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By Mohan Sunder Ranjan
Publication Division, 1979, pp. 64, Rs. 10.00

By Krishna Chaitanya
Publication Division, 1979, pp. 48, Rs. 8.00

VOLUME IV NUMBER 2 September/October 1979

These two books part of a series brought out by the Publications Divi­sion in honour of the International Year of the Child. The first one is the story of the adventures of Pushpak, an Indian craft, which goes into space to make contact with Trivikrama (so chris­tened by Indian scientists), sent by 'su­per-intelligent beings somewhere in the universe'. All the action takes place in space, with the whole world tensely looking on through their television sets. The Indian craft, in trying to approach and make contact with Trivikrama, even shows a film on Ajanta and Ellora in space. The whole operation is controlled from the subcontinent. Pushpak, with its crew, which is fortunately made up of both men and women, finally makes con­tact with Trivikrama. The strange de­mands the aircraft has been making are finally interpreted as its wish to have 500 two-year old children, who latter turn into a race of super intelligent be­ings, live in space and save the earth from a dire disaster. The story is told in a sort of tense, clipped, high drama journalese, which, because it lacks much direct action, may well prove a little difficult even for the older child. The most encouraging thing about the book, however, is that it is an indication that modern themes are beginning to make their presence felt in Indian literature for children at last, more particularly as the publisher is a public sector one: Both the style and the vocabulary are rather diffi­cult and it is unfortunate that no attempt has been made at providing anything like a glossary. As with the second book ­Krishna Chaitanya's To Far off Lands Longs Ago, the illustrations are poor, in some places they are simply bad, and at times the story suffers from the usual moralistic tones. Just as in To Far off Land Long Ago there has to be a good man and a bad man, so also in The Ad­ventures of a Spacecraft there is a good spacecraft and a bad one. The bad one, called Garuda, behaves 'just like a rogue elephant'. Similarly, while battles are being fought, in space, there has to be a yogi from the Himalayas, who materiali­zes .from nowhere right in the middle of a top level international conference, offers his advice and is neither 'pleased nor angry' when some people accept it and ...

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