Publisher: Red Turtle Publications
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In the nineties, one of the traits of children from Indian families, was that they were exposed to the standard fare of stories and tales that are fairly common across all Indian households like Akbar and Birbal, Panchatantra, Jataka Tales and Tenali Raman. But there are quite a few works from other good authors that were neglected like Ruskin Bond, R. K. Narayan which are truly pure gems of work which the readers are exposed to much later in life than the age it was intended for. But that did not stop the readers from thoroughly enjoying these books. This book belongs to this often ignored category which one wishes one had had the time/knowledge about it earlier because some things are more fun when done at the right age.
This book is a compilation of 4 stories of kings, princess, young heroes, demons, ogres and magic – the ingredients for a perfect children’s story. Be it Sujan the Harbola – a boy who can mimic anything, saving his people from the fearsome bird eating monster or Kanai’s brave attempt to save his father’s life by acquiring the Magic Moonlight flower or the boy with the lucky stone which helps him avoid all the misfortunes headed towards him or the boy who turns into an ogre, each story not only has an inviting plot but also subtly talks about what is good and what is bad. Untouched and blemish free from 21st century ideas or innovations, these are stories of simpler times with horseback travels, herbal medicines, prince and princesses. But there was this gnawing feeling that I was left with after I finished the book because all the protagonists in the stories were male. That was kind of a dampener for me.
Having read just a few of Satyajit Ray’s Feluda stories, I am quite new to his writing and after reading this book, he has me converted. His narrative is simple yet he paints a vivid picture with his words that keeps his readers hooked onto his books. The translation, by Arunava Sinha , is quite good and he has managed to maintain the consistency of the stories.
Pick this book for your kid to show them how children’s stories were back in your time. They will be impressed for its sheer simplicity and make them realize that the world doesn’t always have to be filled with Ben10s and Pokémons to captivate their attention.
Get a preview of one of the stories here .