What is sadly lacking in most Indian story books for children is a light touch with language, originality, and a lively sense of the ridiculous. Most children abundantly possess the last two qualities, but I doubt if they find much in this genre to satisfy them. Literature designed for their pleasure and relaxation is so often ponderous, unimaginative and downright dull that I sometimes wonder if those who write for them have ever been touched by the fantasy of a child’s make-believe world, where only life’s realities seem unconvincing. This is happily not the case with Indrani—Tara Ali Baig’s delightfully whimsical book for children—soon to be published by Thomson Press. The strong vein of comfortably high-principled, down-to earth good sense which runs right through the book, lends credibility to some of the zaniest, most endearing gleefully improbable characters that any child could wish for, with names that are in keeping with their owner’s particular brand of happy lunacy.
Sept-Oct 1979, volume 4, No 2