Skip to content

Contribute for Japan – New Sun Rising is out

New Sun Rising is out. A small effort on your behalf which  could hopefully do something big for the land of the Rising Sun. All proceeds will be going to the Red Cross Society – Japan. Every cent. So please, do your bit. Someone out there will get some help. And, as for the book, it’s outstanding with amazing contributions (ove 60)  from all over the world. You won’t regret buying it.

Maa, I want to be a kite!

Maa, I want to be a kite!

Ari wants to be a kite and experience the wonders of flying in the sky. But he is sad that he cannot be a kite because he got no wings. But his mother thinks that nothing is impossible! Imagination can work wonders! Click on the above link to watch the story being read aloud by a little girl!

The Hundred Languages by Loris Malaguzzi

Poetry: A Summer with Nani

Note: First published at

It is summer and holidays are here!

What do I do?


Should I read a book?

Or help mummy to cook?

Or should I chase the butterflies

That circle round the flowering nook?


I think and think and think

Till mummy calls out, “Radha, come here quick!

“Pack your bags. It is time to visit Nani for a week,

Who lives far away in the white, snowy hills!”


I do somersaults all across the floor

And dance to a song I hear on the radio!

For I can’t wait to see my Nani

And gallop away with Raju, her brown pony.


I neatly pack my sweater, hat, and gloves

A painting I made for Nani with lots of love!


Our long train chugs along the tracks

Coooooo chhuk chhuk chhuk

It sings as it passes a brook.


My Nani waits by the door of her house

That has blue windows and green walls.

“Sweet Nani! It is so good to see you!

For all of this week, what shall we do?”

“Dear Radha, do not worry about this week.

It will be as colourful as the rainbow, you shall see!


On Sunday by the violet tulips we sit.

On Monday we knit an indigo scarf and mitts.

On Tuesday we dip our feet in blue waters, so clean.

On Wednesday we walk under pine trees, so green.

On Thursday I ride Raju by yellow mustard fields.

On Friday we see the orange sun set by the hills.

On Saturday we dry red chillies on the floor.

It’s Sunday again and time to go back home.


“My sweet Radha, I shall miss you once you board your train.

But next summer, we shall meet again!”


“Sweet Nani! What a colourful week we have spent!

This summer holiday with you, I shall never forget!

Vaishali Shroff is a freelance writer, editor, columnist, and runs a reading club ( for children in Pune. Her work has been published in over 10 titles of the Chicken Soup India Series, her children’s stories can be read at smories ( and she can’t wait for her first children’s book to be out.


New Batches starting 4th November!!!

Hello Readers,

After a sunshiny, happy, colourful, sweet, and de-lightful Diwali, we are back with new batch timings.

There will be two batches a week. Each batch will have one session a week. Tuesdays and Fridays, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Starting 4th of November, 2011, Eik Thi Rani will wait for your enrollment calls.

Till then, happy reading. 🙂


Eik Thi Rani



My Tricolour – Poems by ETR Children

In today’s reading session we read stories and poetry about our struggle for freedom, the past, the hope, the present, and the future. It was great to discuss what the children think about ‘freedom’ and what the Tricolour means to them. The poetry did ignite the poets in them and they came up with these lovely lovely lines in a matter of minutes. Enjoy them. JAI HIND! 🙂

“Saffron is the rays of the sun set
White is the colour where the rainbows met
Green is the loveliest colour of all
Through summers, winter, spring, and fall.”

~ Roshni Deshpande (10 yrs)

“Saffron oh saffron the colour of our flag
Some people have the colours of their school bag
White oh white the best of all
As it remarks our seasons, summer, winter, spring, and fall
Blue is the sky from morning to evening
In winter, there is a lot of fevering
Green oh green we like it, it doesn’t matter if it is he and she
If foreigners look at the last colour,
and they will be embarassed, I’ll be as proud as proud can be.
Jai Hind!”

~ Ramona (9 yrs)

“Saffron is the sun, it is bright and gay at summer days
White is my granny’s hair, I love to play with her hair.
Green is the greenery of India.
The chakra is the blue sky, and is right above her head. 🙂 ”

~ Garima (7 yrs)

The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

This month we read The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond along with other stories in the 7 – 11 years batch. Here’s my book review. It was first published at Unboxed Writers:

Some time back I watched The Blue Umbrella, a children’s movie based on a novella by Ruskin Bond, and directed by one of my favourite movie makers, Vishal Bharadwaj, known to make movies out of books. And I watched it again. Not because Tata Sky Showcase played it for 12 hours of the day, but because I thought it was a brilliant movie. And I wondered how many children actually got to watch it! Such children’s movies are a rarity in today’s times.

But that was till I read the book in its flesh and blood. And I read it again. And again. Till I realized that even a National Award winning movie in the Best Children’s Film category could have missed its mark!

Nothing compares to reading a book, imagining the characters, being part of the scenes and narrating the dialogs. And the same goes for The Blue Umbrella.

The Blue Umbrella explores a naive desire of a small village girl, Binya, to own an umbrella that is perceived as exclusive and elite and how it becomes an obsession with not only Binya, but Ram Bharosa (Nandkishore Khatri in the movie) a shop owner who secretly wishes to own Binya’s umbrella. How he plots through devious means to somehow get hold of it, and his misery on seeing Binya enjoy the beautiful, blue umbrella, are beautifully captured.

Ruskin Bond brings alive the mountainous terrains of Himachal and the life of its villagers in a manner like none other. The language is eloquent yet so submissive to the story. Every sentence leads so smoothly to another – in thought and in word. And I tried hard, but not a typo or grammatical error that met my naked eyes.

I strongly recommend reading this book even if you have watched the movie and could not flaw the screenplay, direction, or the stupendous performance by Pankaj Kapur.

Your story in “Parent Speak”

Dear Reader (Parent),

Is your child a part of ETR? How has your experience been so far?

Even if you don’t have a child enrolled with us, what do you think about ETR? Our mission?

We would love to hear any feedback from you about us – good, bad, ugly, we will put it all up in our Parent Speak section.

So please Speak to us. We value your presence in our life.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

New month, new stories!

Dear Reader,

Monday, August 1, 2011 we kick off a new month with new zing, new zeal, new stories.

It would be nice to see new faces too! Do share your experiences @ ETR with your friends who would be interested.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Why reading is important? Some stats…

Note: Though this research was conducted and published by the Michigan Department of Education, it’s relevance is universal.

Reading serves as the major foundational skill for all school-based learning. Although reading and writing abilities continue to develop throughout life, the early childhood years – from birth through age eight – are the most important period for literacy development. The development of early literacy skills through early experiences with books and stories is critically linked to a child’s success in learning to read.

– Only 5% of children learn to read effortlessly.
– 20% – 30% of children learn to read relatively easily once exposed to formal instruction.
– 60% of children face a more formidable challenge:
– For 20% to 30% of these children, reading is one of the most difficult tasks they will have to master throughout their schooling.
– 90% to 95% of poor readers can greatly increase reading skills to average reading levels through prevention and early intervention programs that combine: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency development, and reading comprehension strategies that are provided by well-trained teachers.
– 88% of poor readers in first grade have the probability of being poor readers in fourth grade.
– 75% of children who are poor readers, who are not helped prior to age nine, will continue to have reading difficulties through high school. 10% to 15% of children who have difficulties learning to read will drop out of school; only 2% complete a four-year college program. While older children and adults can be taught to read, the time and expense is enormous.
– 80% of children identified as having learning disabilities have their primary difficulties in learning to read.
– Half of adolescents and young adults with criminal records have reading difficulties.
– Half of the youths with histories of substance abuse have reading problems.