Thursday, February 18, 2010

Book Review : Song Of The Earth

Title : Song of The Earth
Author : Mary Hoffman
Illustrated by : Jane Ray
Published by : Orion Children’s Books
Review crossposted on : Saffron Tree

An exquisite narration of - 'The Song of The Earth' - the song which has been sung since the very initiation of times, but has long been forgotten by us owing to the big fissure that has crept up between us and the fundamental elements of our existence - Earth, Fire, Water and Air. Nonetheless, the magic of these indispensable elements remain unadulterated. These are everywhere in great opulence but make their presence felt more prominently at the significant junctures of creation (birth) and destruction (death).

A brilliant attempt by Mary Hoffman to make the song of the earth audible to all and to bring people more closer to their elements of existence. An effort in the pursuit to make us feel more reverence for the things which are made available to us by these elements in the form of - produce(of mother earth), (fire's )energy, the life-giving quality(of water) and source of life( - air). If we realize that these elements are the very basis of our subsistence, we will be more cautious while exploiting them. The book invites us to be a part in the celebration of the charisma of Earth, Fire, Water and Air by joining in the song of Earth.

Each element is dealt with separately in individual sections touching various aspects. The age old myths and legends and the association of various mystical figures with the elements are weaved beautifully into the narrative. The life-giving qualities of these elements are cited and then the contrasting life-taking abilities are divulged - earthquakes, untamed good servant - fire - turning into a bad master, storms and floods, and hurricanes, tornados, typhoons and whirlwinds.

Each section is concluded by succinctly making the readers aware of the misuse and ill-treatment done to the very components of our existence and how we can contribute to keep their magic intact forever. It was interesting to see a brief mention of Chipko(hug-the-tree) movement as a small step towards solving a bigger problem. Under sections on Water and Air there are references of our own - holy river Ganga and mythological winged creature Jatayu.

Illustrations by Jane Ray are clear, simple and beautiful. All details presented in the text are wonderfully brought forward through the pictures on all pages.

To be read and enjoyed by all age groups - a true keepsake.
{Image source : Amazon}

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