Andal Jagannathan
MOONGPHALI by Neha Singh and Mukesh Chhabra Red Turtle, Rupa Publications India, 2017, 154 pp., 295
November 2017, volume 41, No 11

Moongphali is a refreshing set of stories with Indian settings that will help Indian children relate to the stories easily. Each story will give you a takeaway thought and a fun craft idea to keep little hands busy.

In the ‘Watermelon God’, just when the descriptions start sounding too much like your own mornings, you are transported to a realm of fantasy where a child dressed as a watermelon is mistaken for a real one and he has some interesting encounters. Then there is the story, ‘Poonam’s Chappals’, where a dainty pair of footwear plays an important role as does the very common Indian practice of taking off footwear before entering a place of worship. You get to read about the behaviour of two children from very different backgrounds. It was nice to peep into the minds of those two children!

The ‘Mysterious Stones of Hannur’ very cleverly slips some general knowledge in while telling an interesting story about two boys who hang around a tourist attraction and how they go to school and learn quickly to satisfy their curiosity.

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