Hanuman And The Orange Sun.  Written by Amy Maranville. Illustrated by Tim Palin.

  

This book arrived in our little library at the right time when grandma is teaching the 3 year old Hanuman Chaleesa. And this book became a great way for a grand parent and a grand daughter to bond over the innumerable stories of Hanuman dada. 

Inspired by India and made for little hands this book by Bharat Babies re-tells the story based on an ancient Hindu lore where Hanuman mistakes the sun for a giant orange and gobbles it up. 

This story is told to us via Harini’s mother. Harini is a little girl who likes playing in the summer sun just like all children. One day when Harini feels hungry after all the playing she runs to her Mumma who then narrates the story of Hanuman dada and the orange sun. 

The author, Amy Maranville keeps it beautifully simple by first telling a child that before Hanuman dada became tall and a strong God he too was just a baby in his crib and one day woke up very hungry. He then looks up at the sky and mistakes the sun for a big juicy orange and eats it up in just one bite. 

What follows next is a series of events. 

With the sun in Hanuman’s mouth it could not shine down on the Earth and there was darkness all around. The Gods in the sky panicked and called the king of Gods, Indra to bring back the sun. Indra gets angry and lifts his vajra (lighting bolt) and throws it at Hanuman and hurts him. But as Hanuman opens his mouth the sun comes out and shines again. Seeing Hanuman hurt, his father, the Wind God cradles him and gets angry at Indra for hurting his son. And in anger the Wind God declares to stop the wind. 

Soon everything comes to a standstill; the birds, the trees, the flowers, the ocean. And the earth becomes desert hot. 

Indra soon realises his mistake and brings gifts for Hanuman. 

The book ends with a valuable lesson. Think before you act because you are more powerful that you are. And if you put your mind to something you can accomplish anything.

The illustrations by Tim Palin are simple and create a mischievous image of Hanuman dada in the mind.

We are looking forward to more stories told via Harini. If you are keen to read diverse stories to your children, this Indian lore can be a great start. 

The Boy Who Swallowed A Nail & Other Stories by Lalita Iyer.

My shelfie this week.

I love reading Lalita’s blogs (www.mommygolightly.com) so, was very eager to read her new book. Because I knew, just like her posts every story in this book would make me smile too.
And it surely did.

In ‘Everyone Goes To Nainital’ I loved Amma who is wondering where to hang a clothesline in a hotel room.

In ‘Appa And His Weird Friends’ there’s John, the carpenter who stitches up the sofa but leaves a noisy mouse inside.

This charming collection of the adventures of Lalita’s family takes you into a quirky little world where you forget playing an adult for sometime and enjoy some innocent storytelling.

I also read a few stories to little I and she couldn’t stop giggling when I told her about Appa who once wanted to bring home a buffalo. And her biggest concern was, ‘how will the buffalo enter through the door?’

The illustrations by Shamika Kocharekar add an endearing layer of quirkiness to all the stories.

A delightful read for parents and children. Available on Amazon.

What happens when a mother takes up a challenge of reading 52 books in 52 weeks.

Last year, I took up the daunting task of reading 52 books in 52 weeks.

Day one and my two year old almost drowned the first book into the tub.
And I was convinced that this was going to be tougher than I had thought. Nevertheless, I decided to stick to my plan and wanted to see how far I would go.

I read when little I napped.

I read an extra hour in the night after she slept.

I read for a few minutes while she was busy in the garden or was singing in her bathtub.

Basically, I read in every little gap that I got.

Those gaps weren’t enough and they didn’t last for long.

Every time little I saw me with a book she either wanted me to read it aloud as if it was her book or she wanted to read the book herself.

Sometimes she wanted to sit on it and make it a chair or sleep on it and make it a pillow.

Once she turned it into a plate and served me biscuits on it.

And then she wanted to roll it, fold it or colour in it.

To finish one book a week I had to read enough pages a day. So to keep little I entertained and to continue with the task I once started reading the book as if it were a song.

Beautiful lines from Love In The Time Of Cholera turned into a nursery rhyme that did not rhyme.

Lines from The Hundred Foot Journey became a song about food and spices that no one had heard before.

Some lines were sung to the tune of twinkle twinkle little star, some tried to sound like baa baa black sheep.

I even tried reading the book aloud in different voices. Sometimes in a donkey’s voice or like a lion, and once I even tried to sound like a chipmunk.

It made little I laugh and it helped me to finish some pages.

This went on for about 12 weeks. Little I was entertained while I managed to finish 12 books.

And then my challenge took an interesting turn.

Little I started to bring to me anything and everything that looked like a book and would order me to read it.
Which meant that whatever she got me I had to read it aloud for her.

It started in a sane way with her storybooks and nursery rhyme books.

Then it moved on to other things that looked like books to little I.

Home delivery menu booklet. Read. Aloud.
Pamphlets that made their way home from malls. Done. Three weeks old newspaper. Resident notices. Instruction manuals. Picture books. Magazines. Happy Wednesday booklets distributed at supermarkets.

We read it all, aloud.

Did I mention we also “read” colouring books

My mouth hurt. Her enthusiasm grew.

I remember, once I almost told her to go and read the book herself, hoping for a miracle that a two year old would suddenly start reading.

And she got me another book, this time an old DIY instruction manual on how to assemble a cupboard and ordered me to “read!” And we did.

My challenge had stopped at 12 amazing books but the next 40 reads gave us our little stories.

And even though the task of reading 52 books in 52 weeks was officially over on 28 April 2015, I still have a few more years to read aloud storybooks, pamphlets and some more colouring books to my two year old.