Children’s books are serious business. Incredibly hard to get right, they need to be gripping enough to capture the imagination of the young who are more easily distracted by the Internet, videogames, television.
But the genre also carries with itself the advantage that if a book is good and hits the right notes, it will be a part of someone’s transformation, a part of someone’s memory of growing up and will be cherished for the rest of their lives.
With her debut book, The PetPost Secret, Radhika R. Dhariwal has explored an animal world which has a darker side to it. The PetPost Secret tells the story about Squirrel, who is the last slave in the animal town of Bimmau.
He delivers mail for his oppressive and lazy mongoose boss Bacchu Banoos. His life is thrown into chaos when he sips the forbidden walnut wine at a wedding. In an almost Alice in Wonderland-esque fashion, the book tells the story of Squirrel and his adventures, the friends he makes on his quest for freedom.
He sets out to find the long-lost Brittle’s Key, which has the power to make him break the chains of slavery. Though targeted at kids in the 10-14 age group, the book’s an engrossing read for adults as well.