Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Book Review : The Helping Hand

Title : The Helping Hand
Author : Kamakshi Balasubramanian
Illustrator : Kuntal Dey
Publisher : National Book Trust

I always admire the books which sensitively talk about the special children and how they look at the world or how the regular children feel about them. Sometimes people do react in very strange ways when they come across a differently abled person. There may not be any negative feeling but just not being comfortable with the uniqueness creates a big chasm when interacting in such situations so I keep looking for the books which aid in instilling compassion in kids from very early age.

A very tenderly told story of a girl Komal and her brother Tarun. The story starts with Komal anxiously waiting for the arrival of her baby sibling and Tarun is the answer of everybody's prayers. Komal is thrilled to have a younger brother to whom she sings rhymes, teaches counting and wants him to join her school. But gradually she understands that Tarun is not like other regular kids and needs help in almost everything - walking, eating, getting cleaned. He starts going to a special school. With the loving support of the family, both siblings learn different things at different pace as per their abilities. Komal grows up to be a veterinarian doctor and finds a gentle and kind helper in her younger brother and they both form a team together to heal the animals.

There are a lot of things that I appreciated about the book - the subtle way in which the uniqueness of Tarun is explained and how each individual is unique and learns at different pace. It is so very important to recognize these differences of abilities and preferences and not let one's path dictate that of others. Respecting the individuality and sensitively supporting the children can help make every child bloom to his/her maximum potential and spread fragrance in the world.

This book reminded us of one of the Tulika books that we read last year - 'Why are you afraid to hold my hand?' A beautifully written book which brings the perspective of physically challenged child. An attempt to convey to other people how it feels to always receive sympathy and pity when it is not needed and when all that is required is to be treated like the rest of them.

{Images courtesy : Infibeam and Tulika Books}


  1. seems to be sensitively written - ty for the review

  2. Thanks for dropping by Chitra. Do it more often :)


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