Anita Nair’s first story book for children, Living next door to Alice is the story of friendship of Siddharth and Alise.
Nine year old Siddharth lives with his intellectual parents (his father is a zoologist, researching the habitat of tigers and his mother is researching zoological plants) and loves to stay indoors reading, playing on the various gadgets or sitting on the computer. His parents want him to play outdoors like the children of his age. He is petrified of all creatures great and small.
One day, his parents send him to the garden to play and behave like a normal nine year old. Across the fence of his house he meets a baby girl elephant, Aishwarya, who likes to be called Alise. They become friends, meeting everyday in the garden. She can talk like humans and this is one secret the two friends share. Her Mahout, Unni, does not know that she can talk and they enjoy making a fool of him.
Alise knows that Siddharth does not like going to school, so after the vacations are over, she gets a tablecloth similar to his school uniform, ties her ‘hair’ with a pink bow and follows him to school and creates a lot of confusion there.
One day, she follows him to a party and devours the snacks and when they are trying to escape, both of them get lost in the forest. Here they come to know of The Bearded Bandit, the murderer of countless elephants and robber of their priceless tusks. After they are rescued from the jungle, they make a plan to catch the Bandit.
The story is very cute and the illustrations are cuter. The author has taken into account, the size of the elephant, while mentioning the quantity of food required like, bottles of cold drink, eight bubble gums, etc.
I loved the book very much and am pretty sure that both adults and children would like it. Anitha Balachandran deserves a special thanks for the excellent cover.
Book Source: Bought