×
Home Companies Industry Politics Money Opinion LoungeMultimedia Science Education Sports TechnologyConsumerSpecialsMint on Sunday
×

Animal farm

Animal farm
Comment E-mail Print Share
First Published: Sat, Jan 10 2009. 12 25 AM IST

First-timers: These fun books will enthral the little ones.
First-timers: These fun books will enthral the little ones.
Updated: Sat, Jan 10 2009. 12 25 AM IST
The Glum Peacock
Poet and novelist Tabish Khair is known for novels such as Filming and The Bus Stopped. His first children’s book, The Glum Peacock, is the story of a peacock who is dissatisfied with his appearance. “Why am I such a sight?” he moans, comparing himself to the pure white swan, the jet black crow and the two-toned parrot. Hearing his lament, the crow and the swan and other birds come to him, saying that if he is so unhappy with his bright appearance, they wouldn’t mind taking away some of his colour.
First-timers: These fun books will enthral the little ones.
The happy peacock begins giving away all his colours till he is left with what he thinks is a becoming grey. “Back in fashion, at last,” he sighs happily only to receive a rude shock the next day. Each of the now-colourful birds tease him, asking him to get some colour—and a life. There’s only one way out for the peacock. He has to get back his colours and for that he enlists the help of his friend, Miss Snake.
Nicely illustrated by Nilima Eriyat and beautifully printed, Khair’s story highlights the importance of being “oneself”.
The Glum Peacock:
Young Zubaan, 24 pages, Rs195.
Pchak! Pchak!
Padmini Mongia’s Pchak! Pchak! is a delicious story about a baby crocodile who is learning to open her mouth. It is a story that was first told to Naira, Mongia’s niece, and she decided later to put it all down in a book so that other children could share the fun.
Fun? With crocodiles? “Why not?” asks Mongia. “Kids love to be scared. My niece was two years old when I first narrated this to her. She wanted it repeated often,” she says. Moreover, children love stories with sound effects.
Pchak! Pchak! is about a family of crocodiles in the backwaters of Kerala. It starts with Mama and Papa crocodile trying hard to make Baby crocodile open her mouth. Despite the parents’ best efforts, the only reaction they elicit is tears. Mama tries to tell Baby that opening her mouth and saying “Pchak” is important for every crocodile.
In sheer desperation, the parents send for Grandma crocodile. Grandma guesses that it is a “Pchak” problem. She takes out her bag of magic tricks (no spoilers about what the bag holds) and—hey, presto!—Baby opens her mouth. Mongia says she prefers the play on language and builds upon the fact that children sometimes tend to come up with totally unexpected, quirky behaviour when adults least expect them to.
Pchak! Pchak!:
Young Zubaan, 24 pages, Rs195.
The writer is the editor of Heek, a children’s magazine.
Write to lounge@livemint.com
Comment E-mail Print Share
First Published: Sat, Jan 10 2009. 12 25 AM IST