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Around Diwali, I had an opportunity to read Bhakti Mathur’s second book in the Hanuman trilogy, Amma, Tell Me How Hanuman Crossed the Ocean. My boys really enjoyed the book and I also reviewed it on mycity4kids.
When she read the review, much to my delight, the super talented Bhakti sent me the third installation of the trilogy also to enjoy with my kids!
‘Amma, tell me about Hanuman’s Adventures in Lanka!’ takes off where the second book ends, and explains with great clarity what happened once Hanuman landed in Lanka and how he eventually won the hearts of Ram and Sita when he tore open his chest to reveal their images blazing in the centre of his heart for eternity.
For me, this book was yet another way to enjoy my story time with the boys and take their interest in Hanumanji to the next level. To my delight and utter surprise, as soon as they saw the book, they squealed with delight and pointed out the various characters- Hanuman, Ram, Sita, and yes, most importantly, Hanuman Ji’s Gadda which for them, is a character on its own!
The Gadda, Hanumanji’s weapon, has become my younger sons Advait’s favourite toy. He carries it with him everywhere, once even taking it to school where his class teacher promptly confiscated it before sending it back to me with a stern note to not give in to his obsession.
The point I am trying to make here is that little kids know what they like best about a story and a book, and try to emulate that in real life as well! I can only hope that my sons imbibe the other qualities of the Monkey God, his humility, courage, determination, perseverance and generosity as well and not just his Gadda carrying ability!
Plot of the Book:
The book narrates the account of Hanuman’s meeting with Sita while she is held as a captive by Ravan in his kingdom, Lanka and how finally, Hanuman helps Ram to rescue Sita by setting Lanka ablaze.
What I Loved About the Book
a) The simple language used to create beautiful rhymes to narrate the entire story.
b) Wave like formations of paragraphs on certain pages to add interest to the visual.
c) Each paragraph is accompanied by the corresponding visual sketch to make it easier to understand.
d) The story is in a simple narrative style, which makes it easy for even young kids to understand.
e) The visuals by Maulshree Somani are very endearing and exactly how research proves kids imagine “heroes” to be- big faces, small bodies, bold, earthy and traditional colours and beautiful designs to match the time setting.
f) The underlying message in the book is very strong, and comes across efficiently. Its more about celebrating the moral behind the acts of Hanuman than celebrating his bravery per se!
Bhakti Mathur, who goes back to Indian mythology each time she has to write her books, is a banker by profession. She has plans to delve deeper into this passion of hers and write about the various avatars of Vishnu, Durga, Shiva, Lakshmi, etc. Maybe even do one on Christmas?
Books are such a powerful way of getting messages across to kids of all ages, and I hope all kids develop a passion for reading and assimilate the good into their lives from books like these!
Happy Reading everyone!