Praise for the book:
“The Petu books are great fun to read because Venkatesh takes the boys seriously: To them, skipping lunch and the prospect of losing a challenge are gargantuan issues. And Venkatesh’s writing takes cognizance of that—the language is simple, yet dramatic … Venkatesh builds up the tension, and works through the problems in a way a child might.” – Mint Lounge, Jan 17 2015
“It makes a hilarious read, and not just for kids. Believe me, I couldn’t put down the book either. Besides being appropriate for the reading level of children between the age group of 6 to 9 years, the stories are very well written and the author beautifully captures the mind of the big little boys in transition – whether it’s the easily relatable characters and classroom situations, intra and inter class politics that younger readers can identify with, or the funny limericks that run through the narrative. A must read for all young and emergent readers. – One Story A Day
“Written in simple language perfect for early chapter book readers, the story is filled with humorous situations that make reading it very enjoyable … A hilarious read for young children (ages 6+)! I look forward to reading the next book, Petu Pumpkin: Tooth Troubles” – Kid Lit World
“What I liked about the book:
- The story line. It’s simple, relates to every child and has every experience which a school kid can relate to.
2. The characters in the story. Well etched. Each of the child in the book is perhaps found in every class. And the teachers. So so typical in an Indian school.
3. The description of food. Sigh!
4. The illustrations which are just apt for the story” – Indian Moms Connect
“There is a very distinct impression of having wandered into one of RK Narayan’s Malgudi stories. One can hope for many more such gems from the author.” – Saffron Tree
“The hOle Books have a hole in the upper right corner, and after spending a few minutes sticking my finger through these and dangling the books for fun, I began reading the adventures of Petu Pumpkin. In Tiffin Thief, Pushkin’s friends form a secret society (initially, members of this society had to wear a badge, but someone very sensibly points out that then it won’t remain very secret) to teach him a lesson about not filching food from
his classmates’ lunch boxes. It’s a very icky lesson too, but I won’t tell you what.
… All in all, there was enough adventure to give me a couch adrenalin rush! The stories are beautifully written, and supplemented with brilliant illustrations, guaranteed to keep curious, young readers stuck to the pages. They are drenched with humour, a crucial ingredient to ensure that tiny people grow up loving the experience of reading … Gender issues are a highlight. One does not get a sense of distinction between ‘things girls do’ and ‘things boys do’, a relief, given the bombardment of stereotyped gender roles in everything from toys to television.” — The Book Review
“hOle books, as we all know, are a wonderful way to get the little ones to graduate to chapter books and Petu Pumpkin Tiffin Thief by Arundhati Venkatesh is a delightful new addition to the Duckbill hOle books.
Everyone has either been tormented by a Petu Pumpkin or been one back in school. My children report them each day – kids who steal or simply snatch their lunch boxes. We have tried a few things – from bland lunch boxes to a spare lunch box for the Petus. So far nothing has worked.
So, this one might just be the answer! A secret society, code language, badges and ultimately the yucky but foolproof solution – all are screaming for a read! Awesome Foursome – Jatin, Kiran, Sachin and Nitin are tired of Petu gobbing up their lunch boxes. So they try a magic potion that backfires, superglue that sort of gets Jatin in to trouble, and finally, the trick involving some slime and worms that works!
And the illustrations by Shilpa Ranade – from Petu thinking about pizzas, to a toad jumping in the hOle at a page, and out of one on the next page – they are all simply brilliant.”
— The Reading Raccoons