Read out loud

Book Review: The Postwoman and Other Stories by Priyadarshini

Vrinda Bachchan   •   10 Jul, 2022   •   5 mins

A delightful collection of eight short and impactful stories for young readers.

A collection of eight short and impactful stories that make for a delightful weekend read for young readers.

‘The Postwoman and Other Stories’ is a collection of short stories for children written by Priyadarshini, whose writing style kind of echoes the eloquent simplicity and dreaminess of Lucy Maud Montgomery (author of the beloved children’s classic ‘Anne of Green Gables’).

Priyadarshini suggests, in the book’s prologue, that the reader sit in a comfy and cosy spot next to a window or on a terrace (anywhere where they can see and appreciate the outside world), and sip a hot beverage as they read this book. And I tend to agree. ‘The Postwoman and Other Stories’ deserves to be enjoyed while one is relaxing, their mind uncluttered.

This book doesn’t have any “moral of the story” endings, like most kids’ literature. The collection of short stories can be read in under an hour by an adult, but the impact will be the same nonetheless - the experience will leave them with a better appreciation of the little joys in life, like the memory of summer days spent with friends and the sweet taste of soan papdi.

For young readers, there are lessons to be learned from the stories, but I like that the author does not state them at the end of each story. The learnings are more subtle, which I believe will make the children better at picking up nuances of any artwork.

With stories revolving around children who are kind, honest, empathetic, and dream of hope and all good things, ‘The Postwoman and Other Stories’ is an excellent book if you’re looking to teach your kids about appreciating nature and respecting others.

Through this book, kids will also learn how to be helpful, the value of friendship, the power of imagination, the joy of sharing, and the spirit of kindness.

For instance, there’s a story about a girl who likes to spend her time birdwatching because she feels that birds react better in a fight (by flying away) rather than scream, shout, and use harsh words like humans. This story would promote the idea in children that loud confrontations seldom achieve any resolution in a fight.

Through this book, I feel the author is trying to mould the minds of kids so that they grow up to be a generation of better human beings who are always respectful, kind, and compassionate. And I’m fully on board with the idea.

The one thing that I found lacking, though, is that the stories aren’t really challenging enough for older kids or even younger kids who are voracious readers. It’s a light read that will leave you feeling good, but there’s not much in terms of the plot or depth of the stories. The stories lack characters that are fleshed out and with whom children can relate.

But this is not a big negative, especially when the characters are written as people the readers would aspire to be like.

‘The Postwoman and Other Stories’ by author Priyadarshini is a collection of eight short, impactful stories that make for a delightful weekend read for young readers. It won’t take them long to breeze through the pages, made more interesting by colourful, child-like illustrations.

Newsahoot gives this book 3 hoots out of 5.