Being unwell has its own advantages. One can curl up with a book and relish every word of it, without the pressure of the next thing on the to-do list. If the book in your hands is delectable, then it is even better.
So it was that I curled up with Moin and the Monster by Anushka Ravishankar yesterday.
One night, Moin hears a Monster under his bed. It asks him to draw it according to its description, so that it can assume a form. So, Moin puts his scarce skill of drawing to use and draws the monster. The monster becomes visible and here begins an adventure for Moin.
The monster downs dozens and dozens of bananas and other food items. It shrieks a song with nonsense verses every now and then. It rattles off random monster rules and soon Moin wants to get rid of it.
He does try to gift it to his friend Parvati for her birthday. But the birthday song triggers the monster to fall into a song. People think that Moin practises ventriloquism and the monster is his dummy. Moin has a tough time hiding his little secret and eventually he lets Parvati and Tony into it. The monster decides to return with Moin as his return gift.
Now, the monster wants to go to school. This start off a series of funny-for-the-reader and embarrassing-for-Moin episodes involving the school principal K. K. Kuttykrishnan or Kooki.
Next, the monster wants to style its hair like a diva. So, Moin shampoos its hair which causes the hair to grow long. It takes a lot of effort from Moin to stop the growth and then plait the hair into two buns on either sides of the monster’s head.
Tony thinks that the monster could be an alien. So, Parvati suggests that they use Harimama’s telescope to show the monster other planets and help it find its way home. They go to Harimama’s place where his big dog Small sniffs out the monster and the monster lands itself on Small. The episode ends with Harimama crying over his broken telescope.
Did Moin manage to get rid of the monster? Read the book to find out.
+ + +
- Funny and hilarious episodes of Moin managing the monster in an otherwise thin plot makes it an easy breezy read.
- The monster’s nonsense verses are fantastic. It is a good read-aloud book for youngsters during book reading sessions. Sample this:
Hair hair, cowlick and care
Freshly fine and frizzy
Fair fair, blithe as bear
Grizzly bees are busy
- Anitha Balachandran has ably supported Anushka’s imagination with her illustrations. Firstly, I like the picture of the monster itself. In particular, the horns look like two upright plaits tied with ribbons.
A copy of this book was given me by the publishers, Duckbill in return for an honest review. Thanks Duckbill.