Hindu Mythology stories are magically rich where demons, deities and their vehicles come together to weave intriguing plots. However, for picture book age children, the tales may be a bit complicated. This book is a fun adaptation of ‘how Ganesha became the writer of Mahabharata’, Hindu literature’s epic poem.
Hindu Gods have vehicles or vahanas and Ganesha’s is a mouse! The narrator simply explains this as such:
…he had an elephant’s head and cruised around on a magical mouse…
In the first few pages, we meet Ganesha, who although a great God, was a fun loving kid like any other kid. He loves cricket, music, to play with his friends and most of all loves sweets. His favourite sweet is the laddoo, which is a fragrant yellow, sweet, crumbly and creamy delectable Indian dessert. Yum!
We see his best friend, Mr. Mouse hanging out with Ganesha on every page. The story takes a turn when a shiny blue ‘super jumbo jawbreaker laddoo’ rolls out of a gum-ball machine. Ganesha is all too fast to down it, without heeding to his friend’s warning and it turns out to be a tusk breaker!
Now Ganesha is worried about how lopsided he looks without one tusk and while dealing with his frustration, he meets Vyasa, the great wise poet. Vyasa, who was looking for Ganesha, to help him write his poem, shows him that his tusk is special and he can use it to write, which Ganesha thinks is super cool!
They enter into a deal in which Ganesha cannot stop writing until the end of the poem. After careful scrutiny of the deal by Mr Mouse, who appears as a lawyer in a cute suit and briefcase, they begin to chronicle the saga.
The illustrations are colourful and fit the traditional Indian theme of the story. At the end, there is an authors’ note with a synopsis of the original story. I think this is a great introduction to the wonderful stories of Hindu mythology and hope Sanjay & Emily will team up to bring more of these mythical tales alive through picture books.
Hunt for some interesting words from the book with this word search!
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Suggested age: Read aloud to 3+. Read by self 6+. Recommended for a confident reader.