I have been working with children and adolescents for a while now, but I recently made a new friend a spirited 8 yr old and I had been wanting to shower her with books. So I was looking at Tulika books. I bought her and my other tiny tot friends many Tulika books,
In Bon Bibi s Forest – Sandhya Rao 
Same and Different – Manjula Padmanabhan 
My Mother s Sari – Sandhya Rao 
Eyes On The Peacock s Tail – Vayu Naidu 
Thumb Thumb Thambi and Thangi series
to name a few.
Looking through their website I found ‘Mayil will not be quiet’ and I loved the title. I bought it and I started reading it the minute I opened the package it was delivered in. My nose stayed in it for the next couple of hours. Yes I have tiny tot friends but I read fast 😉 I loved every minute of the experience and since have read it twice, once me and my partner did it as a read aloud. It was a wonderful shared experience and will make for a great read aloud with younger children.
‘Mayilwriter’ or maybe ‘Mayilpuncher’ as she calls herself is a 12 yr old girl with all the charms and contradictions of a teenager. She receives a diary from her father and begins to write down her thoughts and experiences, her successes and challenges, her questions and her answers.  This results in a book that portrays beautifully an adolescent’s perspective on her mother and father, her adored Thatha (granpa), her little brother Thammarai, her friends Ki and Jyothi and her life with all of them.
The typical adolescent search for independence and individuality while still seeking support and reassurance from her parents is beautifully portrayed in her confessions to her diary.
As I suspected from the title, the book effectively tears down gender stereotypes in the innocent way a curious adolescent questions everything and reasons it in her head. Smart and witty she analyses her environment asks intelligent questions which are sometimes shrugged off, sometimes answered, by adults around her. But what is important is the questions she asks. The book touches issues of religious, gender and sexual identity, and respecting diversity and equality. It talks unapolegetically, yet simply about sex and menstruation – demystifying it all for a young teenager. There is even reference to conjugal violence, related depression and suicide. 
The illustrations are beautiful and funny and add that periodic visual to the book that makes you take your eyes off the text to appreciate the drawings and have a good laugh.
My favourite chapters in the book are ‘Transgender not eunuch’ and ‘Guess I look ok’. Transsexuality and the complexity of the gender binary is explained so beautifully that I might read from this chapter in my ‘Adolescence and Sexuality’ workshops. Body image and loving yourself are such important issues for teens today and I loved how Mayil writes about them. (In fact I could read quite a few chapters in my workshops). 
The book touches topics that are close to my heart, gender, childhood and adolescence and identity, and even environment protection. Most things I wish every adolescent knew are in this book. I laughed aloud several times while reading the book and sometimes even went into fits of laughter. This is to say that adults can enjoy it just as much as teens can, and it will bring out the curious, rebellious teen in you. Every child I know is getting a copy of this book at some point in their life and every parent I know will hear me talk about it.

After Mayil I have pure devotion for Tulika Books (even more than before I mean!!). Does that make me your friend Tulika?

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