FEATHERS, FOOLS AND FARTS by L. Somi Roy & Dr. Thangjam Hindustani Devi

by Varunika
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FEATHERS, FOOLS AND FARTS written by L. Somi Roy and Dr. Thangjam Hindustani Devi is a book wrapped in the old-world goodness of folktales and fables. Sprinkle it with a dash of mystical charm from the Northeast. Viola! Here is a book that is sure to enthral the young readers of today.

The book is an earnest and endearing retelling of the traditional storylines from the land of Manipur. While most children’s books are tailored to address the elements of fun and some wisdom, this book also presents before the reader a complete range of emotional spectrum, not just of humans but animals as well. You will find monkeys seeking revenge, anxious tigers, gracious and loyal turtle doves, not to forget the valiant warrior toad. The range of emotions that these animals (who are also play central characters in many stories) display, is what makes these stories unique.

Although all the ten stories were a delight to read, there was one story that I thoroughly enjoyed, in particular. It is called THE DEMONESS WITH THE LONG ARMS.  Now I am not a fan of horror or fantasy books. In fact, I am a sort of scaredy cat who is petrified even by the foolish Zombies airing on NETFLIX. And yet I was not afraid to flip the pages of this book as my heart was beating with intrigue and caution. I am confident my 9-year-old will enjoy it and I see no harm in letting her read it. This story is exactly the kind that can be given to children if we intend to introduce them to horror and fantasy genre.

Two other stories that stood out for me were GOOD SISTER, BAD SISTER: PART1 & 2. Initially I thought the stories bore a faint resemblance to the good old tales of Cinderella and Snow white; the central characters and stories revolving around the envious and vile stepmother and stepdaughters. As I approached the end, I realised it was not so. These short stories are not just steeped in the ancient sorcery and magic of the jewel land, but also harp on the importance of building a good value system and wisdom in our children.

The illustrations by a Manipuri artist Dr. Sapha Yumnam are not just a treat to the reader’s eyes but also help the author in imparting an element of intrigue, drama, and magic to the stories. The Manipuri Subika art speaks highly of a culture, most of us are not exposed to. As someone who never had access to Manipuri literature in her growing up years, the art gave me a peek into their culture and traditions.

The author’s language is easy to grasp, and the style of writing is sure to keep children hooked till the end. The book makes for an amusing read for children from the age group of 8-12. Although a 40-year-old like me enjoyed it too!

As a parent I am always searching for books that cannot just engage, entertain my children but also enlighten them, expand their horizon. This book does that. If you are looking for books that go beyond the Cinderellas, Snow Whites and Rapunzels; Books that are culturally rich, and are not cumbersome to finish, then this one fits the bill perfectly.

P.S.  This review is powered by the BLOGCHATTER BOOK REVIEW PROGRAM

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