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Andal Jagannathan

By Anushka Ravishankar
Duckbill Books, Chennai, 2012, pp. 109, Rs. 160.00


Vibrant colors and a quirky illustration of a pink monster with autorickshaw horns, draws you in. Flip through the book to assess it, and the Indian names gladden your heart. Ah! A children’s book set in an Indian scenario. Awesome. Anushka Ravishankar does a great job of narrating the interesting incidents in Moin’s life as he deals with the ownership of a monster.   Hilarious monster rules such as ‘A monster cannot be gifted away’, define what Moin can and cannot do with the monster. Moin keeps the monster away from his parents, but he does let his friends in on his secret. One of his friends starts documenting monster rules in an attempt to understand what makes them tick.   A birthday party, the notice board at Moin’s school, the principal’s office…the monster turns up at all these places among others. The pink monster (he wanted to be purple, poor chap), takes a fancy to singing and the book treats you to several interesting nonsense rhymes sung by the monster.   Instances such as the school nurse handing out hot chocolate, not quite a fit for a school in India, does remind you of Enid Blyton, but the moment soon passes. Lest you forget that the monster is pink, the numbers on the book’s pages in pink are a constant reminder.   A good read for children and for also those adults who need a good laugh and some stress busting.   Moin’s pink monster goes on musical adventures in the book Moin the Monster Songster. Anushka Ravishankar does it yet again in this book—the pink monster’s antics are as interesting in this book as in Moin and the Monster. The story unfolds with preparations being made for a classical music programme. A monster in such a setting? Yes, and how! A spoof on a popular Indian music director brings in an interesting character called Loopy Bagiri. The story unfolds to tell you how Loopy relates to the monster’s music, and yes there is plenty of nonsense verse in here too.   Moin’s school principal is diagnosed with ‘Associative Suggestion leading to Acute Cognitive Hallucination’ as a result of a visit from the pink singing monster. Other interesting narratives, taking the reader through plenty of funny incidents, make the book an entertaining read. You are introduced to interesting characters like Teacher, the principal’s ...

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