Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mouse Sees the World!

One does not realise the utility of certain books for a long time. Mouse Sees the World! - an Scholastic Early Science series book is one such book.

When we first bought it an year and half back, we read it with Sooraj and did not feel great about it. It got closed, forgotten and lay waiting for a long time to be picked up again.

But, lately Sooraj has started to slowly enjoy reading. He prefers to pick up a book by himself and hates it if I interrupt him. The important point is that he has to pick up the book himself and whenever he wants to. If I give him suggestions, he shows a long and grumpy face. So, one fine day - he accidently lay his hand on this book and was reading it aloud when I went and sat with him. Surprisingly for this book, he was reading pretty well by himself and started asking me to help him out for a few words that he had trouble reading. I was glad that I was able to help him. After reading this tiny book, both of us felt very happy. I guess the important point here for me as a father was that I should not push(which I am guilty of many times); rather wait for him to approach me.

Leaving the psychology and travails of a father apart, let me get back to this interesting book. A little mouse(with no name) decides that it had enough of its house and wants to explore the wide, wide world. So, it decides to find a pal who can accompany him in his great exploration of the world. He approaches the butterfly and says - 'Come with me to see the world'. The butterfly replies back - 'Not now, I am looking for some food'. So, the mouse moves further from his house and finds a snail and requests the snail to accompany him. The snail is also busy looking for food and refuses gently. So, the story goes - the mouse finds one animal after another and keeps requesting them to accompany her - but, every one is busy looking for food.

In every double page, there is a nice illustration of the mouse and other animal as they exchange their dialogues. The other pages has a simple information on what the other animal will eat and how it would eat. For example, when the mouse talks to lizard; they have a small snippet of how a lizard would eat its food (with their long sticky tongues) and what they eat(insects).

The last animal that the mouse meets is a cat. One could immediately sense that this is dangerous ground because the poor mouse is going to ask the cat to accompany him to see the world. It does and the cat alone answers - 'Not now, I have found some food'. The mouse immediately realises its mistake and runs back at great speed to its secure house. No more seeing the world for the mouse. But, I wonder how long one could a keep curious mouse at home!

It is a nice book with simple illustrations and easy to read words. The mouse looks very cuddly and cute. I was surprised by the colour of the mouse though - pink. But, that is probably what made the mouse look very inquisitive and cuddly. With simple illustrations, the mood of the mouse is depicted very nicely. The cat looks dangerous with its closed eyes, evil smile and nice little goatie. There was one small point though that Sooraj pointed out, which I did not notice. In one of the pages, the mouse meets a black spider (the words say black spider), but the illustration depicted it as a blue spider(much like how Amar Chitra Katha depicts Krishna, Arjuna and other dark coloured mythological characters in blue). He found that page very funny and kept asking why did they colour it blue.

The book cost Rs. 75/- and it is an Scholastic publication Indian edition. I have not seen a link to it online. It is written by Kuntie Ramdat Balkaran and illustrated by Sunandini Basu. Sunandini has a nice blog also. Do check it out.

1 comment:

Praba Ram said...

Simple and neat.. Nice little tidbits about how Sooraj responded to the book, and what interests him.

Good catch on the blue/black spider. Kids do have a keen sense of color and observation, don't they?

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