Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Curse Of Nader Shah - Book Review

Book Review

Book Name - The Curse of Nader Shah
Author - Sutapa Basu
Format. - Paperback
Publisher - Readomania
Genre - Historical fiction

The curse of Nader Shah by Sutapa Basu is a historical fiction. The book clearly shows the rise and fall of a  tyrant ! I was curious to read about him because growing up I had only heard that he was a tyrant but was always curious to read about the way he ruled and how he conqured India. Nader Shah was a son of a humble Shepherd from the mountains of Persia. But his colossal ambition and bold strategy catapulted Nader Shah from a soldier to the Shah of Persia.
The book is well researched and it is commendable how the author mixes history with fiction.
Nader Shah is called a Tyrant in the  history and rightfully so because he killed anyone who came in his way.  It is not that he wasn't intelligent but is used his intelligence in a wrong way. 
The books is slightly slow in the beginning but after that you can't put the book down! Each character has its own importance and is very significant. Sutapa Basu has portrayed emotions, behaviour, mannerisms of each character beautifully. A must read book for all those who love History and fiction.

Thank you team @blogchatter for sending me the review copy.

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Books for babies for 0-12 months of age

๐ŸŒ Once your baby arrives, reading to your newborn is a must. Your baby won't understand your words, but hearing your voice stimulates an interest in sounds and helps him develop listening skills. No matter what your baby's age  is, reading together is a great opportunity for cuddling and bonding.

๐ŸŒ Reading aloud helps your child build memory, listening and language skills. By 3-6 months of age, your baby will start to enjoy looking at mirrors and pictures of faces, shapes, colors.

๐ŸŒ You don’t have to have a BIG library. Children especially babies love repetition.

๐ŸŒ Here's a list of our favourite books for babies under one year of age :

๐ŸŒ Touch and feel books:
You get very good ladybird series of big and bright touch and feel books. Peekaboo series are very popular among touch and feel books.


๐ŸŒ Classic books like The very hungry caterpillar and Goodnight Moon

๐ŸŒ Lift the flap books :
These are all time favourite for kids. They love to lift the flap and see what is under the flap. A lot of different topics are available under lift the flap books.

๐ŸŒ You get cushioned musical books which the kids just adore.


๐ŸŒ Spot series are excellent for babies.


๐ŸŒ Nursery rhymes and animal books are all time babies favourite books.


 ๐ŸŒ Sharing some of the books from our collection. You can get these books easily from @amazondotin, crosswords, star mark or any books stores.

๐ŸŒ These books also help in introducing color, shapes, numbers, animals and birds in a creative way.

๐ŸŒ Please share in comments if you found this post helpful. Also tell the name of your child's favourite book when he was a baby.

#alexanonstop #raisingareader #babybooks #kidsbookswelove #talesofsimrit

Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Speaking Stone - Book Review

The Speaking Stone 

Book Review

 Is it possible for a tone to talk ?

๐ŸThis book is a fictional historical thriller by @ratnadipacharya

๐ŸThe story starts when the protagonist, Saikat buys a vertical stone from a road side vendor. It has images of Shiva Parvati, Ganesha, a beautiful lady and some lines written in sanskrit. The half stone creates a lot of questions in Saikat 's mind and he starts his journey from Mumbai to Tripura in order to find the other half of the stone. On the way to Tripura he meets Shuvashini who is a PhD student and is on her way to Tripura for research.

๐ŸDo you think Saikat will be able to unfold the mystery of the stone? Does it really speak? What does it signify? Read the book to know what happens.

๐ŸReview :

๐ŸI like history and am a great fan of thriller books. The author has beautifully written the story about two different eras - early 1900s and 2016-17. The story is written so well that you can easily imagine the scenes as your read. The way the it unfolds is really superb. Each page has a new twist and once you start reading it, u will definitely not put the book down until you finish reading it.

๐ŸEach and every character, whether it is from the 1900s or 2016-17, has been described beautifully.

