Pehelwaanji Learns a Slippery Lesson – Sanjiv Jaiswal ‘Sanjay’

Pehelwaanji Learns a Slippery Lesson - Sanjiv Jaiswal 'Sanjay'

I have done a few reviews of Pratham books (The Elephant Bird, The Cat in the Ghat and Chuskit goes to school to name a few) and it is always a joy to do them.
Pratham Books is a not-for-profit children’s book publisher with the mission to see ‘a book in every child’s hand’. They publish good quality, affordable story books in multiple Indian languages to support reading acquisition among children.

As I usually do with book meant for young readers, I decided to try these books on my 4 year-old and get first-hand feedback on these.

One bed-time, when he was not in the mood for his favourite books, I showed him the newly received lot and he scanned through them. Pehelwaanji Learns a Slippery Lesson! by Sanjiv Jaiswal ‘Sanjay’ was the first he picked up for reading.

An uncomplicated story with just two characters – Gappu and Pehelwaanji. Pehelwaanji, who is in the habit of eating fifty bananas at a time, also has the habit of throwing the peels on the road.

+ + +

  1. Simple plot, simply told with minimal words, just right for the beginner readers and for reading aloud. This is a level 1 book from the publishers, which is intended for very young children who are eager to begin reading and listening to stories. We had several hours of fun reading and even enacting the characters.
  2. Illustrations by Ajit Narayan are expressive and hilarious; I am reminded of Gajapati Kulapati‘s illustrations.
  3. It is not just my son who picks this book often for bedtime reading, probably for the story/illustrations, I too pick this often, because of the simple flow that make it a breeze to read.
  4. Let us not forget that it has a simple lesson, just right for very young children – not to throw banana peels on the road.
  5. The cover design in black and white, along with the  contrasting yellow strip running on the left (the level indicator) is eye-catching.
  6. At Rs.30, affordable it is.


  1. My nephew, a designer by profession, who heard us reading this book for the first time, commented that a long multi-syllable word like Pehelwaanji should not figure in a book meant for beginner readers. I was reminded of this when my son started referring to this book as the hell-waan-ji book. When I tried teaching him how to pronounce it, he started calling it the pa hell-waan-ji book with a longer pause as if they were two words.

Bed-time breeze!

Book Details:

Title Pehelwaanji Learns a Slippery Lesson
Pratham books Paperback
Editor(s)/Author(s)/Illustrator(s)/Translator(s) Ajit Narayan, Sanjiv Jaiswal 'Sanjay'
Publisher Pratham Books

About Menaka S

Menaka is a computational linguist by education, an optimist by attitude and a dreamer by how she spends her time. Being left-brained, she runs PlusMinus'n'More to indulge her right brain interests.

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