Who said textbooks need to be boring? Iken Books, a Mumbai-based venture and part of Mexus Education, will now help children bid adieu to rote learning and replace it with some fun by offering school students graphic novels as textbooks in subjects like science, history and environmental science.
"The idea stemmed from the fact that textbooks are not intriguing enough. They are something that kids have to compulsorily read and memorise to pass exams," says Saurabh Saxena, co-founder and director of Mexus Education and an IIT-B graduate. He adds, "We wanted to change that and turn them into something that kids would pick up in their spare time and read." That’s how Iken Books came about. Designed for children in the age group of 6-14 years, the graphic novels follow the adventures of a schoolboy named JC.
The young protagonist with his family and friends visits different places in India and faces a variety of scenarios and situations that form the plot of the many stories featured in the books. Along the way, he learns the basics of science, history and environmental science and applies them in each story to get out of tight situations.
Each book has a cluster of stories, and unlike a graphic novel, each story in book is different. However, the 37 titles that are currently available in Mumbai follow a set storyline with characters that reappear across the collection.
Saxena says, "The concept is simple, and our main aim is to get kids involved with the characters and the plot." The book structure is formatted according to the CBSE syllabus but students from other examination boards can use them as well, as the series encourages basics that are common across all boards.
In a bid to make homework more exciting, Iken also provides board games and puzzles along with the textbooks to aid revision.
Next up for Iken are workbooks and textbooks for mathematics in a poetic format. There are also plans of introducing geography-based textbooks. Saxena says, "In geography, we hope to do a lot of interactive stuff like pop-up maps etc. We also plan to introduce six titles each year."
These graphic novel textbooks are available on www.iken.in. The books cost between Rs 149 - Rs 250.