Kalidasa is called the Bard of India. What Shakespeare did to English and Kalidasa did to Sanskrit, Premchand did to Hindi - the use of the language itself. To use the very language to say something effectively, to bring out the beauty of the language, and to cover difficult subjects with ease, beauty and humour. That is Premchand. The more one reads him, the more one loves him.
For the generation that thinks that only new authors, new books and new songs are relevant to us; That old songs, old books and old authors are for the "old" people - i invite you, personally, to sample Premchand.
You will not find the writing dated. The reason the Bard is not dated is that human emotions remain the same. We find new words for them, that's all. Our metaphors might change but our emotions are absolutes.
It is important for all children to read Premchand - there is no better knower of the child's heart in popular Hindi fiction.
The next question is, where does one get Premchand?
Print: Diamond Publications has a very affordable set of Premchand books. Mansarovar(his 8 volume compilation of short stories) is priced at INR 75 per volume.
Audio: Please see the Esha site. We have compiled about 66 Premchand stories in Audio. You can also google for Premchand stories audio and get them at other sites. The advantage of audio is that even if you can't read Hindi, you can hear the story and enjoy it.
Video: DD has a series called "Tehreer" based on Premchand's stories. Please buy it. Its an investment worth making. especially for children, this is probably the best way to introduce them to Premchand.
What are your favorite Premchand stories/ novels? I loved Bade Bhai Sahab - its hilarious.