If your kids have bombarded you with any of the questions like - ‘How did the turtle get its shell?' ‘Why are butterflies so colourful?' ‘Why doesn't the cuckoo lay eggs in its own nest?' ‘Why does the crow see with one eye?' - It's time to head to the nearest book store and pick up your collection of Amma's Tales.
There are six books in the collection of children's stories which you could pick up individually or the entire set - Tales of How and Why - Vol. I - Vol. IV and Tail Tales - Vol. I & Vol. II. Though the book is targeted at the age group of 3+, my twins who are two years old also enjoy flipping through the books.
What captivates you immediately is the vibrant and multi-hued illustrations which are extremely different from the other comics that we have grown up with. The attention to detail for every scene is one of the reasons why this collection of children's stories is one of my personal favourites.
Coming to the stories, the author has given her own flavour to the stories with Brahma punishing the cuckoo bird, tales from The Ramayana and The Mahabharata. One of the interesting stories is based on 'Draupadi vastraharan'. When Dushasan is tired of pulling Draupadi's sari, Duryodhan finally tells the guards to clear the saris. Draupadi does not want anyone to touch her sari and with the snap of a finger, all the sari turn into bright and colourful butterflies. And thus the legend of why the butterflies are so colourful.
We all know that the 'vanar sena' (army of monkeys), along Lord Sri Ram made a stone bridge to cross over to Lanka from mainland. What we would have probably forgotten is the fact there were two brothers from the vanar sena - Nila and Nala who made it possible because they were cursed by the sage Matanga.
There are other tales like 'A Rattle Tattle' which speak of the fight between Vali and Ravana and one more between Vali and Dundubhi. These in Amma's Tales are stories which we might have heard, read or watched as kids on television and would love to pass it on to the next generation.
That is the motto of the author too. The author, Dr. Hema Vaidyanathan is a multi-talented individual - has a degree in Cell Biology and Biochemistry, is an author, an accomplished dancer and an avid blogger. She enjoys writing in all its forms; and apart from writing books has also written scripts on science for children's television.
When I spoke to the author and asked her about what motivated her to write stories from Indian mythology in the age of Doreamon and Dora, she said, "Through generations we have all grown up with stories from our parents and our grandparents. As kids, we have all grown up with stories about festivals, stories about demons, stories about why things are a certain way and so on. My aim is to make the next generation appreciate the vast wealth and richness of Indian mythology as well as pass it on in an uncorrupted sense."
The books are available in most retail outlets. Go and grab your collection of Amma's Tales now.
Buy this book online.
Trainer, Traveller, Twenty-twenty, twins - that's what defines Neetu Sadhwani. She has over 10 years experience in Human Resources and Training. Likes to let her creative juices flowing through writing, cooking and painting. Currently enjoying on the best of both worlds by working from home and spending time with the twins.