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This is a delightful set of six stories based on Indian mythology for young children.
Summary Of The Book
In the past decades, generations of children heard the great tales of Ramayana and Mahabharata, and the stories of Krishna and other Gods from their grandparents and other elders. But for the children who grew up in the age of the proliferation of television channels and the world wide web, there are numerous other diversions.
If these children do learn at all about Indian culture and the epics, it is from TV shows and comic books. In this scenario, books like these are a delightful way to help children get familiar with mythological figures and the culture of the country.
This book contains a collection of six stories based on characters and places from the Indian epics and puranas. They are fascinating stories woven around Gods and Goddesses placed in the current context.
The stories in this collection are Shiva Plays Dumb Charades, Saraswati’s Secret River, Indra Finds Happiness, Kama Vs. Yama, Gauri and The Talking Cow, and An Identity Card for Krishna.
In Shiva Plays Dumb Charades, one day, five children who are playing dumb charades are joined by the God Shiva. Shiva, who is the dancing God in the form of Nataraja, proves to be the best dumb charades player, and he makes the children understand even the most complicated phrases through his actions. He then tells the children interesting stories about other Gods like Ganesha.
Saraswati’s Secret River is about Goddess Saraswati’s search of the river that bears her name. She is searching for the river in Madame Mira High School. Intrigued by the wandering Goddess, Mrs. Sivakami, the school principal enquires the reason, and the Goddess tells her about the lost river. She then takes the principal with her on her swan on a journey through the land. The two come across different schools with interesting students and a learning atmosphere that encourages curiosity and the spirit of enquiry. Mrs. Sivakami learns a few things along the way about how to run her school.
In Kama Vs. Yama, young Jayashree discovers Kama, the god of love who is invisible to all except to her. Kama is a fun-loving person who shows Jayashree some delightful magic. As they are enjoying themselves, Yama, the God of Death appears. He is a very serious-minded individual and he disapproves of all the fun that Kama and Jayashree are having. Kama and Yama fight over who would make a better friend for the young girl. But who does Jayashree choose?
In Indra Finds Happiness, little Harsha, who is feeling sad, is flown up to heaven on a cloud. There, Indra, the king of the Devas, takes him on a ride on his six-tusked white elephant, Airavata, and they have a lot of fun. Until Indra tries to play a naughty trick on Sage Vashista by stealing his cow. The sage catches Indra and then teaches him a lesson about finding true happiness.
In Gauri And The Talking Cow, young Gauri thinks milk comes from plastic packets, and is surprised to learn that milk actually comes from cows. She meets the cow, Sweety, who tells the little girl about the first cow, the divine Surabhi. She tells her how Surabhi provided people with many of the things that are important in their lives like food, medicine, fuel, manure, and shelter. She also tells Gauri about the God Krishna who was a cowherd and loved all the cows under his care, and other stories.
In An Identity Card For Krishna, the God Krishna is not allowed to board a plane as he has no identity card. Then, his friends, the eagle, Garuda, and the Snake, Sesha, take him to meet someone who tells Krishna how a rule was made by the Sage Atri that all the gods should carry their own insignia in the form of a dhvaja (flag).
These fun-filled tales are set in modern times so that children can easily identify with them, learn about the iconic figures of Indian culture, and familiarize themselves with traditional stories from the ancient scriptures.
About Devdutt Pattanaik
Devdutt Pattanaik is a former doctor who switched his career to writing.
Other books by Devdutt Pattanaik are Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata, Myth = Mithya: A Handbook of Hindu Mythology, 7 Secrets of Shiva, 7 Secrets of Vishnu, and The Book of Ram.
Devdutt Pattanaik specializes in retelling the great tales of the epics, puranas, and other ancient scriptures in a simple and interesting style that will appeal to contemporary readers.
Devdutt Pattanaik graduated from the Grant Medical College in Mumbai with a degree in medicine. He worked in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries for many years. He then decided to devote all his time to his passion, Indian mythology. He writes books based on Indian mythology and also conducts seminars that impart life lessons that can be learnt from these ancient Indian writings.
Bought this book for the full price from somewhere else but have to say don't regret it even a pinch. The stories are very engaging and the kids are gonna love it. Illustrations are funny but in black & white. I got it for my 4 and a half year old and yes, I had to really make it interesting while reading this book to him. It is on a longish side for the kids that old. He never wants to hear stories about Gods but he did....:-) The best part was even I got to learn about so many things.
Excellent. These books are entertaining and educative. Both adults and children will enjoy. I have ordered all the six books. My books have been read by more than half a dozen persons. Every one appreciates. I recommend these books strongly. The accompanying pictures are fascinating too. Not only that, I have translated all the six books in Odia and planning to publish.
There doesn't seem to be much "fun" in this devlok!
The illustrations are b/w and not very exciting.
Ideas with so much potential for whimsy esp for a children's book (aimed at +6 age group) somehow just become patronising and preachy.