SIYAR AUR MOR
By Prabhat, Seema, Deepali and Apoorva Raje. Illustrations by Maukh Ghosh
Eklavya, 2019, pp. 20, R60.00
This never ending beautiful folktale is an all time favourite of
children. The greedy and cunning Jackal and the colourful peacock were friends. Both decided to prepare a special meal of Dal Bati (a special dish of Rajasthan). Once it is ready, the peacock goes for a bath and the greedy jackal eats up the entire dish prepared by both. When the peacock shows his anger the jackal eats the peacock. Later he eats the old woman, the calf , the bear and ultimately he eats the elephant. Now his stomach is so bloated that he is unable to move. He comes to a river and drinks a lot of water along with the fish and the alligator swimming in the river. The jackal’s poor stomach cannot take it anymore and it bursts open. Result: all the animals come out and run away from there. The cunning jackal lies on the road with his stomach open. The tailor bird sees him like that and as is her habit , she starts stitching him up and the story goes on.
A beautifully illustrated story. The visuals of the animals inside the jackal’s stomach are fantastic and kids will really enjoy them. The language is simple and flows smoothly. Children get introduced to different animals and the tailor bird. They also learn about the Rajasthani special dish of Dal Bati.
HAO HAO HUPP: A COLLECTION OF CHILDREN’S POEMS
Compiled and edited by Teji Grover. Design by Kanak Shashi
Eklavya, 2018, pp. 60, R130.00
Hao Hao Hupp is a cute collection of entertaining poems for children. They are read aloud poems for the very young. The rhyming words like baniya, suthania, dhania capture the attention of the child. The poems about birds and animals inculcate the love for animals in children. ‘Narangi Rang ki Narangi’ introduces colours and ‘Kitni Lambi Hai Sadak’ is a concept poem. There is humour in ‘Pathashala’. Thus this collection is also making learning easy and enjoyable. These are very helpful to teachers as their teaching aids. Teji Grover has done a good job by collecting these poems by eminent poets and authors and reaching them to children and their teachers.
Illustrations by Priya Kurien
HarperCollins, 2018, pp. 144, R350.00
This book is full of entertainment, adventure and magic. The title itself is fascinating and lures the reader to read on. 11 year old Arjun and 9 year old Anindita go for a boring vacation to their grandmother’s house. But to their surprise it turns out to be a grand adventure after they consume an enchanted laddoo and are transported to the magical land of Chamatkar Nagri. Starting with Mithaspur, where Raja Balushahi awaits his fate at the hands of his arch enemy Kroordas , the children are thrust into one exciting escapade after another. The language is simple. The illustrations, comprising line drawings, are beautiful and attractive, especially the illustration of the palace of cards looks fantastic. The switchover from Chamtkar Nagri to Manav Lok has been done cleverly but at times the situations look similar. Finding a hidden letter in every story tends to decrease the element of surprise in the story.
This collection of stories will be appreciated by Indian readers but may not have a global appeal as the names of the sweets and also the characters named after them may not be familiar to the readers from other countries. Words like Makkar, Kroordas, Banjarvan Petumal may not mean anything to some of the readers. At times the story creates confusion.
But the author deserves a pat for his choice of names befitting the characters and maintaining a flow in the stories. A good and captivating collection of stories for the children of this age.
Indira Bagchi is a retired teacher. She writes for children in English and Hindi.She has done her Masters in Sanskrit, History and Education. At present she is in the Executive Committee of The Association of Writers and illustrators (AWIC).