- Paperback: 148 pages
- Publisher: ValdeBooks (October 19, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1444450166
- ISBN-13: 978-1444450163
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,378,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hindu Tales from the Sanskrit Paperback – October 19, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Actually, I was overall very impressed by the lack of a condescending tone in the book, which often occurs with early translations of stories into English, AND often occurs in books of children's stories.
The stories themselves tend towards the long side, but they are broken into chapters. Each chapter is very short and ends with a series of simple questions ('what is the chief lesson to be learnt from this story' or 'what would you have said if you had been the woodcutter?'). I didn't care for the questions because they interrupted the flow of the story slightly and gave the overall feeling of reading a textbook, but they were easy enough to ignore and didn't detract from the stories.
The book does not have an active table of contents, and includes some occasional typo-like errors from the scanning process. It also seems to have a very odd interpretation of, where commas should go--but nothing to turn you off from reading it.
The stories included are:
The Magic Pitcher
The story of a Cat, a Mouse, a Lizard and an Owl
A Royal Thief-Catcher
The Magic Shoes and Staff
The Jeweled Arrow
The Beetle and the Silken Thread
A Crow and His Three Friends
A Clever Thief
The Hermit's Daughter
For another book of child-friendly Indian fairy tales you might also check out Deccan Nursery Tales or, Fairy Tales from the South, and you can find more general tales in Indian Fairy Tales
STORY: This book actually consists of 9 different folk tales. The commonality between them is that they are all Indian (specifically Hindu) folk tales. Most of the tales are set in the past, but readers can relate to characters and events that take place. All the tales are written in a simple fashion for younger readers (as a nice introduction to Hindu mythology and folk tales).
As an adult reader, the tales were all a bit too simplistic in nature for me, but I really enjoyed The Beetle and the Silken Thread. It's a tale of how a royal advisor/vizier used his ingenuity and creativity to escape from a potentially fatal situation. Most of the tales follow the same general principle: introduce the tale/character, an evil fate befalls them and the hero is able to escape having learned some moral. To expand on this, the author makes sure to include two questions after each chapter of each tale and 4-5 questions after the conclusion of each story. This would help parents discuss the issues that characters have to deal with and teach some good lessons throughout.
MY TAKE: I would recommend this to anyone interested in getting started with Hindu mythology and folk tales. These are all wonderful stories for young children and most of them have some sort of message throughout the book. Indeed, the questions sprinkled throughout the book would make for good discussions with younger readers.
I hope to continue reading with some books that delve deeper in Hindu Mythology, meant for older readers.