Fun-filled children’s adventure story is peppered with many twists and turns
by MITA MISTRY
BOOKS for young children have always been an essential part of learning and an escape into fictional worlds that tap into young imaginations.
And perhaps, just as important as reading engaging plots, it is equally necessary for children to read stories where they feel seen by a character who embodies relatable traits, familiar family dynamics and culture.
Anisha, Accidental Detective is the first in a series of books from talented author Serena Patel. The main character Anisha Mistry, aged 10, is a delightful and studious young girl who is entirely happy spending time in solitude with her science books to fulfil her ambitions of being the first kid in space or to invent a cure for meanness. But her larger-than-life family have other ideas. The story revolves around a big Indian family wedding of the year where Anisha Mistry is set to be a bridesmaid.
On the eve of her aunty Bindi’s wedding, she discovers a note in her family’s letterbox. Aunty Bindi’s groom, uncle Tony, has been kidnapped and will only be released if the wedding is called off. Anisha realises she cannot let her aunt know this and the only way to prevent an impending disaster is to solve the crime and bring uncle Tony back.
Anisha gets dragged into a crazy fun-filled kidnap plot involving lobsters, her granny Jas and mysterious chauffeurs. This beautifully written story takes the reader through many twists and turns with a lot of lightheartedness, and humour along the way, which adults and children alike will appreciate. But it also cleverly portrays some of Anisha’s challenges in adapting to family dynamics. And the simple illustrations complement the prose adding life to the story.
Overall, this is a brilliant debut and is highly recommended to follow the next hilarious adventure in the series. With book two out later this year, we can be sure Anisha’s trials and tribulations will remain with us for a long time.