Monday, April 26, 2010

Book Review : The Laughing Onion

Title : The Laughing Onion
Author : Arun Elassery
Illustrator : Anita Varma
Publisher : Eklavya

What happens when a little boy of 2-1/2 years decides to replace his Naana in telling a story one night against the protests of his elder sister? What story will his innocent mind weave?

A Laughing Onion that eats a deer - becomes the first character in the story !!? Do you think this is a little confusing? So did his Naana. But the little child explains that a Laughing Onion lives in the forest and looks like a dog and says - Huh Huh Huh. Can you guess who it could be?

Let me help you a little here, he meant a laughing hyena. The laughing "Onion" eats the deer. After having made his Naana and his sister understand, the relieved little boy moves the story forward - 'Thhen' there is a monkey who gets angry. 'Thhen' there is a bird. 'Thhen' there is an angry lion and 'Thhen' back to their home. I think you got a glimpse of the flight of the budding story teller's mind.

While reading this book, I was reminded of the phase when my kids had their unique nomenclature for some things and we used to wonder how on earth do they relate the seemingly unrelated words to those things but that is how new and fresh minds work - thinking absolutely out of the box for which we matured minds strive so hard. Another thing that enthralled me was the beginning of each sentence, exactly the way kids feel the need to accentuate the sequence of events by prefixing every sentence with a 'Then' (as we speak Hindi at home, it is - 'Phir' always).

A thin book of just 15 pages with beautiful clear illustrations sprawled on full pages with small windows for the text. Anita Varma has used different bright colors to depict the story track of the boy and white/black/grey to portray the night time. A lovely treat for children of 2-4 years age group.

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