About the Book:
“The Postwoman and Other Stories” is a series of short tales written and illustrated by Priyadarshini. Although the book can be classified under the genre of children’s fiction, it can be read by both children and adults alike, similar to the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
The book aims to use an uncomplicated storyline to explore the depth of human relationships. It uses simple language paired with the child-like illustrations to explore several larger questions like gender, empathy, and the beauty of the natural environment.
Priyadarshini has titled her book “The Postwoman and Other Stories” because she has always desired to write Literature that promotes inclusion and equality. We often see little girls and boys growing up with restricted vocabulary which further perpetuates and solidifies gender inequality. When little girls are constantly reading stories about businessmen, postmen, craftsmen, policemen to name a few, they may not be able to relate much to the characters or their emotions. In her book, Priyadarshini has tried to make it seem like being a postwoman is the most natural thing in the world.
Although the book addresses profound themes, it is neither monotonous nor heavy. The stories are written in such a way it appeals to the emotions of both children and adults alike. The uniqueness of the book is that it explores ordinary acts of heroism. All the characters deal with normal and ordinary situations, but what makes them extraordinary is how they rise above the situation and overcome the challenge with a splurge of empathy and kindness.
What do Mohsina and Humayd have to say about the book?
Links to buy the book:
From Teacher's Plus:
The stories have a visceral quality owing to the power of description that Priyadarshini employs. The stories reflect simpler times where technology is almost conspicuous by its absence. The power of the stories is that they create a longing for the magic of simplicity and of closeness to nature as we see the characters spend considerable time observing and communing with nature or taking delight in things such as waiting for a letter or the magic of weaving a patchwork quilt or being curious about the sound of the ocean. So much so that the experience of reading the stories feels therapeutic.
The stories also show female characters with non-typical female jobs like those of a postwoman or a ferry keeper, which is refreshing. The word created in the stories is one where there is a palpable sense of community, a world in which relationships with 'service providers' such as the soan-papdi man or the postwoman are easy, human and meaningful. This is a world which is untouched by consumerism, one where working with one's hands is valued. It makes the reading experience a slow, meditative, and nurturing one; an experience and perspective that is much-needed in the frenzied times we live in today, where technology and loss of human connection are becoming the norm.
From Kevein's Book Reviews:
The USP of the book is that it is set against the sublime natural backdrop. And in the end there is a glossary of names that epitomize some type of nature. For instance, Malli is Jasmine, Nila means Moon, and Neer means water.
The good thing about a children's book is that if if delivers the apt messages, there is no need that the book should come from someone as famous as Ruskin Bond or Sudha Murty. This is one book that, for sure, will appeal to parents and children alike. Since the book is short, nothing much can be revealed about it. Priyadarshini has superb writing flair for kids...her work is easy to read and understand. She kept things so simple that one may tempt to read this book over and again.
From Thinker Views:
We enjoyed the simple stories and the illustrations that go with each one of those. Through all stories, there is a call, a memory of the simple pleasures of life, a desire to make most of what you have got and children stepping up with their creativity when something unexpected happens, whether it is the disappearance of a favourite treat or not being able to buy wanted decorations or toys. The best thing is the references to nature- green grass, flowers, trees, ocean and birds rather than electronic toys of the cities.
From Rise Insight:
The Postwoman and Other Stories is a collection of eight delightful and happy tales. Each story has a unique theme that will bring wonder and joy into the hearts of Children. The author has deliberately used terms like the Post Woman and Crafts Woman to make young girls more open to these professions. The writer firmly believes that Children's books should stand for gender equality, while simultaneously kindling joy and tranquility. Although this is primarily intended for Children, it will also be a great read for adults, who will look at societal conventions from a whole new perspective. The book is also centered on female protagonists, and they are depicted as strong, bold, assertive, and independent.
From The Literature Times:
Overall, on reading the book, the children would no longer remain passive receptors of facts and information, rather decode them on their own and also see a development in their abilities to analyze and look at things from a broader perspective.
On a subconscious level, "The Postwoman and Other Stories" would introduce sensitivity among children towards occupations that would otherwise not find mention in routine life and would more or less escape the observations of their family members. At the same time, this technique also helps lift the bar of gender grouping and defining
Altogether, this makes sure that "The Postwoman and Other Stories" is placed among the firsts of children's books due to not just the subjects and plots it explores, rather because of the sensitivity it invokes successfully in young readers, which would be constructive in developing their sensibilities.
It not only provides an enriching experience but also helps "The Postwoman and Other Stories" stand apart from its counterparts in the realm of children's literature. In a time when less is being written in the field of children's writing, Priyadarshini's work comes as a breath of fresh air with accurate usage of imagination, creativity, and content that caters to the sharpening of the senses at the same time. Therefore, the book becomes an enjoyable reading experience for children, and they may want to read the whole of it again or perhaps pick up particular stories that would become their favorites.
Kids Stop Press:
Today's generation of children who are stuck at home, with the pandemic are bottling up their emotions and going through their own small battles that we often neglect. Hence any advice would only come across as preachy. But when essentials values are weaved in through subtle stories, they help reach the intended audience, the right way.
The female protagonists mentioned in the book are strong, bold and don't take NO for an answer. Just what the children of this "me-too" generation need!
This book doesn't have any "moral of the story" endings, like most kids' literature. The collection of short stories can be read in under an hour by an adult, but the impact will be the same nonetheless- the experience will leave them with a better appreciation of the little joys in life, like the memory of summer days spent with friends and the sweet taste of soan papdi.
The Postwoman and Other Stories by Priyadarshini is a collection of eight short tales for children. Like most children's books this is written in simple language and convey a message. The book also has many simple childlike illustrations. The Author sets the stage for each story with a quotation from a famous author, and each story conveys a message to the reader and tries to instil values in children.