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96 pages

Pub Date

Aug 4, 2021



Age 5+

Nikhil and Jay

The Star Birthday

By Chitra Soundar
Illustrated by Soofiya

Early readers from all backgrounds will love these four lively stories about two young brothers in a British Asian family

In these four interlinked stories about Nikhil and Jay and their family, there's always fun and mischief. Grandad and Granny come to visit from India and show the boys that the best way to eat mangoes is in the bath! There's a Star Birthday for Nikhil, with a special Indian Feast. Another day the family all go for a banana picnic in the park. Everyone is sad when it's time for Granny and Grandad to go back to India, but Nikhil and Jay promise to send letters and pictures.

The Nikhil and Jay stories are perfect for children moving on from picture books to longer stories, helped by Soofiya's lively and characterful illustrations.



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"Launch title in a culturally diverse news series for early readers, drawing on Soundar’s own South Indian background. Each book features four family-based, interlinked stories, ideal for the first step up from picture books."

Fiona Noble - The Bookseller

"A perfect first chapter book for new independent readers. It’s a series of stories about two brothers in a British Asian family. The stories are funny, gentle, real & make you hungry! Don’t worry though, recipes are included!"

Jo Bowers (Associate Dean & Lecturer: Primary Education)

"It’s lovely to see these books for newly independent readers (or for reading aloud) starring a British Asian family. Chitra draws on her own South Indian background and the stories are illustrated with gently humorous line drawings by Soofia on every page."

Red Reading Hub

Nikhil & Jay Activity Guide 2


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Soofiya's design practice centres around illustration, visual identity and book design, with most clients tending to be in the arts, cultural and activist sector. Soofiya's art practice and writings aim to articulate a commentary on gender, race, politics and bodies through a DIY and therapeutically informed approach.

Part of Soofiya's practice includes lecturing and work in HE as an educator and , Soof is a visiting lecturer at Ravensbourne and Brighton University.

Currently Soofiya is a Teaching Fellow in Digital Design Foundations at The Institute of Creativity and Innovation in China in partnership with Xiamen University and UCA

Soofiya delivers visiting lectures across the UK in museums, galleries and universities, part of their work includes consultancy and corporate facilitation

Soofiya's writing has been in a handful of books, including Can We All Be Feminists published internationally as well as independent magazines and newspapers both online and in print.

Chitra Soundar


Chitra Soundar is an Indian-born British writer, based in London. Chitra grew up on a wholesome diet of stories from Indian myths and epics. Chitra has written over 20 books for children and many of her stories are set in India. She regularly goes into schools to tell stories and conduct workshops.


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