Most of the schools have broken for the term, and being in India, the break always coincides with the festivals – born multitaskers that we are! And if it’s holidays and holidays for a reason, you can always expect the curiosity about the Indian itihasas and puranas getting to the fore. Before you can put the school bags away, the questions will start. Sample this:
Why do we have the holidays?
Because it’s Dussehra.
What is Dussehra?
It’s a festival that marks the victory of good over evil.
Really? Was there a fight?
Yes, there was.
Cool! Tell me more!!
The easiest thing to ‘tell more’ is to introduce them to their best friends, the books. We thought we’ll put together a list of some beautiful books that will give the children a good peek into the world of Indian Itihasas and Puranas.
Ramayana by The Amar Chitra Katha: This must have been your favorite, and possibly your parents’ before that. We have all grown up with a steady diet of the ACKs, and they are still as good as gold. Not just the Ramayan, but for all the other puranic and Indian history titles too, ACK still remains the final stop.
Hanuman’s Ramayan : This one, retold by Devdutt Pattanaik and published by Tulika is a beautiful piece of work, thanks to the pictures by Nancy Raj. It’s not really the story of Rama, but how Hanuman wrote the Ramayan, and what happened to it – because we all know the Ramayan as narrated by Rishi Valmiki!
Ramayana (Mango Classics) – This one, retold by Prema Jayakumar and published by Mango Books is for the ones who like to read ‘thick’ books. Quite a well-narrated account, it has a good amount of detail which will engage the older ones.
Hanuman’s Adventures in the Nether World – retold by Madhavi Mahadevan, from the house of Katha, this is an interesting subplot in the main Ramayana, in the form of a story in itself.
Fun in Devlok – This series, by Devdutt Pattanaik, from Puffin books is a little different from the rest – the mythology has been interwoven with the contemporary to make it interesting and more relatable for children. Right from Krishna to Indra to Gauri and Kali, this spans a lot of mythology stories made simple for children.
What’s your favorite pick of puranic or itihasa stories? Let us know in the comments!