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Grandma's Bucketful of Magic: Traditional children's stories from Bengal

NITN | @notintownlive | 14 Nov 2017

Grandma's Bucketful of Magic: Traditional children's stories from Bengal
"A writer only begins a book, a reader finishes it" - Samuel Johnson

There are books and there are readers. And, there are stories that keep welcoming readers for generations, long after the books have been released.

Thakumar Jhuli, originally penned by Dakshinranjan Mitra Majumdar, was a collection of stories based on folklore prevalent in rural Bengal.

These bedtime stories, often narrated to put children to sleep, shaped the imagination of children born post 1907.

Today, in the times of increasing interest in fantasy literature and best-selling classics such as Harry Potter, Indian children have somewhat forgotten the presence of stories that at some level had inspired literary compositions in the same genre.

Though attempts have been made to revive those rich treasures time and again through TV series and English books, we finally have a comprehensive collection of selected stories from Thakumar Jhuli, translated by Piyaah Nandi, titled Grandma's Bucketful of Magic.

Children are in for a treat as the illustrations in the book have been done by the author and they bring out the fun elements of the stories with simple drawing that has long been forgotten.

In the event, we thank Power Publishers for giving a platform to authors who are taking such initiatives.

Before we delve any further into the details, the cover page of the book is something that brings a bucket load of memories from the past – a grandmother in story-telling mode with children seated under a banyan tree.

Splashed with colors both on the inside pages as well as on the outside, the book is a treat for sore eyes. So here is a shout out to mothers who wanted their children to read other things besides Cinderella and Snow White!

The anthology consists of 20 stories in all, each followed by a moral value, has everything from the ‘Grandfather Ghost’ to ‘Red Angel and Blue Angel’ to ‘The Silver Basket’, each written in the simplest of ways for easy understanding and amusement of children aged 5-8.

According to a teacher of a reputed primary school in Kolkata, ‘vocabulary strengthening, and sense of grammatical correctness is the very foundation for good spoken English. Exposure of children to such books from a tender age, help them achieve that early on.’

The book is on sale on all major national online stores, including Amazon.com, flipkart.in and snapdeal.com

(Reviewed by Anupriya Dutta)

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