Kaaroor’s world of children, with profiles of the pangs of what social anthropologists call ‘growing up,’ starts with ‘Five Pieces of Paper’ (which became a popular Malayalam film ‘Poombatta,’ 1971) depicting ups and downs in the spotless bonding of two small girls Sarada (an orphan) and Sumati. The narrative then runs through teenagers trying to play adult roles like writing a letter and receiving one, carrying a Kaavadi arch during the Subrahmania festival, riding a bicycle for the thrill of its speed but away from the eye-range of elders who despise it for the accidents it causes and label cycling as a vice like drinking! Boy Kittan and Gopalan Nair’s son are victims of crude child labour. In ‘Saitaan’s Clothes’ a boy rows a ferry-boat to help his widowed mother who runs the house by weaving bed-size mats. Kaaroor’s boyhood memories – ‘Turning Point’ and ‘Sankaracharya and Eight Coins’ – fill in two other fine stories that make a full circle of the ‘growing up’ process.