1. Feathered Friends (published by Amazing Reads, India Book Distributors)
2. Rainbow Reader Course Book & Work Book 1
3. Rainbow Reader Course Book & Work Book 2
4. Rainbow Reader Course Book & Work Book 3
5. Rainbow Reader Course Book & Work Book 4
Sarita Dasgupta was born in Shillong and studied in Loreto Convent Shillong from 1966 to 1975 (1st batch of ICSE). She did her Higher Secondary from Loreto College, Darjeeling and graduated with a 1st Class 1st in English Honours from St Mary’s, Shillong. She spent most of her life in the tea estates of Assam before relocating to Kolkata in June 2016.
She taught English at Delhi Public School, Digboi, then started conducting workshops in English Grammar, Communication Skills and other subjects, and also outsourced her skills to publishers such as Orient Blackswan and Macmillan. Till recently, she was a GESE Examiner for Trinity College, London.
She scripts and directs plays and musicals for school children on relevant topics such as Human Rights, Environmental Protection & Animal Rights – serious topics but always with dollops of humour! She is currently Editor of a multi-national tea company’s house journal and does freelance writing & editing.
The book comprises ten short stories – fables in which birds are substitutes for human beings.
The first story, AN UNEXPECTED HERO, is about a woodpecker kidnapped and then abandoned by a cuckoo. He is made fun of by other birds because he is ‘different’. Then he makes use of his ‘difference’ to save a creature in trouble and goes on to ask for the safety of the very birds that taunted him, in repayment for his good deed.
The second, THE WISE OWL OF THE WOODS, is about an owl who is ‘different’ because he is vegetarian. He is considered wise and his advice is valued in his new environment, and he realizes that ‘home’ is where one is welcomed and valued as an individual.
The third story, FLEDGE TAKES FLIGHT, is about a handicapped swallow, and how he learns to cope with his handicap, with the help and support of his family and friends.
The fourth, THE TALE OF A TAIL, is about a peacock who finds his tail an encumbrance till he learns to use it to his advantage and accepts it as part of himself.
The fifth, HIDDEN TALENT, is about a bird who is loved by her adoptive family but has an inferiority complex until she discovers a hidden talent.
The sixth, MAGGIE AND THE MISSING MIRROR, is about a magpie who is accused of stealing and who is helped by friends to clear her name.
In the seventh story, KIDNAPPED, a vain parrot who is kidnapped is rescued by someone who actually doesn’t like her much. Her adverse experiences teach her to appreciate what she has taken for granted and also makes her change for the better.
The eighth, MYRA MAKES MISCHIEF, is about two friends whose closeness is threatened by a newcomer who is shallow but has a superficial gloss. The story teaches the value of true friendship and knowing what is important in life.
In the ninth story, TICH TO THE RESCUE, Tich is a small but totally fearless sparrow who rescues a bully from near death and then deals with him very cleverly.
The tenth, THE BLOSSOMING OF RAINEY, is about a shy, self-conscious rainbird who overcomes her lack of confidence with some help from her friends.
“Feathered Friends” is a delightful collection of short stories set in the Bird World. Heart-warming, varied, humorous and true, the stories subtly hold up life lessons without preaching. This beautifully illustrated book will surely endear itself to children and adults alike.” ~ Mitra Phukan
“Birds are everywhere in our lives. Yet we hardly spare them a glance. Mrs Dasgupta’s delightful stories draw you into the realm of birds. The forest home of Hooter (the owl), Woodsy (the woodpecker), Fledge (the swallow) and Emerald (the parrot) will enchant you and their adventures will keep you turning the pages.”~ Deepak Dalal
“The community of ‘Feathered Friends’, whose stories have been narrated by Sarita Dasgupta in a clear and elegant style, is a place where we can find Gentleness, Compassion, Attention and Respect towards others, Friendly Solidarity, and a joyful Sense of Humour as elements that drive this small society of lovely living beings.
It has good lessons, gently told, for both children and grown-ups, of how our world of human beings could and should be.” ~ Sergio Scapagnini
2 -5 . The Rainbow Reader English Course Books 1 to 4 are designed to suit the needs of the students of Classes I to IV in their acquisition of knowledge of the English language and development of communication skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) in English.
The books begin with a revision of what was learned in the previous class so that a connection is established in the first few chapters. The lessons follow each other in a logical sequence so that each lesson is connected to the previous one.
The lessons are presented through short stories and poems specially created by the author for the children of Meghalaya and the other north-eastern states of India, so that the familiar context captures their attention and makes the learning process more interesting. Stories about inspirational people from the region have been added and values such as respect for one’s parents and gratitude for everything they do for one; respect for the environment and for all living creatures; respect for one’s heritage and pride in one’s culture and community; and awareness towards gender equality, are embedded in the lessons.
The exercises and activities after each chapter have been designed by the author to ignite the interest of the students and lead to added practice and application of knowledge acquired in the classroom. The colourful illustrations help to catch the children’s imagination and keep them engaged. The Learning Outcomes are clearly presented after each Exercise, all of which have been designed to achieve the Objectives stated in the Contents.
The colourfully illustrated Work Books contain additional exercises that complement the exercises in the Course Books, thus augmenting and strengthening the learning process.
The books have been published by Shillong-based Students’ Publications.
Other information: The Rainbow Reader series has been selected by the Meghalaya Board of School Education as the prescribed English text books for Classes I to IV from the 2018-19 academic session in all the schools around the state that come under the Board’s purview.
Forthcoming: The author has finished writing another series of English Literature & Language text and work books, entitled The English Express, for Classes I to IV. These are at the printer’s now. Details will be posted on the website when they are ready.