Best Children’s Books by Indian Authors


My search for Best Children’s Books began when I had to gift some books to my 12-year-old niece. I surfed through the internet and could not come up with many options. This is when I started asking around for recommendations and nothing much came beside the usual Ramayan, Mahabharat, Panchatantra and Amar Chitra Kathas.

Best Children's Books from IndiaSo, began the effort to curate and create a list of Best Children’s Books with a special focus to know India.

Best Children’s Books based on Indian Epics & Scriptures

Epics are the best stories we can pass on to children. Of course, we can not expect them to read the whole epic when most of us have not read them ourselves. Here are some recommendations:

Classic Children’s Books from India

Books in this section may seem obvious, but believe me, it took me some effort to compile this list too.

Malgudi Days by R K Narayan

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Malgudi Days was first published in 1943 and republished in 1982 by Penguin. Most of us know of it from the 1986 TV series based on this book. It is a collection of 32 stories talking about the problems faces by the country then. It would best be known as the imaginary city of Malgudi that the Bangaloreans would say comes from the combination of Malleswaram and Basavangudi. However, what strikes as a reader is the simplicity of stories.

Other books by R K Narayan – Swami and friends, Malgudi Adventures

Great Stories for Children by Ruskin Bond

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Ruskin Bond’s writing is so simple that most of his books can be read by children. However, in this, he writes specifically for children. His simplicity and his strong observation of his surroundings are bound to entertain and inspire children.

More Books by Ruskin Bond – Delhi is Not Far

I surfed through my list of Best Children’s books on India and by Indian Authors and came up with this list.

Best Children’s Books on India

Incredible History of India’s Geography by Sanjeev Sanyal

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This is a children’s version of the Sanjeev Sanyal’s more popular ‘Land of Seven Rivers’. I enjoyed reading this book. Sanjeev has a very anecdotal way of making you see the intersections of history and geography. While we may know bits and pieces of history he tells, he makes you see the connections. So, I think this would be a good book for children to Read.

Lore of the Land – Storytelling Traditions of India by Nalini Ramachandran

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Lore of the Land – Storytelling Traditions of India came to me for review and I totally enjoyed reading it. The book travels across each and every state of India and picks up one storytelling tradition from that state. Traditions are woven into an overall narrative where a young girl discovers the storyteller in her during this adventure. It is a lovely insight into the myriad traditions of storytelling across the country.

The Secret Sanctuary by Stephen Alter

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The Secret Sanctuary is a book that takes children to Jabarkhet – a sanctuary not too far from Mussourie in Uttarakhand. It re-creates the wilderness through a magical story that keeps the audience engaged while introducing them to the life of a jungle, for jungle is the protagonist in the story. I visited Jabarkhet when I visited Landour and loved it.

Riddle of the Seventh Stone by Monideepa Sahu

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Riddle of the Seventh Stone is a mystery thriller based in Bangalore wherein a folk cum fairly tale kind of story the world of spiders, rodents, and kids comes together. There is a mystery to be solved and the clues come as poetic riddles. It leaves the reader with a feeling of ‘I can do anything’, so I am sure I want young readers to read it.

Elbie’s Quest by Manjul Bajaj

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Elbie’s Quest is a fantasy world where Elbie – the tree is called my the maker to solve a problem of warring children. In a make-believe world, my takeaway from this book was – Everything that happens in our world happens first in someone’s imagination. It is a lovely little story to read that leaves with a message that your imagination is what creates your world. I would definitely want children to grow up thinking they can create their own world.

We the Children of India by Leila Seth

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An illustrated introduction to the concept of India as a democratic republic. Most readers found it useful to introduce the concept of nation and how it functions to children.

The Tree with a Travelling Heart by Paro Anand

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A boy travels the world, comes back tells the tales to his tree in the garden and one day the tree wants to go around the world. Pretty much how we get inspired to travel the world.

Best Children’s Books for Activities

Aha! Activities by Arvind Gupta

Buy at Amazon IN

A simple book that encourages children to do simple activities using household items and practically teaches them some simple scientific principles.

Explore Delhi by Yasmeen Van Baugh & Yamini Puri

Explore Delhi is a small activity book that allows children to explore their city in an exploratory manner. Though this books talks about places in Delhi and includes a small quiz or a treasure hunt kind of way to explore, the principle can apply to any city that you live in. Unfortunately, I could not locate this book online so look for bookstores near you.

Hands on Heritage by INTACH

This is a lovely book that through activities makes you conscious of the heritage around you – both tangible and intangible. Unfortunately, you can only buy this from INTACH store in Delhi or through INTACH network.

More resources on Children’s Books

Best Children's Books from India

National Book Trust Books for children.

Children’s Book Trust website

Kids section at Chinmaya Mission Website.


This compilation has books in English. We will soon work on a list of Hindi Books for children too.

We have not included books on Nursery Rhymes or poems in this collection.

Please suggest any good children’s books that you know of in the comments below and we would include them in the next update.

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  1. Great post, you have shared. You have collected Best Children’s Books based on Indian Epics & Scriptures at one place. Thanks for sharing. Keep updating.

  2. Hi Anuradha, I really loved your article on the Best Children’s books by Indian Authors. I am glad that we have such amazing Indian Authors today who are publishing such informative and sensitive books for kids. I would also like you to explore this website called GetLitt which has a lot of amazing e-books for kids and include it in your next article. I am sure all parents will find it very useful 🙂

  3. Dear Anu,

    Chanced upon this website and I must say, I really enjoyed reading your reviews about Indian Authors of Children’s books.

    Wanted to introduce myself to this world. I am Prashanti Talluri, a software professional and debut author of two children’s books based on contemporary fiction in the mystery/fantasy category. I have hand-drawn the cover and all the interior pictures, which I am hoping the kids will enjoy going through.

    My website:
    The name of the series: The Golden Cat
    The First Book: The Core Fulcrum
    Book Link:
    Goldie and Snowball are two kittens that live in an enchanted world ruled by cats.
    They go to school, learn magical lessons and meet unusual creatures.
    One dark night their world falls into despair and only they can help.
    They have to wage battles with enemies and travel to strange territories to save their world.
    There is an elusive secret lying buried since ancient times, and they have to race against time to unravel it.

    The Second Book: The Cerulean Monarch
    The Book Link:
    It was a dark and freezing morning during winter. Invaders infiltrated Meow Wow High School and raided objects with the help of a spy in their midst.
    The Defenders of Mew Sienna had to act quickly to retrieve them, but this time, the enemies were far too dangerous. Equipped with powers far superior to theirs, this time, they had met their match.
    Goldie uses his powers of deduction to track down the raiders to their elusive-but-beautiful hideouts and reveals their secrets, but he has one deadly secret of his own. He must overcome his own sinister shadows before he can rescue others or meet his doom.

    Thank you,
    Prashanti Talluri

  4. Dear Anu,
    thanks for amazing and informative blog.
    Now I don’t have to search for new books, unless we read books recommended here.
    I would like to get my book reviewed.
    Please suggest me how to go about it.


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