In their own small way, publishers of children’s books have contributed to the International Year of the Child by publishing various kinds of books for children. Not to be outdone, and creditably, the Publications Division, a public sector organization, has made its own contribution in the form of these six books in Hindi. All six are meant for older children—the younger child, as is so often with children’s literature in India, is not taken into account. Having decided to publish these books, however, the publisher seems to have made little or no attempt to make them either attractive or modern. Of the six books at least four are on traditional and stereotyped themes. One, the Sri Krishna Katha, needs no explanation; two, Asli Jeemakade and Parvat Devata, are collections of short stories, written fluently and well, but with an almost wholly sentimental, and largely rural bias (stories with titles such as ‘Seva ka Phal’, ‘Dosti’, ‘Sahsi Balak’ and ‘Dan ki Mahima’, speak for themselves). And the fourth, Kaun Jeeta Kaun Hara consists of two stories, the first about two men who set out to prove themselves in order to win the hand of a fair maiden, and the second, called ‘The Elephant and the Sandgrouse’, is a sort of allegorical story about a rogue elephant who sets out to destroy everything in sight, and is finally defeated by the sandgrouse with the help of various animals.
SRI KRISHNA KATHA by Sitaram Chaturvedi , 1979, 120 pp., 8.00
ASLI JEEMAKADE by Vimla Mehta , 1979, 94 pp., 7.50
PARVAT DEVATA by Radheshyam Sharma , 1979, 48 pp., 5.00