Whoever said books and stories are just ink and paper, didn’t know what they were talking about. Or maybe they were reading the book upside down all along! Books are gateways to another world, hidden portals that can be found within the beautiful pages that allow one to wander to places beyond one’s imagination and discover the secrets of the universe. And who better to yield this power of imagination than children?
Gone are the days when rote learning was the way of life in schools. Today, more than ever, it is crucial to teach children HOW to think instead of WHAT to think. The prevalent form of new-age education and one that raises freethinkers is that wherein children are taught to use tools like critical thinking, social-emotional learning, and creative thinking, that can help them become lifetime learners. As said by Edward De Bono, the best gift we can give our children is the ability to have their own thoughts! Taking this notion forward and bringing the best of education and entertainment to young and impressionable minds is the Sochu Book Series suitable for ages 4-12. With simple relatable characters, wonderful illustrations, and peaceful, nonviolent entertainment, it is known to initiate thoughtful conversations among children with topics such as, “I wonder what makes people fight?”, “Am I cool enough?”, “The Secret to Success”, “The BEST GIFT in the World”, and many more. The 12 books are carefully curated to develop children’s thought-process and help them understand and uncover answers to the questions that often enter their curious little minds. More than anything, it helps them be informed and able to have a conversation about things that they may know but don’t fully understand.
With the world available at our fingertips quite literally, and the children always glued to electronics, the need to get our children back to basics has increased. To ensure that our children are treated to wholesome entertainment, the character of Sochu was introduced, a seven-year-old who solves his problems by thinking them through (and not by fighting). Each character is conceptualised in a simple, yet fun way that resembles real personalities, character traits, and flaws. Like the main character Sochu, who unlike others doesn’t cry over his problems or bully his friends to get what he wants, instead, he believes that every conflict can be resolved peacefully and loves to come up with innovative solutions for his problems. For instance, the character Anju is smart and studious with a scientific outlook on life, Julie is always scared and nervous but always stands up for what she believes in, and the school bully Sher Singh, he loves playing pranks on his classmates and is considered as ‘good-for-nothing’ but is a secret poet – a perfect example of ‘never judge a book by its cover’.The books also attempt to portray the elders in a new light – as someone not to be feared, but someone to look up to for guidance and support. Like the 80-year old class teacher Mr Williams who encourages the children to be creative and think outside the box, the cool Daadi teaches that age is just a number and one should never let go of their inner child because that’s what makes life more magical. The talented super mom, Mrs Kumar inspires Sochu to pursue his dreams without any judgement. Every character and story portrays different aspects of the world and is intended to teach and educate the young ones on how to simply construct their opinions, open them up to newer perspectives, assist them in dealing with a variety of stresses and help them understand the diversity among people and become more open and accepting of those who are different from them.
Speaking of Sochu, the author Chetan Vohra quoted, “Entertainment is food for the soul, and we need to start eating healthy! In a world where entertainment is consumed every hour of the day in different forms, we need to make sure that it is wholesome and nutritious. Children absorb a lot from their entertainment, and they learn how to BE in this world through their entertainment. Whether we like it or not, “Entertainment” IS an aspect of Education!”
Initially releasing two books of Sochu to test the market and receiving an overwhelming response, encouragement, and applause, Chetan set out to create the Sochu Box Set of 12 books, each dealing with a super relatable, everyday aspect of life.
“Children are like a sponge – they absorb everything around them to make sense of the world. Seeing the impact that entertainment has on children’s minds, I wanted to create children’s content that is wholesome, mindful, and inclusive and creatively engages them,” said Chetan.
Sochu books are like a parent’s wish come true, they allow them to witness their children embark on a journey of wonderful discoveries and wholesome nutritious entertainment and watch them as they embark on the journey of learning through life itself.