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‘A Cloud of Trash’ by Pratham: The much-needed book for community cleanliness


A cloud of trash

Book – A Cloud of Trash

Author: Karanjeet Kaur

Illustrator: Bhavana Vyas Vipparthi

Age recommendation – 5+

Who doesn’t like cleanliness; a clean house, clean surroundings and a clean city? The importance of using a dustbin to throw waste( which unfortunately is not a natural habit in our country) and keeping the surroundings clean is emphasized through a very simple and relatable story and conveys the message beautifully. To this end, A Cloud of Trash by Karanjeet Kaur is a very impactful book putting out a message that will stay with children and adults( who need it in equal measure!)

The story scares the children with the foul-smelling trash cloud but the accompanying illustrations by Bhavana VyasVipparthi make it thoroughly enjoyable and funny.

Cheekoo is a little girl who is very unhappy that she is losing her friends because of a mysterious and horrendous cloud of trash hovering over her head. The cloud of trash is full of orange and banana peels, biscuit packets, empty chips packets, twisted plastic bottles and flies that move along with her over the trash cloud. She is desperate because her friends run away from her whenever she approaches them.

Also Read: Katha’s ThinkBook series: Nudging young readers to think beyond their immediate world

Cheekoo’s mother forbids her from littering everywhere, but Cheekoo turns a deaf ear to her mother and laughs it off.  One day her mother flies into a fury and tells her that if she keeps throwing the waste like this it will soon start following her everywhere.

A cloud of trash

Cheekoo, as usual, does not listen.

The next morning, when she wakes up there is a foul smell in her room. She finds a cloud of trash hanging over her head. She tries to remove it by using a broom and running away from it but in vain. The cloud of trash remains on her head with flies buzzing around it.

Cheekoo feels helpless and sad with the trash cloud hanging over her head all the time. Then one fine day something happens and little Cheekoo finds the key to making the cloud vanish. What is it that will help Cheekoo get rid of the trash cloud? Will this incident change Cheekoo?

Read this book to find out what happened to the cloud of trash. Apart from the story about Cheekoo and the trash cloud, the book also provides insights into what trash is and how it is bad for our surroundings.

A cloud of trash over everyone’s heads

The book might seem funny and one meant for kids, but in reality, negligence toward the way we treat our trash will definitely result in each one of us carrying a cloud of trash over our heads- in the form of diseases, insufficient natural resources, unhealthy food and water, ecological imbalance and a lot more. The solutions provided to keep the city clean can be easily implemented by children, which also means that it can be followed easily by adults as well!

The Cloud of Trash is available on Pratham books’ website on this link.

Also Read: Book Review: Mira the Detective by Pavithra Sankaran



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Neha Modi is a Chartered Accountant-turned-Storyteller. An avid reader and a dedicated mother, she was associated with Thakur Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai as a Finance Professor for 4 years. She is currently a visiting faculty at coaching institutes and teaches commercial applications to 9th & 10th standard students.

Her mantra in life is – Grow through what you go through.

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