Title : The Stupendous Timetelling Superdog
Author : Himanjali Sankar
Publisher : Duckbill
Rousseau is a superdog in Mrs. Ghosh's household with a unique ability to tell time through his barks, raising of his forelimbs and thumping of tail. Mrs Ghosh and her two daughters - Aanya and Kaayva dote on their pet dog and have gotten used to the fact that their dog is capable of doing much more than what a regular canine does.
There are these Orange Marmaladies from the Black Hole of Time who were the original timekeepers of the universe and who used to enjoy the company of humans very much before humans became self sufficient in terms of tracking time. Now Marmaladies feel ignored and uncared for and worst of all, humans do not seem to notice them at all, they have become invisible in human world. To get their visibility and friendship with humans back they think of a drastic plan. They stop all the time showing devices in the human world but unfortunately contrary to their beliefs, nothing changed. The humans still can not see the Marmaladies. However, a few things happened in the human world - they realize how utterly dependent all of them have become on time and without time their whole world becomes chaotic.
Now there is only one creature who can actually bring some semblance in the timeless world even without the assistance of any clocks or watches - its Rousseau and thanks to the dog, Ghosh's household is still running smoothly. The dog becomes the subject of study for many around the world and the superdog becomes a superhero. But are the humans able to see and acknowledge Marmaladies again? Will the Marmaladies get back their long lost togetherness with humans? Will the time telling devices start working again?
Besides being a fun packed story full of madness for children it has another introspective angle to it too. I feel Orange Marmaladies are much more than strange creatures from outer world. These are our own and other's feelings which we have stopped responding to because of our always running to meet the deadlines routine. A smile here, a little nod there, an acknowledgment of some feeling, listening to somebody, sharing somebody's sorrows - anything could be one of the Marmaladies and the same are becoming 'invisible' in the self-centered culture.
So 'The Stupendous Timetelling Superdog' is indeed a thought provoking tale and this aspect of Marmaladies should be discussed with the young readers after they are done reading the story once. I am sure it would enhance the pleasure of reading this tale much more as they start to appreciate the idea of layered characterization and the importance of human values which conveniently get sacrificed at the altar of paucity of time.