Children are constantly hungry for information and look to us parents for answers on science, history, religion and the workings of the world around us. During those relentless Q and A sessions, resorting to Google, though convenient, may not be the best thing to do! That’s when you find yourself wishing for good works of non-fiction specially written for children/young readers. So this month, we picked out two books that break down the complex and lofty and bring the, within the reach of children’s comprehension. Though meant for children aged ten years plus, these books serve as excellent reference books that can be read aloud to younger children when their questions put you in a fix.
The first book is “The Gita for Children” by Roopa Pai brought out by Hachette India that promises to be a one-of-a-kind retelling of the Bhagavad Gita and I must say that it sure lives up to this promise! It starts with the million dollar question “What’s the big deal about the Bhagavad Gita?” that opens into a quiz on the Gita that might as well serve as a preface to the book. With a brief explanation of the background facts leading up to the most important conversation in Hindu mythology, like any other commentary on the Gita, this one too is divided into eighteen chapters or “yogas” in which Arjuna learns all there is to learn about the secret of good life from Krishna! Employing a rather contemporary narrative, using catchy phrases and titles, “The Gita for Children” takes the reader through each of the shlokas or verses and explains their true essence in a way that the current generation is able to relate to. For instance, have you ever heard of Lord Krishna being described as a Dark Knight??!!!
With each chapter featuring the progress of conversation between Arjuna and Krishna and followed by a child-appropriate analysis of the life lessons embedded in them, the author also throws light on lesser known facts in the form of fun trivia. Not to forget, the reader is also given a glimpse into excerpts of other works, from Harper Lee’s To Kill Mockingbird to Paul McCartney’s song “Ebony and Ivory” that echo the sentiments of the Gita! In all, “The Gita for Children” beautifully presents the timeless epic without oversimplifying its concepts so as to serve as a wonderful guide book to children and adults alike! A must have for every library!!!