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Book Review and Giveaway: The Magic of Friendship by Subhash Kommuru

*** Please Scroll Down For Giveaway ***


 
Title: The Magic of Friendship
Author: Subhash Kommuru
Paperback: 42 pages
Publisher: Kommuru Books (August 25th 2014)
Genre: Childrens Books
Read: eBook
Stars: *****/5
Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

 
 

Summary: (Goodreads)

A flock of migrating geese stumble upon Tadoba, the land of the fierce tiger Babbar who does not tolerate anyone in his area. Will Babbar show any mercy? Can he change? Will the geese make it to safety?

This is a story about change — a transformation that comes with the magic of friendship. Personality may not change, but nature can surely change. This story will shows the value of friendship and how that can change a person, particularly one who is lonely and never really had the gift of laughter.

 

My Review:

Note: Thanks Subhash Kommuru for offering me your book to read and review :)

Cover: Simple and colourful.

Paper and font: Large and easy.

Readability, language: Simple language.

Why did I choose this book: I have read, enjoyed and reviewed another Children’s book by Subhash Kommuru – Chatur and hence was interested in ‘The Magic of Friendship’.

I don’t usually review Children’s Books and I’m most probably not the best judge of them since I don’t have children of my own. However, though it’s been years since I’ve been a child, children’s books still transport me to my childhood. It is from this forever child that the review comes. :)

The Magic of Friendship is the story of two friends who find each other and in doing so find happiness. The tale shows how the most unlikely of people can become the best of friends, how friendship is not limited by type, gender, caste or creed.

The title ‘The Magic of Friendship’ is an appropriate title for the story. The cover is colourful and the imagery goes with the title.

The plot is a simple one about the bridge of friendship and yet it has a lot of depth and learnings to take away. There are multiple morals to the story but the message is put across gently and subtly, so as to get the child to think and reflect.

The tale unfolds in Tadoba, a forest in India which has some tiger presence but beyond being a name to a place, the setting does not add to the story in any way. That leaves the story as something that can happen universally and not only in the ‘Magic Forest’ or maybe children today don’t believe in Magic Forests anymore.

Kommuru has chosen his main characters well. The friendship of a tiger and donkey is so unreal that you want to believe in it. It also makes for an excellent example of opposites can attract and be friends. The author has sketched out and introduced the characters well so they feel familiar and real.

The story is narrated well with simple language and a constant pace. The story also has a lot of sounds build in to make it a good bedtime story. The illustrations of Arul Anugragh Ross, add to the story and give it a vibrance that I think will interest children.

If you have kids aged 10 and below, I would recommend ‘The Magic of Friendship’, especially if your read them bedtime stories.

About the Author:

Though originally from India, Subhash currently resides in the US with this wife, Sujata and their two sons. Website – Kommuru Books.

Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

 

Q & A with Subhash Kommuru


Q. Where did your inspiration for The Magic of Friendship come from?

Subhash: Freya Ji, Thank you for giving me the opportunity to connect with your avid readers and subscribers. Also thanks for giving “The Magic of Friendship” a chance and reviewing this story. The Magic of Friendship is a very special story while the title says it all, the story actually hits on quite a few other aspects of kids life like sharing, caring for others, relationship and most importantly it hits on topic of bullying. While bullying is a complex subject to address “The Magic of friendship” successfully covers one angle of that very complex aspect. In fact outlets like Pacific Book Review and Midwest Book Review spoke very highly of this two topic of Friendship and Bully were smoothly handled in this book.

When you read the story in whole you will find simplicity, fun and entertainment but as the story resonates in kids mind they start to demonstrate different levels of understanding and engage with the story.

I am a father first so I write all the stories for my son and then package it up to cater to all the kids. So all my stories are inspired by him.

Q. Why did you chose to pair the tiger with a donkey? Why not another animal?

Subhash: We read or see movies where certain animals go unnatural and do something different. For instance a snail faster than a racing car, a turtle riding a bicycle. I myself don’t understand why do stories have to limit themselves and make a character do something it’s not designed to do. When you look in the wild, there are different animals that exhibit different strengths. The Magic of friendship incorporates a tiger and a donkey and use them for their strengths rather than create a mouse which roars and rules over the forest or a shark that is scared of everything. Don’t get me wrong thought, I am all for imagination and fascination.

And by using donkey and tiger to their strengths and bringing them together there is an unusual pair that is created. In fact the Hindi edition of “The Magic of friendship” is under the title “Anokhi Dosti”.

Q. Does your choice of animals and names have a reason or story behind it?

Subhash: This is an interesting take to the question just before this, opens up a writers mind to present a different angle, so thank you for putting it so eloquently. In addition to using animals to their strengths, Tigers cause needs attention very badly. There are quite a few initiatives to work on their numbers. The lead character in my story “Babbar” is portayed as lonely and angry, I think those are two emotions that go hand in hand with their current state as well.

A donkey as an animal, in our culture is taken for granted, so in my story “Hasmukh”, the Donkey builds on that casual nature and then makes that character strong and exhibits its strengths which goes from being laughed at, to entertaining.

While those are two main characters in the story, every name in the story has real meaning to them like the younger of the geese is named “Chotu”, which in Hindi means the young one. So while you enjoy the story itself the characters with their names will bring sense of satisfaction.

Q. Why did you chose the forest of Tadoba for your setting?

Subhash: Tadoba is one of the most dense forest and is a real tiger reserve. In fact it’s part of India’s “Project tiger” which works towards conservation of tiger and its mission is to protect tigers from extinction. I grew up in Chandrapur which is home to Tadoba forest.

Q. You have written more than one book, where do your stories come from?

Subhash: One of the things that I as a father always dreaded was reading some meaningless stories to my son over and over again. That mostly happens when you read books which are just for kids and also those books sell them short. The Magic of friendship is catered with grown-ups in mind and also to challenge kids engagement and imagination. Only a parent can create such stories. You see we always talk about taking time out from our busy lives for kids. Most of us successfully do that, our attention and focus is always family. I feel that with changing times and hectic schedules we make extra effort to achieve this very goal and I don’t beleive that anyone dreads this, because at the end of the day family brings happiness. If you constantly do that then there is a story in you that can be told to kids. Trust me the best story for a kid is the one that you tell them. Does not matter Panchatantra, Jakata tales, British literature or also any of our titles, they just need your involvement.

Our books will certainly give you lots of room where you can fill gaps and encourage participation. Like letting out a tiger’s roar, making donkey sounds, act out funny scenes. And if that’s not enough these books like will also encourage you to talk to kids about festivals, celebrations and family values while reading our stories.

If parents take it upon themselves and not just trust TV/Movies, then we can deliver clean and meaningful content and drive out some of the shameful contents from the market, where they influence our kids with slangs and foul words to make them look cool and catchy.

While you engage with your kids, nephews, nieces, grand kids, students or anyone please do read books to them and I wish that you decide to present “The Magic of friendship”. Remember while they need to be smart in Math, Science, History and everything out there, but the most important thing for them is to be happy and that can be done with stories.

 

Giveaway:

 
This giveaway is open to all. To participate please follow instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below. There are three options and each option will get you one entry into the draw. The Twitter and Facebook options can be done everyday to increase chances of winning. :)

The winner will receive a Kindle copy of the book from Subhash Kommuru. (Only a Kindle copy can be provided, you can use the Amazon Kindle Cloud reader if you do not have a Kindle.)

Note: If you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber the book is available to read in the program.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

All The Best for…

 

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