I think I have developed a craving for Pratham books. Every few days, I want to check out what their latest offering is. Everytime I do so, I chide myself for indulging in books for very young children. But I continue to get tempted. Here is the result of my recent craving. Do check out some of my earlier cravings at Kallu’s World 1 and Kallu’s World 2.
In the village of Adhania lives Munia. When Vayu, one of the two horses that pulled the only horse-drawn cart of Adhania disappears, the villagers are quick to blame the giant elephant bird for it.
However, Munia is his friend and she knows intuitively that he did not swallow Vayu.
Everyday, after finishing her chores for her mother, she used to go to the lake and play with the elephant bird, while her mother thought she was playing with her friends.
Munia identified herself with the elephant bird because they had something in common. She could not run because of her limp and the elephant bird could not fly.
Now, with Vayu missing, the villagers decide to destroy the elephant bird for fear of future disasters. Munia takes a courageous stand and speaks up in favour of the elephant bird. Her opinions are shrugged off, nevertheless.
The little Munia is not one to be discouraged. She sets out in the night to find Vayu and thus prove her friend innocent of the accusation on him.
Does she find Vayu? Can she prove the innocence of the elephant bird? Read the book and savour the experience.
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- A friendship between a little girl and an imaginary bird character. Especially, one born out of identifying oneself with the other. It is a very interesting premise for the story.
- The characterization of Munia as strong and courageous in spite of her physical weakness of limping and her gentle nature is unique and inspiring.
- The vibrant colours that contrast and complement to produce lively images. Good work by Sonal Goyal and Sumit Sakhuja.
- The best sentence of the story, which is ringing in my head.
But she didn’t cry and stood there facing the villagers.
! ! !
- The tidbit at last. Did you know that the elephant bird is not a fictional character? It is named after the extinct species of Aepyornis maximus.
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- This book is meant for level 3 readers, for children who are ready to read on their own.
Courage saves the friendship!