bondapalli. Children wills enjoy the bouncy rhythm of the story and cheer at the slapstick war that culminates at the end of the tale.

The animation style of illustrations also enhances the impact of the story. My children read the book for weeks together - every single day! They laughed spontaneously and were engrossed in animated discussion.

The significant part is the end of the story that provides an opportunity to the reader to become a writer and think of different closure to the story or carry forward the story with a sequel. And yes, there should definitely be a sequel or series of this slap-dash comedy style story!

Perfect gift by an author to its young readers!

Note: This book was selected by the Association of Writers and Illustrators for Children(AWIC) India as “Outstanding Picture Book” at Nambook Korea 2010 and is also recommended by CBSE for schools.This book was selected by the Association of Writers and Illustrators for Children (AWIC) India as “Outstanding Picture Book” at Nambook Korea 2010 and is also recommended by CBSE for schools.

Available in: Hindi, Marathi, Gujrati, Bangla, Tamil, Telugu, Malyalam, Kannada.

Reviewed by Ruhi Gurjar


Ruhi’s review of Shamim’s racy story says it all! It is silly, rib-tickling and has a bouncy rhythm. With a good helping of slapstick humour, too.
When the nice people at Tulika asked me to illustrate Bondapalli, I was delighted. And had some bondas for inspiration.
For this hilarious, wacky and cool tale I had little difficulty choosing a drawing style to match. I decided not to go cute, as I usually do, but use a wacky style and draw silly, goggly-eyed characters. Wanted to make everything bondalike but had to wait till the characters got totally into bondadom. Till then, I had to content myself with round eyes, prophesying the shape of things to come.
I have this thing for the underdog, and I drew the minor characters with equal love too: the cat, dog, cook and each and every Bondapallian. And every little bonda.
Loved the story, loved drawing the pictures, and love those readers who read it for weeks together!

Ashok Rajagopalan

This is the cutest, funniest book I've come across in a long time. The story and the pictures come together in a magical way. It's just made to be read out to the kids, over and over -- a dog-eared family classic in the making! Too bad our kids are grown up. I can't wait to have grandkids to read it to!

A Silly Story of Bondapalli (English)
This is a funny story that will entertain young readers. It is a tale about the people of Bondapalli.

Summary of the Book

The Prince of Bondapalli is a fussy eater, which worries the queen. His mother calls for the cook and tells him that it is important that he makes a dish that her son will find delicious enough to eat. She also tells him that if he fails, he will face dire consequences. This results in a series of hilarious events that will keep you entertained throughout the book. The illustration in the book will enhance the impact of the story and make you enjoy it much more. Read this funny tale to find out if the cook ends up making a delicious dish for the prince.

About Shamim Padamsee

Shamim Padamsee is a writer who has experience in many different roles in her life – educationist, globe-trotter, social worker, business woman, mother and grandmother. She is passionate about children’s literature and believes that books are important learning tools.

The author Shamim has beautifully portayed the story about bondas which is an alltime favourite among children.The story tell us how a child who was a fuzzy eater ended up enjoying bondas which was accidently cooked by the royal cook.It is a beautiful way of expressing how the bonda eating habbit changed the lives of prince and the people of the kingdom.There are two hillarious incidents which made me laugh one is when the dog fell on the cat and the cat fell on the cook and the cook fell on spooonful of batter which plonked into hot oil.And the dish was discovered.Second when the neighbouring army attacked Bondapalli the soldiers accidently bounced and scared the neighbouring army.In the end there was peace between both the parties after they tasted the bondas. TRISHAGOEL 1B VIDYASHILPACADEMY BANGALORE.

I simply love this book and the simplicity of this book is what captivates the young reader. As neuroscientists have discovered our innate ability to see shapes in abstract forms proves that our brain loves to see patterns it can recognize and tag them with either round or square or triangle. The most interesting one is the shape "Circle' or 'Round' as the world itself is round and the first thing the baby sees after birth is her mother's face and it is round.

We can see this shape in our food preparation, art, musical instruments, science, math and around us our nature has many things abundance which are round like the Moon, Sun and planets too.

This book can be a conversation starter or discovery for children to find different food preparation which are round, Roti is round, Puri is also round, Round is our Thali, round is our bowl. Round is the papad, and Round is a donought with a hole!

It can also lead to Geometry and how to draw a perfect circle - what is radius and diameter.

Some activities for reinforcing the young learner on the properties of this shape-

Round-themed songs, rhymes and games include 'The Wheels on the Bus', 'Ring Around the Rosie', 'Round and Round the Garden Goes the Teddy Bear', 'She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain', 'The Hokey-Pokey' and 'Duck, Duck, Goose'. (Of course some of the songs are more appropriate to western culture than India).

Have a 'round' picnic! Cut sandwiches into circles. Eat round cookies, or round slices of fruits and vegetables.

Check out some important metal circles - coins! There are a number of ways to introduce Kindergarten to coins. Sort the coins into different categories, or try rolling them in a 'coin race'. Do they think the bigger ones will go faster, or the smaller ones? Which ones will go farther? What about a whole roll of coins?

Once again a beautiful book by Shamim Padamee and illustrated Raja Gopalan.