Thrilled to receive another fabulous review for my illustrated collection of short stories,’Tales from the Himalayas’ – this time, from the prestigious Kirkus Reviews. Here’s what it has to say:
“The adventures of kids living in the Himalayan mountain region are recounted in this debut collection of short stories for children.
These 17 tales are set in the Northern Indian state of Uttarakhand among the Himalayas. In several stories, kids develop character through learning confidence and facing fears. In “The Villain,” for example, a girl talented in drama is distraught when her dark skin isn’t considered “pretty and dainty” enough to play the hero. Her sister convinces her that she’s special, beautiful, and strong—perfect for the fierce demon king, and she’s a huge hit in the role. Some pieces are ghost stories, as with “Daak Ghar,” in which village children test rumors that an abandoned post office is cursed. Other tales are based on inspiring, real-life figures, like the explorer and surveyor Nain Singh Rawat, or events. While several stories are set in the present day or recent past, others feel timeless: A little girl helps a dangerous animal, in this case a snow leopard, who later proves grateful; a king holds a contest to make a princess smile. Others subtly teach moral lessons, as when a girl learns the value of taking pride in any kind of work.
Pradhan—a journalist—cleverly weaves Uttarakhand culture and traditions into these entertaining stories. In one tale, for example, TV sets are among the loot of bandits who get trapped by a circle of traditional Choliya dancers celebrating the Holi festival. The stories also hold together well, as when the haunted post office’s function connects with its spookiness: Any trespasser “gets a mysterious letter in his name, which means he is the next victim of the blood-sucking ghouls that live there.”
Well-written, varied tales that draw on universal motifs and offer an appealing setting.” – Kirkus Reviews
*Kirkus Reviews are independent and unbiased, written by carefully vetted book reviewers from amongst a group of writers, librarians, educators and editors.
Buy the book on Amazon or Flipkart India. (International shipping for the book to open next week).