๐ŸThe language is lucid and crisp. The author has done a detailed study to write such a wonderful book. Few illustrations inside the book add to the charm of reading.

๐ŸThe cover page of the book is designed well and goes well with the story. .

๐ŸThank you Ratandip Acaharya for the sending the signed copy of the book. Looking forward to reading the next part. .

Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
#alexanonstop #bookreview #books #keepreading 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Economical tips to decorate your house this Diwali

Diwali is just around the corner. It is one one my favourite festivals. I love the whole Diwali vibe. Cleaning the house, decorating it with lights, flowers, getting ready, meeting relatives and eating lots of yummy mithai ๐Ÿ˜.

I will share some very easy and economical tips to make your house look beautiful for Diwali.

๐ŸŒŸ Flowers :


Marigold flowers are not expensive. You can decorate your windows, staircase and doors with pretty orange and yellow flowers.
You can even make beautiful rangoli with the flower petals.  Add water in a glass or a copper bowl and put the flowers. It looks very pretty .

๐ŸŒŸ Paper lampshades :


These look very pretty and are not expensive. You get lots of colours and designs. These are available in every local market and also on @amazondotin.

๐ŸŒŸ Fairy Lights :


These days you get a lot of options in fairy lights. Chinese fairy lights are available easily which are not very expensive. You can buy once and use for 3-5 years. You get different colours and shapes in the lights. You can use them in different ways. They can be hung on your balcony windows, inside your room, you can even put them inside an empty glass bottle.

๐ŸŒŸ Diyas / Candles :


I love the traditional mitti ke Diyas. They're not very expensive and you can use them for a number of years. Also these days you get lots of pretty candles. You can mix and match Diyas and candles to decorate your house.

๐ŸŒŸBangles :

You can use colourful bangles with a string and hang outside your Pooja room. Be more creative and add ghungroos also to it. 

๐ŸŒŸ Plants :

If you are a plant lover, you can arrange your pots in different ways and put lights or flowers around them. It looks really pretty.

๐ŸŒŸ Rangoli :


You can be creative and make pretty Rangoli with flowers, natural dyes, rice and pulses.

Hope you all have a colourful Diwali. Do share your Diwali decoration ideas in the comments below.

#happydiwali #alexanonstop #diwaliideas #homedecor

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Shrilok Homeless - Book Review

Book Review

This book by Pika Nani is based on the similar lines as Conan Doyle's Sherlok Holmes 
but the cases are adapted to present day Mumbai.

Description :

No case is bizarre enough for detective Shrilok, a chaiwala with a penchant for deduction,
 disguises and drama, and his partner in crime, Rohan Doctor. Be it a hand turning up in a
 steel lunchbox, a stolen rose diamond reappearing in a vada pav, a selfie-scandal in 
Bollywood, the Red Signal League of blind beggars or the dogs of Bhaskarville disappearing 
into the fog, the duo is sure to nab the suspects. They crack ten thrilling cases, no problem,
 but will Shrilok be a match for his nemesis, Masterji, in his ultimate encounter?"

Review :

This book is a short collection of 10 detective cases divided into short stories. The writing 
style of the author is simple and lucid. The characters are well created.

Overall it is a good book to introduce to detective series to young children. I have read her
 Shrilok Homeless Volume 2 and I quite enjoyed reading the book.  I must say that I wasn't disappointed reading this book either. It is a very quick and easy read. You can read it in one 
day. It is appropriate for kids 11 years and above.

About the Author :

Pika Nani is the author of 'The Adventures of Shrilok Homeless' (2017, Penguin Random House) and 'Little Indians' - Stories from across the country' (2013, Tulika books)
'Pika Nani' is a pen name from the writer's childhood.

Rating : 4/5

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Friday, September 27, 2019

How to be a good Story Teller

In my previous posts, I talked about Storytelling, its Benefits (here) and Techniques of Storytelling (here).

