Sunday, May 27, 2007

THE MAGICAL WEB BRIDGE



Some books cast a magical spell on us right from the time we set our eyes on it ! Like a child we feel like touching the smooth papers, tracing the lovely illustrations and going back to the book repeatedly to find some new treasure. That's the way I feel about The Magical Web bridge ! This Katha publication is written by Geeta Dharmarajan and the art is by Sonali Biswas. (Pic Source : THE HINDU, Young World).

It is the story of a baya bird, his dreams and his focussed efforts to realise the dream. (The baya bird is a member of the weaver bird family) . The story starts with the baya bird trying to weave a perfect nest for his would be partner, with whom he hopes to share the rest of his life. The sincerity with which he builds the nest is reflected so beautifully in this line "He put a little prayer into every beautiful green he could find under the sun".

It mirrors my own belief that every significant task that we undertake in life, would definitely succeed if started with a small prayer to God.

The baya bird hears that on the other side of the sea also, there lived baya birds who made the best nests in the world. He wishes so earnestly to be able to weave a bridge across the sea, so that he could talk to his fellow friends. Soon the baya bird's tireless efforts at building the perfect nest pay off and the nest becomes the home to a proud mother and five little babies. Baya again becomes pre occupied with thoughts on how he could build the long distance bridge.

One day Baya chances on his soul mate, a spider. The spider too dreams of visiting a city yonder where the spiders make the most wonderful webs of silk. As Spider and Baya share their dreams, the Palm tree standing beside them ridcules their dreams as crazy. But thankfully Baya and Spider are not ones to be deterred off their path. They start planning the work on their dream bridge. As Baya and Spider start making long tubes of grass and spider silk, a long tunnel emerges. At one point of time when Spider finds the task to be getting difficult, Baya Ma (Baya's wife) lifts his spirits by saying nice and encouraging words. Even after the little birds fly away, Baya Ma stays behind to help with the nest. As the dream bridge slowlys transforms into a reality, even the Plam tree starts encouraging them. More and more of their friends join them to help in the completion.

As the bridge nears it's completion Baya Ma is plagued by separation anxiety. She wonders how she can leave her familiar nest and friends, to go to a new and unknown city across the sea. Baya and Spider chide her for not wanting to let go of the old things. When the fame of the beautiful bridge reaches the other side of the sea, birds and animlas of various kinds come over to admire this side's beauty ! Finally Baya fulfills his dream of building the most wonderful bridge in the world and reaching the other side.

The story is loaded with lots of messages for our little children. We can gradually bring these out in our reading times rather than all at once. The illustrations are as lovely as the story itself. The back ground hues of light brown through out(except for the blue on one page to illustrate the vast sea) and the vibrant pictures of the birds, spider, forest, flowers in the fore ground have a brilliant effect. To top it, the last two pages have very interesting information on the Avian architects of the world. A wonderful book to add to our collection of children's books !

5 comments:

sathish said...

as ranjani mentioned, this book is pretty heavy on messages...

at the end of the book, there is a small note about Katha publications that goes like this --
Katha regularly plants trees to replace the wood tht was used to make the paper on which this book is printed.
Ten per cent of the sales proceeds from this book go to Kathashala, a school for under privileged children.

And fyi - This is book costs Rs. 95/-.

mosaicmama said...

hello.....i am wondering how can i purchase this book? i am in the US.
please help!
thank you, amancia
mama to deepak, almost 5

sathish said...

hi mosaicmama,

I am not sure how to buy them in US. One option I can think of is - send an email to katha@katha.org.

sorry, not much of help here though..

Other saffronites, how do you guys buy books from Katha?

Praba said...

S & R -

Sorry about my late response. Lovely choice. I am always amazed at your unique selections. We really miss out on these wonderful books living here.

Does Landmark carry this one, Ranjani? I wish there was an easier way to order Indian books in the US.

I told K the story of Baya Bird after reading your review. I was inspired by the title - Web bridge is indeed an interesting name - sounded to me like the Baya bird, we are also trying to build a web bridge through ST and are trying to see the world through books! :-)

sathish said...

praba,

Landmark carries this one. we bought it in Landmark, chennai. I also saw it in Landmark bangalore.

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