Via Saffron Tree
I read this book to my 7 year old son and here is what I really liked about the book –
The facts and the legends are beautifully interwoven, so that the children retain their interest as we go along. They don’t get bored with the facts.
The facts are enhanced by the wonderful photographs and trivia little details given at the bottom of the page, which will surely interest the children.
I simply loved the way Oriole Henry has written this book- the factual details, legends and her own emotions which conveyed a feeling of ownership of the river !
Now for my son’s reaction to this book ! He was quite fascinated as we read along. With his eyes wide open he listened to me as he made the connections to the river being talked about and his own fun experiences with the river.
The authors spent four months traveling down the Cauvery ‘in an old Maruti car’ attempting to
‘try and capture the history and mythology along its banks, the changing landscape across two states and the life this magnificent river sustains.’
They succeeded to a large extent, blurring the boundaries between the river’s natural beauty and its legendary history. The book weaves through islands of birds and the battle of Srirangapatna, as well as the Curse of Talakad and myths of the river’s birth. A beautiful painting at the beginning of the book charts the sinuous course of the river from the highlands of Kodagu in Karnataka to the delta at Poompuhar. The role of the river in giving life across the land is stressed, and historical battles, but recent political squabbles are glossed over. Indeed, most of the book covers the birth state of the river, leaving little room for its relatively brief journey down the lower riparian state. All the same, the book describes the beauty and power of the Cauvery, enrapturing kids and adults alike. It deserves to be followed up by similar books on the other great rivers of the subcontinent, that have given so much and are in many cases in grave danger.
Seeing how captivating my daughter found it, I realised that history comes to life and becomes interesting for a child especially if narrated in another child’s voice. It need not be a mere string of dates and events. I looked around for similar accounts of Indian history and found a series called Once Upon an India published by Pratham Books. The four fictional tales based in different periods of Indian history have been penned by Subhadra Sen Gupta and illustrated by Tapas Guha.
Sailing Home is about Basava and his sister Sundari who live in the port-town of Mamallapuram in the Pallava period. When their father, a sailor, doesn’t return home when he should have, the children get worried. To find out what happened they go to the port where they meet sailors from foreign lands who do not speak their language. What will happen next?!
The fun facts at the end of the book talk about interesting things – sample this – people in those days not only dyed their hair but also used toothpicks after meals!
ChoxBox also went on to review another one of our favourite books- Rumniya!
One of the greatest fears a young child has would be that of getting lost. I bet each of us has a story to tell about how they got lost and found and all the drama around it. I have one from the time I was three and a bit and the fact that I remember it all in vivid detail tells me how much of a big deal it must have been to me.
The flashback was brought on by Pratham Books’ cute little book called Rumniya, written by Rukmini Bannerji. The delightful illustrations by Henu remind me of this artist called V.B.Halbe would used to illustrate Shikari Shambhu in Tinkle (all those who remember him, raise your hands please!).
Read the entire review here.
Rashmi from My Toy Story reviews three of our books – See You Tomorrow, City of Stories and One Green Drop.
Title: City Of StoriesHonestly, I am tired of reading this book. I read it at least 10 times in the first 2 days of acquiring it. My 5 year old is too young to read it herself, but this one is such a super hit for her, that she can’t seem to get enough if it. The story is about a city where people are so busy, that a little girl is struggling to find one soul who would tell her stories. Didi not only comes to the rescue, but her story telling spreads and slowly and slowly the city gets addicted to telling and listening to stories. Such that life other than stories comes to a halt and the mayor decides to take action,and
summons Didi and the little girl.
Some of the references are so colloquial, it brings back nostalgic memories. Like the doodhwaala’s illustration, where he is sitting down with the aluminum milk can. The “bhajjiwala” stops selling bhaji’s and many such references.