Monday, January 17, 2011

India, again

Last fall I purchased a fair number of books from two publishers in India, Tara Books and Tulika Publishers, for the Doucette Library’s collection, primarily to support the grade 3 social studies curriculum.  I’ve not been disappointed in my selections.

I then wrote a blog about the importance of authentic voice in children’s literature and mentioned several of the books I had purchased from these two publishers.

One of the books, The Riddle of the Ridley by Shekar Dattatri (597.928 DaR 2006), really brought home to me how little we see scientists from other countries doing science.  Most often, we see North American, or maybe European scientists (and then, these are mostly white people), who do their work in many different places around the world.  A series I’ve blogged about several time is Scientists in the Field which does just this – showcase scientists at home in North America and aboard, conducting research.  I really enjoy this series of books and am not suggesting they shouldn’t enlighten us about the work of North American scientists. I’m keen that they do.

It was just that, not until I read the book about the Ridley turtles did I realize my own ethnocentric perspective.  I just hadn’t questioned what I had been seeing (and not seeing) all these years, leaving me with a sense of North American preeminence in science.  I just took it all for granted.  I love how Shekar Dattatri brought this to my attention. I am now thinking about it a lot more.

I was delighted to see a recent offering from Tulika Publishers, Why the Sky is Blue: Dr. C.V. Raman talks about science by Chandralekha and Dashrath Patel (501 ChW 2010).  This short picture book is an excerpt of a lecture given by Dr. Raman, the 1930 Nobel Prize for Physics recipient, in 1968.  In this lecture he describes what science means to him, as a way to explore and understand nature, and appreciate the many wondrous things here on Earth.
The book includes a short narrative and timeline of Dr. Raman’s life as well as a concise explanation about the Raman Effect (relating to the properties of light) and the continuing impact of his discovery today, wherever security and medical scanners are used.

This should be used in elementary and middle grade classes when talking about the importance of science, about questioning what we see around us and about the wonder to be found in how ‘things’ work.


Tara Books said...

Hi Tammy,

Many thanks for mentioning us; it was great to find your blog, and we're glad that you like our books!

Drop me a line at promotions [at] if you can. We'd love to stay in touch.

All best,


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