Srinivasa Ramanujan: Friend of Numbers

Author: Priya Narayanan

Illustrator: Satwik Gade

Publisher: Tulika Publishers

“A toddler captivated by patterns, a little boy filling his slate with numbers, rubbing them out with his elbow and starting again, a teeanager solving complex maths problems, a young man matching the best minds in Cambridge, this book tells the story of the brilliant mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujam.
It brings before children, his singular fascination with numbers!
The visuals break out of literal depiction to evoke the mind and world of a genius, to whom numbers “made patterns only he could see.”

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Neev Literature Festival
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 2 reviews
by Reviewd - Reyaansh Nabar (Grade 2 - North Campus) on Neev Literature Festival

Today I am going to tell you about‘Srinvasa Ramanujan’by Priya Narayanan, illustrated by Satwik Gade.
I nominate this book for the “Best Number Award” because he likes numbers.
My favourite character is Ramanujan because he likes numbers like me. And because it’s so shocking to have only one hobby in your whole life!
My favourite part of this book is when Ramanujan taught his math teacher something new because it’s an absolutely amazing thing to happen. Also because the teacher learnt a new thing from his student!
I like the illustrations of this book because they have my favourite character in them. Another reason is that they are much more detailed.
The illustrations make the cover page extremely interesting. I also find the cover page amazing as it looks like Ramanujan is swinging in a land of numbers.
I hope you enjoyed reading my letter, as much as I enjoyed writing it! And I really hope my nomination winds the award!

by Avyay Tenzin Agarwal - Grade 5 on Neev Literature Festival

This is a biography of Srinivasa Ramanujan but it is not like any other biography. It is, in fact, an engaging story of his journey with his unique best friend called ‘numbers.’
Srinivasa Ramanujan played with numbers as if they were his best friends from when he was a young boy. It all began when he started seeing patterns in everything from his daily life. He saw patterns even in regular things like the ripples in his bath water and the chants from the temple. Patterns in numbers were almost like a coded message through which he and his ‘number’ friends communicated. Ramanujan faced many challenges while growing up, and while working during World War I when he was alone in London, but guess what kept him going?
Throughout the book the author shares facts about Ramanujan in interesting ways by narrating them as small, funny situations and moments. Can you imagine a world famous mathematician failing in all other subjects and not getting a good job? From a very young age Ramanujan was an open-minded and curious person. But still he had difficulties adapting when he had to move to Britain and follow British culture like wearing pants and eating with cutlery.
I also liked the illustrations of the book a lot. They are eye-catching and funny. The picture of the teacher’s expression when Ramanujan asked him, “What if no fruits are divided among no people, how will anyone get one?” made me laugh a lot because of the way the teacher’s expression was hilariously illustrated.
In my view the author, through this story, indirectly says that anyone can move the world when we follow our passion. We can depend on ourselves to find answers. A man from a small village, bullied by his peers, not initially supported by his father and worried about traditions grew up to become one the most famous mathematicians of the world. However, what the story left me thinking was how could such a smart, open-minded mathematical thinker not make better choices about his lifestyle so that he could stay healthy.
I thought that the book could have explained a little more clearly what Srinivasa Ramanujan discovered or invented as not much is explained beyond the ‘patterns’ he could see in numbers.
Overall I liked this book because it is very easy to read, yet informative. It is a biography made fun with interesting anecdotes. I would recommend this book to all young readers and anybody with big dreams.