Book Review: I Is for India

Reading Level

Ages 9-12

Other Books in This Series

• B Is for Brazil
• C Is for China
• W Is for World

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This book, I Is for India by Prodeepta Das, is a great little book in the Round-the-World series from Frances Lincoln. The focus here is on India, and the method of learning is one page at a time, each letter of the English alphabet corresponding to one facet of the Indian culture that readers who live elsewhere might not know.

The tone of the book is both serious and light-hearted, depending on what page you are reading. The daily lives and customs of people who live in India are on full display, and English-speaking readers will find many similarities and differences to their own lives.

The overriding theme of the book is the togetherness that Indian people feel. F Is for Family especially emphasizes this concept, highlighting that several generations of a family typically live in the same house and, therefore, children learn to respect their elders and keep that respect throughout their lives.

Food and drink and outdoor markets are vividly illustrated in pictures showing both kids and adults. Religion is represented as well. Both the Hindu and Muslim traditions are shown, in pious and joyous settings.

In many ways, India is a country that has held on to its roots while the world around it has progressed. This is illustrated in the picture below.

Still, keeping traditions alive helps a people stay together, many would argue, and this book does a good job of both.

Readers as young as 4 will enjoy this book, and it is especially illustrative for middle-school students studying ancient cultures.

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