I love telling stories to my son, niece and nephew. It is  lovely to see them engrossed in the story and enjoy themselves.There's a reason why so many people flock to the movies or spend hours reading novels – it's because we love to get lost in a good story. And if you ever listen to a good conversation, you'll notice that a lot of connection happens when people share stories with each other.

Here  are some tips which will help you become a good story teller.

1. Pick a main character your child will love:

Small children love it when you tell them about someone or something they already know because it helps them to relate better. For example, it can be your pet, his favourite toy, some family member etc.

2.  Add some dramatic effects :

Part of making it dramatic is creating an element of surprise. When something dramatic is about to happen, you can pause a little to let the momentum build. You can also add in some extra details to make it more enjoyable. For example, if the Bear was eating lunch, you can say that the Bear was eating a peanut butter sandwich. These extra details will help to keep kids attention.

3. Holding Interest :

Children do not have a large attention span. It is very difficult to hold their attention for a long time. So you have to be careful that your story is not too long .

4. Create a Plot :

If you are making an imaginary story, crate a plot before hand and you can add something extra ordinary , like going to a fantasy land. You can also have your main character have a hobby or some activity that your child likes. This way he can relate to the story easily and it can be a learning activity as well.

5.  Learn a story that has some repetitive element :

The easiest way to tell a story smoothly is to learn some story which has some repetitive element which makes it easier for you to narrate the story. For example, in The Three Little Pigs, The wolf Huffs and Puffs each time he tries to blow down the house.

6. If there are more children , you can make them a part of the story :

If you are telling a story to a group of more than 4 children, you can get a few children to be the characters of the story. You can use your imagination to make their costumes and make the whole story telling process a wonderful experience for the kids.

7. Make them do an activity after the story :

Kids love to do activities. After telling them the story you can do some simple activities related to the story, like colouring, counting activity or a craft. By doing activities, the kids tend to remember the story better.

Do you like telling stories to children ? Please share in comments.

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#parenting #storytelling

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Techniques of Story Telling

In the previous post I had talked about story telling and its benefits. (here )
Storytelling is the interactive art of using words and actions to reveal the elements and images of a story while encouraging the listener's imagination. It is an ancient art that extends around the globe.

You can make your story telling experience more enjoyable, interactive and knowledgeable by using the following techniques :

1. Tell the story like you talk :

This technique is very simple. Talk like you normally talk to children as if you are having a conversation with them.

2. Story telling with Movement :

Story telling with movement makes it possible for children to physically participate in the story. You can encourage your child to make a specific gesture or sound when they hear a specific word. You can even involve pretend play in your story telling. For example, in The Little Red Riding Hood Story he can be the wolf .

3. Story telling with props /accessories :

Story telling with props and accessories is always a lot of fun. For example, for the Hansel and Gretel Story, you can make the Witch's house with candies and chocolates. For The Little Red Riding Hood story, you can have a recipe of baked goods, a picture of the wolf or you can dress up Like the Little Red Riding Hood.

4. Story telling with a magnetic board :

The greatest advantage of using this method is that it makes it possible for children to tell stories in their own words and involves their favorite characters.

5. Story Telling with puppets :

Children love puppets. You can either make the puppets yourself or you can buy them online or from the market.

6Storytelling using picture clues :

Picture clue stories involve a combination of words and pictures. They are great for developing reading skills. Even if children are unable to read actual words, they can participate in the act of storytelling.

7.  Involve them :

You can ask your child what he thinks would happen next. Let him think and explore his imagination .

These are some simple techniques that you can use for story telling and make the whole experience enjoyable for your child.

In the next post, I will discuss how to be good story teller .

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#parenting #storytelling

Friday, September 20, 2019

Why is story telling important for children ?

What is story telling ?

Storytelling is the interactive art of using words and actions to reveal the elements and images of a story while encouraging the listener's imagination. It is an ancient art that extends around the globe.

