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Mixed Fare

Anisha Gadekar

By Madhu Tandon ; by Maya Thomas; by Manorama Jafa; by Shivam
Children's Book Trust, New Delhi, 1979, Rs. 3.00 each and 2.75

VOLUME IV NUMBER 2 September/October 1979

Children's Book Trust, New Delhi, deserves all praise for its efforts to present a varied fare of folklore, biographies and stories for Indian children. All the four books under review, as we have come to expect from Children's Book Trust, arc most reasonably priced. The first two arc simple stories that can be read aloud to children as young as 4 or 5. The other two are meant for older readers. The Sparrow and the King retells the old story of the hero (man or animal) taking along a string of companions, all of whom help him in some way when he encounters danger. Unfortunately, the story does not gain anything by Madhu Tandon's attempt to present old wine in a new bottle. Surely she is capable of more originality. The illustrations by Anil Vyas are most lively and entertain­ing and deserved a better text. In The Choice by Maya Thomas, two parrots in a cage have the option to fly away or remain captive. The author describes how this involves a conflict of loyalties. A nicely balanced presentation of thought and action, this book will be enjoyed by all sensitive, young readers. Anil Vyas's illustrations are bright and colourful. A Gem of a Girl by Shivam, is a fine example of another of CBT's several publications which happily combine a traditional Indian background with the kind of characterization that can evoke a response from the modem reader. The bright; plucky young Anjana establishes instant rapport with the readers and the story of her adventures makes exciting and racy reading. The book has a num­ber of fine drawings by Jagdish Joshi. After the biography of George Wash­ington Carver, CBT have now published the story of another not so well known scientist. What makes this more interest­ing is the fact that this time it is an Indian. Hundred Days in Antarctica is the story of Dr. Girraj S. Sirohi, whose in­terest in the biological clock took him to Antarctica in 1960; He became the first scientist to prove that ‘the computer like sense of time in animals and plants is independent of the earth's rotation.’ In recognition of his work, the US Board on Geographical Names, named a geographical feature located in Antarc­tica, ‘Sirohi Point’. Manorama Jafa with her vivid des­cription of the icy wilderness of that Continent writes in simple, lucid lang­uage. She presents her ...

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