Indira Bagchi
CHUCHU MANTHU’S JAR OF TOFFEES/CHUCHU MANTHU KA TOFFEE MARTABAAN by Adithi Rao. Illustrations by Krishna Bala Shenoi. Hindi translation by Rishi Mathur Pratham Books, Level 3, 2020, 16 pp., 55.00 each
November 2020, volume 44, No 11

Chuchu Manthu’s Jar of Toffees, which first appeared on Pratham Books’ digital platform ‘Story Weaver’, is a cute story with an intriguing title which will  at once attract children  and motivate them to pick up the book and  read it.

Manthu means Big Uncle in Konkani. Chuchu is the pet name Preet, the little girl, has given him. Manthu is a loving and a good-hearted person helping children without anyone knowing about it. Manthu is Preet’s best friend. From her early childhood, Manthu plays with her, cares for her, plays the mridangam while Preet dances and also helps her with her studies. He teaches her yoga which Preet enjoys tremendously and also teaches her to be kind to animals.

One day Preet sees Manthu scoop handfuls of toffees from a jar and drop them from his bedroom window. But Manthu ducks under the window so that no one can see him. And then Preet hears  joyful cries  from the street. There is a school at the end of the lane and children pass by Manthu’s house during lunch break. It was for these children that Manthu secretly drops the toffees down. Those children could never guess that it was Manthu who gives them toffees.


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