Shals Mahajan’s “Timmi in Tangles” is a series of events in the life of a little girl called Timmi with a wild imagination – a wildness that is the outcome of an author with a wild imagination. This is another book from the hole series of Duckbill books, meant for young readers.
Timmi becomes the Raja of Ramirpur in her imagination and wants to go to school dressed in the attire. But Amma does not like the idea. Did she manage to go to school dressed as a Raja?
Timmi wants to get wet in the rain. Juju, the giant helps her by opening the roof and there is water all over the house. What happens when Amma finds Timmi in this state?
When Timmi has to share her idlis with the super-hungry Idli-amma, and has a stomach ache, what does Amma do?
When Timmi’s “My Family” drawing does not have a father and a brother, but toys and servants, how does she handle the questions raised by her classmates and teacher?
! ! !
- This book appears to be an experiment in form. A 69-page book with big fonts meant for young readers that does not focus on a single plot. There are a series of events involving the protagonist. Each event does not have a strong problem-climax-solution structure. Does a story need a single problem-climax-solution structure? If not, can a series of events capture the attention of readers? Do these events need some other pattern tying them together apart from the protagonist? These are thoughts that crossed my mind.
- I would have liked the “My Family” event to be developed further into a proper story in itself. It has the potential to explore stereotypes, how children from non-stereotypical families are regarded in society and how they handle the questions of innocent peers and not-so-innocent adults.
+ + +
- The questioning of the “good girl” definition and Timmi wanting to include her toys and servants in her family deserves a pat on the back.
- Shreya Sen’s illustrations have complemented the story perfectly. I found the illustration of the house with round walls and round doors brilliant.
– – –
- Though I appreciate that the author has dared a different form, I wish it had been refined further to make it more captivating. My attention started wavering after a while.
Tangles to be untangled!
A copy of this book was given me by the publishers, Duckbill in return for an honest review. Thanks Duckbill.