Children’s Book Trust, New Delhi, deserves all praise for its efforts to present a varied fare of folklore, biographies and stories for Indian children. All the four books under review, as we have come to expect from Children’s Book Trust, arc most reasonably priced. The first two arc simple stories that can be read aloud to children as young as 4 or 5. The other two are meant for older readers.
The Sparrow and the King retells the old story of the hero (man or animal) taking along a string of companions, all of whom help him in some way when he encounters danger. Unfortunately, the story does not gain anything by Madhu Tandon’s attempt to present old wine in a new bottle. Surely she is capable of more originality. The illustrations by Anil Vyas are most lively and entertaining and deserved a better text.
In The Choice by Maya Thomas, two parrots in a cage have the option to fly away or remain captive. The author describes how this involves a conflict of loyalties. A nicely balanced presentation of thought and action, this book will be enjoyed by all sensitive, young readers. Anil Vyas’s illustrations are bright and colourful.