The reading room

The reading room

THE PUFFIN MAHABHARATA
AUTHOR: NAMITA GOKHALE
PUFFIN  RS.499/- PAGES 182

This greatest story ever told, is a priceless part of India's history and culture. Acclaimed author Namita Gokhale's retells this timeless Indian epic in simple, clear language while retaining the original gist. Today's young readers will enjoy this appealing contemporary rendering, which remains faithful to complexity of the original, with its stories within stories of gods and humans, family intrigues, the horrors of a terrible war and the destruction and sorrow it leaves in its wake. Rediscover in a fresh and new way the age old stories of princesses Amba, Ambika and Ambalika, of Keechaka, the cattle wars that followed in the wake of his death, and more. Enter a world where nobleness and generosity of heart can occur in the unlikeliest places. Jara, the hungry rakshashi, cannot find the heart to devour a lovely baby. Karna with his immense generosity and noble spirit can win the hearts of all. The morals and philosophy of the great epic are unobtrusively interwoven into what is basically an exciting story. When the hunter Jara mistakes Lord Krishna for a wild animal and shoots an arrow at the only vulnerable spot in the Lord's body, "thus does destiny work its plans, overtaking our caution and good intentions." This is a book not just for children, but for all who love them. Bravery, nobility, humility and arrogance, the myriad complex themes underlying India's richest literary treasure come alive. Suddhasattwa Basu's vibrant illustrations add colour and charm to every page of this sturdy hardbound keepsake of a book.

Monideepa Sahu

NOSE UNCLE 
AUTHOR: JASPAR UTLEY 
PUFFIN, RS.200/-, PAGES; 198

Nose Uncle has the most awesome nose in South India, and possibly in the whole world. Like the proud beak of an eagle or the magnificent prow of a mighty battleship, the nose can even change colours to match Uncle's moods. Best of all, this fantastic nose helps Uncle to make his living, as an archaeologist by profession and a detective by chance. 

Ancient ruins or modern criminals, Nose Uncle can sniff them all out. When Nisha and Ram arrive at his little farmhouse to spend their holidays, non stop excitement follow.
They travel through crowded bazaars, get around obstinate cows sealing vegetables, find a skeleton with false teeth and work with Lentil Brain and other officials. While digging for signs of an ancient Roman seaport, Uncle and his young helpers are drawn into a whirlpool of dangerous mysteries. Is Professor Rigolet from Canada really what he claims to be? Why is he in danger? Ghostly and mysterious diggers arrive in the night to dig near their archaeological excavations.    What are these men dressed in black looking for in the night? When a terrible gang of smugglers kidnap the children, Nose Uncle and his trusty nose must save the day. Can the children be rescued and these mysteries solved? Read this original and exciting book to find out. Fun moments combine with adventure and suspense to make this book a winner.

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