It  can be used as a method to teach ethics, values and cultural norms and differences. 

History of story telling :

Storytelling predates writing. The earliest forms of storytelling were usually oral combined with gestures and expressions. Some stories have lasted hundreds and thousands of years and are still being told.We are surrounded by stories everyday, be it in the form of news, movie, song, etc.

Storytelling describes the social and cultural activity of sharing stories, sometimes with improvisation, theatrics, or embellishment. Every culture has its own stories or narratives, which are shared as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation or instilling moral values. Reading to a child can increase their willingness to express themselves and communicate their thoughts and feelings. 

Benefits of story telling :

1. Improves Language Skills:

When babies and toddlers listen to stories, they get the chance to listen to lots of words in a unique way, which helps to expand their vocabulary.

2 Improves listening skills :

Telling stories helps children to improve their listening skills. When a story is narrated to a child , he concentrates and listens to what the story teller is saying.

3. Boosts Memory:

It helps to improve memory especially when the images are present while story telling a story. The child has to remember the facts ,which in turn boosts the memory.

4. Builds Curiosity :

It builds curiosity in a child's mind when you pause while narrating the story. He becomes eager to know what will happen next which helps in the over all brain development of the child.

5. Improves cognitive skills:

Storytelling forces children to think and imagine out of the box which improves the cognitive skills of a child.

6. Makes them empathetic :

Stories can teach a child to be sensitive towards others by being in their place.

7. Makes your imagination grow :

Stories help children to imagine a lot of scenarios which are not common in their day to day lives.The children can imagine a fantasy land or dream of a jungle full of chocolates !

8. Inculcates good morals and ethics in children :

There are a lot of stories which teach children to be honest, kind, punctual, respect their elders.

9. Improves Communication:

A lot of times, children hesitate to ask questions. By telling stories we give a platform to children not hesitate and ask a lot of questions, which improves communication skills.

10. Helps in facing a difficult situation:

There are a lot of stories where the main character has to face a lot of difficulties to reach a certain goal. These stories become great examples for children in their day to day lives to overcome difficult situations.

11.Enhances cultural understanding:

By telling stories, children get introduced to a lot of new cities, countries and people which helps them to understand various traditions, values and experiences.

12. Improves relationship :

The special time that you spend with your child helps in improving your bond with your child and builds a strong relationship.

 Methods of story telling coming up in the next post. Stay Tuned !

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#parenting #storytelling

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Adulting - Book Review

Book Review 

Book Name - Adulting
Author - Neharika Gupta @neharikagupta23
Publisher - @harpercollinsin
Format - Paperback
Genre - Fiction / Romance

What really attracted me to the book was the title and the cover. I must say that I wasn't disappointed at all.

The story is about three people - Tejas, Ruhi and Aisha. Aisha - the social media manager is smart, flirt and flamboyant. She is worried about being fat and body shaming. Ruhi, her friend is completely different. What keeps her keeps her going are her ambitions and her writer boyfriend, Tejas. Tejas leans on Ruhi for emotional and professional support but gets carried away by Aisha. In the middle of all this he completely ignores his work commitments.

Do you think will Ruhi and Tejas get back together again? Or Tejas and Aisha become the hot and happening couple? To know more read the book.

Review :

I loved the fact that the book was fast paced. Narration was crisp and simple . The characters and the story are relatable as this is what is happening in our society today.

The book is full of ups and downs. You will laugh, enjoy and feel the pain at the same time while reading. Apart from being a love story, it emphasis on friendship and struggle.

Overall a quick and enjoyable read. Perfect for the weekends!

Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐ / 5

About the Author :

Neharika writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry.She worked as an editor for a year before deciding to take the quill in her own hands. Neharika is passionate about food and travel writing. In her free time she enjoys writing poetry and scuba diving around the world. Neharika graduated from Bath Spa University’s Creative Writing MA in 2015 with an overall Merit score and Distinctions in both her poetry modules.
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