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Everybody in "kid" town seems to be talking about Mrs. Sudha Murthy. Her latest book "The Serpent's Revenge: Unusual Tales from the Mahabharata" has caught the fancy of many readers, like always. Both young and young at heart.
For once I have firsthand experience. From the 300 odd comments on my previous blog " Why Sudha Murthy Writes For Children And What She Has To Tell To Young Mothers", it's pretty evident that Mrs. Murthy strikes a note with millions of readers for her down to earth attitude, practical at the same time, very valuable advice which she narrates in the simplest language through her stories.
Mrs. Murthy stories are based on her own personal experiences. Ever wondered how easily you could relate to the plot or characters in her books. Simply because she has either been a part of the plot herself as a child or woven the story as a grandma for her grandchildren.
Why Mrs. Murthy believes in telling stories?
For the simple reason that children should never be given direct sermon. It DOESNOT work. It should rather be in the form of a suitable story, by means of examples. When you read/tell your child a suitable story, he tends to fit himself into the plot. Its then that he can clearly identify where he is going wrong. He gets the larger picture and develops a perspective. He is then more willing to come around to your viewpoint or listen to you. Children are very impressionable.
But then the story also needs to be interesting. That’s equally important. Ever realized how quickly your kid gets done when you hand over the "Moral Stories" book. Mrs. Murthy believes that story telling is an art and the reader should never know where reality has stopped and imagination has begun.
Not to forget the biggest reason, stories are the greatest medium for attaining knowledge. Now I am going to write a little bit about the book.
7yrs to 100+ ! You can read along with the 5-6yrs age group. It’s easy to follow.
As the name suggests, stories in this book are from Mahabharata but an extension of those that you would see on TV or read in regular mythological books. These are based on Mrs. Murthy’s sharp observation of unusual facts and deep understating of Indian Myths and History, rarely depicted in any other book for this age group. This book contains 25 short stories. So there are a number of stories that happened before the Mahabharata era but they have a relevance as they help understand certain characters or incidences better from the saga. There is a dedicated section on Lord Krishna where he is not shown as the supreme almighty but as an outstanding strategist hence making it more relatable. Towards the end, there is a story on Pandavas and reason or their death.
WHAT I LOVED:
What I loved most is written on the very second page. As a matter of fact, I always wondered as to why are Indian Gods portrayed as human beings or creatures with multiple limbs. The simplicity of the answer made it clear why I wanted to read the rest of the book.
This is the perfect read if your kids have read about Mahabharata at least once.
The very important life lessons on arrogance, greed, worldly possessions and many more are so beautifully narrated through the stories. The child will never know when the reality stopped and moral lessons took over.
WHAT I DIDN’T LOVE SO MUCH
Couple of stories in the book are part of mainstream Mahabharata. You can skip those while reading for yourself, though kids would still read through for their love for stories. Kids seldom get bored with repeated stories.
SUMMING IT UP
Definitely recommended both for you and your child!