The Story of Hanuman & Ganesh

This summer, I brought home a number of books to enjoy with Pari as we tried to beat the heat, staying indoors. The one thing I particularly look out for while picking books for my 4-year-old are the illustrations. Besides, their known goodness in helping the child grasp the story better, Pari loves flipping through the book before we can read it together. She tries to connect the dots of the story herself, narrates it to me and then we go about reading the book.

I am aware it appears to be the reverse sequence of what parents usually do, by reading the book with the child first and then letting the child narrate it on their own. But, the way Pari has always done it has helped her widen her imagination tremendously. She can now create stories simply from the drawings that aren’t already a story yet. Anyway I digress.

The next favourite bit for me is opting to go for book-sets instead of a single book. One because two month-long summer vacations call for plenty of reading material and secondly because they often help me get a good discount. Among the many books and book-sets that I purchased this year, I’ll be talking about the two mythological books Pari enjoyed reading this summer. The story of Hanuman and Ganesh.

The Story of Hanuman:

Hanuman - The Era I Lived In

What is the book about? 

This book presents everyone’s favourite Monkey God, in a delightful avatar. Beautiful illustrations, exciting games and activities and a fun and engaging narration add to the appeal of this retelling of Hanuman’s life. Join Hanuman on a rollicking journey from his childhood days when he tried to eat the Sun, to his helping Ram and Lakshman rescue Sita from Ravana’s clutches.

My Review: 

The hardcover book has an artistic cover with the picture of Hanuman and illustrations of the many struggles he’d overcome in his life. Besides the vibrant appeal of the cover the one thing a parent can’t miss is the mention that the book offers ‘mazes, games and lots of fun inside.’

I wish to congratulate Taposhi Ghoshal for her commendable work in adding spirited, positive illustrations to the book. The beauty of the book lies in its simple narration and captivating illustrations that not only make the children go WOW but also have the adults be in awe with the flip of every page. Keeping the stories of Hanuman’s life simple, while letting the illustrations do the talking is a wise step because every time my child picks up the book, she gets a new insight into the same story.

The Story of Hanuman
The Illustrations are a  publisher copyright & photographed only for illustration purpose.

I particularly loved the clever inclusion of the mazes in the middle of the stories without interrupting their flow to ensure there is not a single dull moment in the book. This book is perfect for 3-5 year old but older kids can enjoy it too. I loved the play of font sizes whenever Hanuman grows in size. What makes this book stand apart from the usual Ramayana stories is that this book has kept the parts of Ramayan featuring Hanuman alone and have succinctly avoided making it comprehensive for the benefit of young readers.

The book makes for a breezy read for adults and children alike. The choice of words is such that kids reading the book themselves can follow them without any help. Thanks to its lively, vivid illustrations, this book shall be cherished by every child for a long time. I highly recommend this book for all children from as early as 3 years.

About the Book: 

Title –  The Story of Hanuman

Author – Maya Dayal

Illustrations – Taposhi Ghoshal

Publisher – Rupa Publications

Genre – Mythology

Pages – 71

Price – INR 395

ISBN – 978-8129-137-17-3

About the Author: Mala Dayal has been involved with developing, editing and writing material for children for over forty years. She is the author of Nanak: The Guru, The Story of Krishna and The Ramayana in Pictures, all published by Rupa.

Rating-  4/5

********************************************************

Ganesh:

What is the book about? Ganesh- The Era I Lived In

Meet Ganesh, the pot-bellied elephant-headed god, always accompanied by his faithful assistant, the rat. Known as the remover of obstacles, he is prayed to before every new beginning. But do you know why Ganesh has an elephant’s head? Or why he has only one tusk? And what is his connection with the waxing and waning of the moon?
In this fun retelling of the most popular stories associated with Ganesh, find the answers to these questions and more. Accompanied by beautiful illustrations that bring the stories alive, this book will appeal to every child and the child in all adults.

My Review: The book has a beautiful, colourful cover showing Ganesh leisurely reading under the shade of a tree with a plateful of his favourite ladoos to savour and his pet rat lazing by the sheets of tree bark. The illustration on the cover by Tapas Guha captures the easy-going, forever calm spirit of Ganesh wonderfully tempting the reader to dive in the book for more beauty.

I particularly picked this book because my daughter has been a huge fan of Ganesh from early on. When she had just learnt to hold her head and sit, she used to love watching the movie, especially the songs of the movie ‘Bal Ganesh’. Pari has memorised all the stories of Bal Ganesh so well that she couldn’t wait for this book to arrive at our doorstep from the moment she learnt about it.

Ganesh - The Era I Lived In

The book has four stories. The first story is about how Ganesh got his elephant head. The second shares about his love for books and race with his brother Kartik, the third highlights how he lost his one tusk and the fourth is about his cursing the Moon.

The narration is simple yet lucid keeping in mind the young readers who, helped by the beautiful illustrations can follow the stories effortlessly. The book introduces children to Ganesh in an interesting way encouraging them to read books and study well while being lazy, mischievous and even kindhearted in their own stride.

Ganesha by Subhadra Sen Gupta

The book is a breezy read but one that my child loves returning to. The font size of the print makes it reader friendly for kids and adults alike. I particularly loved the selection of a white base for the illustrations as well as the narrative printed in black ink, that makes it easy on the eyes even at bed-time.

Like most mythological stories the sequence of events mentioned in the book vary from what I and my child have come to learn via other books and movies. This allowed plenty of room for me and Pari  to discuss which of the many versions could be the real one. It’s wonderful how every different take gifts us the freedom to learn a new lesson from the same story.

I highly recommend this book for all children from as early as 3 years. With beautiful life-lessons spun in the mythological stories of their favourite God this book has valuable learning for all.

About the Book: 

Title –  Ganesh

Author – Subhadra Sen Gupta

Illustrations – Tapas Guha

Publisher – Rupa Publications

Genre – Mythology

Pages – 42

Price – INR 295

ISBN – 978-81-291-4029-6

About the Author: Subhadra Sen Gupta has written over thirty books for children including mysteries, adventures, ghost stories, comic books and books on history. To her surprise, the Sahitya Akademi thought she is doing a good job and gave her the Bal Sahitya Puraskar in 2014.

Rating – 4/5

*The illustrations are a publisher copyright & photographed only for illustration purpose.

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4 thoughts on “The Story of Hanuman & Ganesh

  1. What a wonderful review, ME! And what a wonderful choice of books! Superb to see that you are exposing her to mythological stories with a moral. I’m sure you’ve already read Amar Chitra Kathas with her as well 🙂

    It’s awesome that you let Pari connect the dots before you guys read the book together. That way, even if she hasn’t figured something out, she understands it better when you read. Because she has already seen the illustrations.

    Keep up the awesome work. Off to share this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had bought the book sets of Amar Chitra Kathas when Pari was still 2-years-old and that’s why, 2 years from then she knows them all by heart.
      Thank you Vishal 🙂

      Like

  2. I am heading to library today evening.. I read books to LHB and glad that he looks forward to that session.. Adi has kind of derailed from reading these days.. I don’t know how to help her.. She is always busy with something or the other and free times are filled with screen time. It’s getting hard to make her come to bed a little early so she can read..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can totally imagine how tough it must be for Adi to find time for reading with the added load of studies and other activities. But I believe once a child learns to enjoy reading they find a way of coming back to books whenever they can find an opportunity.
      So chill dear mommy, lets hope Adi will be back to reading more in holidays 😀

      Like

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