Summers in India are incomplete without the mango season. Mangoes, the most celebrated tropical fruit……often called as king of fruits….are a subject of many stories, poems and songs. One such delightful picture book from Tulika publications titled “The Sweetest Mango” by Malavika Shetty and pictures by Ajanta Guhathakurta, meant for kids between the age of four and eight, is a story revolving around a young girl’s love for mangoes and how far would she go to savour them! Set in a small village in the South Kanara district of Karnataka, the narrative is also full of vernacular references to various aspects of village life in that region. The story begins with the author describing Suma’s love for mangoes and how her mouth waters at the thought of the pickles her grandmother would make out of raw, green and crunchy mangoes or curries her mother would prepare out of sweet ripened mangoes. Her favorite summer activity is to climb up the mango trees around her house with her best friend Jyothi and pluck the firm, plump mangoes and bite into them while the juice drips through their fingers as they suck on the squishy fruit. One day Suma, perched high on a mango tree spots a large round mango of the variety commonly known as ‘mundappa’. Since it is still raw, she decides to wait till it ripens into the round and juicy fruit it is meant to be. As Suma makes great plans of plucking the fruit after a few days, she leaves out Jyothi from the plan as she desires the fruit all for herself. Will Suma end up devouring the Mundappa all by herself….?? Read on as the story ends with a valuable lesson for your little one brought out in a most subtle and sensitive manner, complemented by the vibrant and colorful illustrations. A must read Mango story that is more of a celebration of childhood, friendship, local food and culture!
Enjoy the summer everyone!!