Vivek Singh Thakur*
TARIQ KA SOORAJ (TARIQCHA SURYA) by By Shashi Sablok. Illustrations by Tavishaa Singh Jugnoo Prakasan, 2019, 24 pp., INR 110.00
November 2023, volume 47, No 11

Children are always restless and ready to go out and play, be it day or night. Tariq also wants to go out and play at night but does not have permission to do so. Then he comes up with a plan! But his plan creates a problem for the old, wise Owl. Somehow Tariq manages to solve that problem, but then the moon gets annoyed at Tariq’s plan. Finally, Tariq gets a permanent fix for everyone’s problems.
Tariq ka Sooraj is a wonderful book for budding readers. The story and illustrations keep the reader connected. The protagonist/main character of the story is Tariq, a child who wants to play at night, but the darkness outside stops him from doing so. While giving due space to children’s feelings towards other creatures, this story clearly shows that this world is for everyone, and everyone has specific and varied roles to play in it. There is an interesting dialogue between Tariq and the Owl, where the Owl says— ‘“I eat mice and insects. You can pull down your sun for some time.” Tariq pulled down the sun with a stick.’ Children will be able to see themselves in Tariq’s character.
Tavishaa Singh has made beautiful illustrations with the help of water colours. Especially the illustrations on the cover page, which has darkness, the sun, shadows; in a way it is the entire story in a nutshell. There are some illustrations where the moon is hiding behind some clouds. Then on the same clouds, very beautifully, the sun has also been shown. Illustrations are very attractive and while reading the text, they hold the reader’s eye. In that moment, one is able to feel the story better. A picture book of twenty-four pages, helps one to find the Tariq in oneself; it reassures and affirms that you are an indispensable part of this world.
At times, one feels that the story ends a bit abruptly. Some more characters could have been added. Overall, Tariq Ka Sooraj is a good read which has the potential to become a popular story, well-enjoyed by children. In fact, a series should be published on Tariq and his stories should go on continuously.

*The review has been translated from the Hindi by Shivani Bajaj.