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Friday Review: Chatur by Subhash Kommuru

Title: Chatur
Author: Subhash Kommuru
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Kommuru Books (September 2014)
Genre: Fiction
Read: Paperback
Stars: ****/5
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Note: Thanks Subhash for offering me your book to read and review 🙂

Cover: Simple,fun and colourful.

Paper and font: Fonts are good..

Readability, language: Simple language.

Why did I choose this book: A children’s book in Hindi sounded promising.

I’ve never reviewed a Hindi story book on my blog before, so when I heard from Subhash about reviewing his book I was curious. I got back to him saying I sure was interested in reading his children’s book however my reading capability of Hindi was bad, so I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to read or if I’d be able to read the book at all. He got me even more curious by saying his book catered to people like me. And I got thinking, really?

Language is important and local, regional, national, etc. languages even more so. We are becoming an English speaking country as the generations progress, not that it’s a bad thing but losing our mother-tongues, our native languages is sad. With time I’m noticing less and less children speaking Indian languages and as people stop speaking them, these languages will die. A lot of them have already died. India is a country of diverse languages and so many dead dialects.

Every one has different learning styles and methods. Some people are linguists and some like me just can’t grasp a language easily. Most of the languages I speak I learned as a child, and all the languages I tried to learn as an adult I speak in a pathetic manner. You should hear me speak Kannada and French! But anyway, the point is that people learn most easily as children who have amazing grasping minds. There are so many story books for children out there but how many are written in Indian languages?

Subhash’s book came as a surprise in this space. I found myself enjoying the book even though it was just a short children’s story. The story is one we have heard before as kids, about a lazy donkey and the illustrious washerman with the moral about hard work pays. Well, Chatur has a moral too but not this one. Subhash has put a different spin to it and it comes as pleasant surprise.

This is a story about enjoying life. About learning that greed does not pay. That play is just as important as work. That you don’t have to always be doing something or climbing the success ladder, relaxing is also important. These are odd lessons, and yet, these lessons are important for our children who are growing up in a world where, there is so much expected of them in so little time, that they are forgetting to be children. For that matter we adults so often forget in our busy schedules to just have fun.

Chatur is an illustrious washerman. His work partner is Mand who does not want to do anything more then required, however Chatur wants to increase his business, he wants to get more work. But Chatur is unable to get Mand to work more, and so decides to get Atal the elephant for the job of carting his load. Will Chatur’s plan work? Will his business flourish? What will happened to Mand? Well. thats the story

This is a Hindi story but both Hindi and English scripts are provided. For someone like me who speaks Hindi well but can’t read it fast, the English script was helpful, it increased the rate of my reading speed and in turn my interest in the story.

The language used is simple and clear with sounds and dialogues that will make reading the story out loud to a child fun.

Illustrated by Nayan Soni, the images are simple, colourful and support the story quite well. I think children would enjoy the colours as they flip through the book. Testimonials from children seem to attest to that too!

Over all this is a good book to get for your child, especially if you read him or her bedtime stories. 🙂

About the Author:
Though originally from India, Subhash currently resides in the US with this wife, Sujata and their son. Website – Kommuru Books.

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