Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hathi Chiti's Tales of India Collection

Title : In The Indian Night Sky

Author : Reshma Sapre

Illustrator : Jayme Robinson

All the heavenly bodies in our night sky are preparing to go to a grand feast organized by Thunder and Lightening. Sun, Wind and the Moon - the children of North Star are super excited too but the mother decides to stay back and light the way of her children back. But she sends each of them with only one request that each should bring for her something special from the grand feast.

Do her children remember this small request of their mother in all the merriment of the party? Are they responsible enough to take care of themselves? What does mother have to say to their behaviour and what verdict does she announce after having seen them behaving (ir)responsibly? Finding answers to these questions makes it an interesting read.

All the pages are filled up with beautiful night sky pictures and the teasing text scattered here and there blends nicely with the illustrations.

Title : The Unfortunate Tale of Kachuva the Tortoise

Author : Reshma Sapre

Illustrator : Jayme Robinson

The old Chukwa Sulcata narrates this story to the children of the old tortoise village in the foothills of Himalayas. Like all little tortoises, we all have grown listening to the story of that unfortunate kachuva who fell down while he was flying with his two duck friends holding a stick in his mouth. But not many of us know what happened after that, how it changed the lives of the following generations of tortoises and what life lesson we all learnt from that incident. This story brings to us precisely that and the cute little extension of the age old classic makes it an engaging read.

Title : Patnaxi Crezy Long Journey Home

Author : Reshma Sapre

Illustrator : Jayme Robinson

Patnaxi is the story of a single grain of rice written in interesting prose. The little grain who is not ready to take things lying down, who dares to change his destiny and who displays exemplary courage in putting all efforts to make that change happen. Patnaxi does not want to leave his homeland for the new strange world. But unfortunately he finds himself stuck to the shoe of the sailor. Is there any chance of his survival and can a small grain of rice fight against huge hurdles on his path ? The situation does look very hopeless but then the indefatigable grit and determination do manage to surmount all impediments.

Title : The Traveller The Tiger and The Very Clever Jackal

Author : Reshma Sapre

Illustrated : Jessica Lian

An interesting tale of a traveller who is itching to embark on a new adventure. Soon after commencing his journey, he finds himself in front of a caged tiger who pleads him for his freedom. But once the tiger is set free, the famished man-eater tiger is ready to feast on the traveller himself. Now the traveller has to pay the price for being so sympathetic to the tiger who was caged and desperate just a few moments back. Is this foolishness or generosity of the traveller? Should he be punished for setting the tiger free? The story makes the young readers think a little about the silent companions, helpers and providers who make things available to us humans and what do we do in return? We cut the trees, we torture birds and animals after having taken their services, perhaps punishing them for their generosity and foolishness of serving us. A thought provoking story and very well narrated.

Overall a great way to introduce some interesting concepts, issues and life lessons through the folktales. All four books are quite unique in their style, illustrations and presentations.

Hathi and Chiti are Hindi Indian names for elephant and ant respectively and there are many folktales based on their friendship and kinship. The new brand of children's books by the name 'Hathi and Chiti' brings the age old classics in new avatars for the children once again.

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