The Ramayana is magnanimous. The story of this mighty epic never fails to mesmerize children world over. T4 Tales brings a new and worthy addition to the treasure-trove of Ramayana stories for children. Kahani Purani, retold by Pridhee and illustrated by Alicia Souza accomplishes many aims. Firstly, it gives a brief summary of the Ramayana to young children. There is just enough information so as to give them a gist of the main story. Moreover, the story is in Hindi. It uses a dual script- the Devanagari script as well as the English transliteration of the Hindi script. Hence, it is easy for an adult who cannot read Hindi, to still sound out the book to the child in Hindi thanks to the transliteration. The intention is to convey the tale in Hindi, thereby fortifying the child’s understating of the language.
The interactive element on each page makes this book fun to explore. Pulling a tab makes flowers appear around Ram, turning a wheel makes different objects appear on Lakshman’s hand, Royal crowns shine bright, the wheel of Raavan’s plane turns as he kidnaps Sita, and the best, Ram’s arrow moves towards Raavan in the exciting conclusion.
The illustrations by Alicia Souza gives a completely different spin to the book. While we have seen several illustrated versions of the Ramayana, this one feels different because the images evoke a contemporary vibe which I feel children will resonate with. For example, Sita, all decked up in traditional finery, stands tall with a book in her hand.
The books by T4Tales are specifically created for introducing the Indian language to infants and young children. The book would ideally appeal to the 2-6 year age group. However, these might work very well for older kids as well, especially since it gives them confidence in reading the Hindi language. We would recommend this book as a wonderful festive buy. It is especially great for gifting to NRI’s. Older siblings learning the Hindi language would love to read it to younger ones. It also works as a great touch and feel interactive book for toddlers. Do read our interview with T4 Tales here, on bringing the bilingual reading experience to toddlers. Kahani Purani is one more feather in their cap!