Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Lion in Paris


Katha has launched a lovely range of books in their Katha World Library series and I happened to lay my hands on one of them, A Lion in Paris. Written by Beatrice Alemagna, the English translation is by Mariette Robbes.

I think it’s a brilliant idea simply because it teaches kids of this age about the Bartholdi lion in Paris even before they recognise it for the big deal that it is. To be honest, I started the book without really making the connection. The story is about a lion in the savannah who heads out one day in search of pretty much everything anyone of us would – love, life and a future.

Once there the lion strolls through the city and is rather dismayed at the lack of attention he gets from the people, busy getting on with their lives. And as he walks through the city, he introduces you to everything famous in the city – the Seine, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower

Finally he reaches a crossroad and sees a pedestal in the centre of it. Climbing up there he roars and thousands of cars around him honk back. He’s happy. He’s found his place. He’s found a reason to be.

I don’t know if the kids really get it, but I loved introducing them to the various sites in Paris that they may or may not ever see for themselves and I appreciate that they are getting acquainted with them so early in life. I only wish there were more such books being made in India about our heritage, without getting preachy or boring. The illustrations are beautiful. The concept is fantastic and so easy for even my two year old to grasp. And the idea of the lion finding fulfillment in something so simple and yet so important, is something I loved.

There's a lovely line at the back of the book where Beatrice talks about why she considered this lion as a subject and she says "I have asked myself why this lion is so loved by Parisians and I think, it is because he seems so sure and really happy to be where he is."

18 comments:

Praba said...

Katha seems like a neat resource. (http://www.katha.org/katha/index.php)Will have to check out their book collection.

A fulfilling review and yes, a simple concept. I can see some undercurrents the immigrant side in me could totally use... like the lion, one can always find a place anywhere - by simply being you; sure of yourself, and happy doing the best you can. :-)

Thanks for a lovely one!

sathish said...

MM, It is nice way to introduce kids about their city and the various interesting things in their city.

It would be a great series if we do the same for our Indian cities too. The potential is immense!

Imagine a story about massive Nandi set in bengaluru? or the Tipu's palace set in the market place of bengaluru?

the mad momma said...

@ Sathish - very true. I often wish we had better written Indian books about India. but we're getting there. Tulika does some great stuff and its only a matter of time before someone picks up on this concept.

the mad momma said...

@ Praba - "like the lion, one can always find a place anywhere - by simply being you; sure of yourself, and happy doing the best you can."

that is so you :)

Monika said...

oh sounds like a good one... will look for this for the little one

katha books are indeed nice

ChoxBox said...

nice - will look out for it.

for some reason, it reminded me of the lions at trafalgar square :)

ChoxBox said...

And oh there is a series of books featuring a little girl called Sasha. She goes to various places - London and Singapore are the ones we have, have seen Beijing and Tokyo ones too. I think they also have one called Sasha Goes to Mumbai.

Poppins said...

A cute story - it would be even better accompanies by a Paris trip - go for it TMM! :)

A really neat story - works on so many levels, from a 2 yo to I would imagine even a 8 yo.

the mad momma said...

Hey Chox - any idea where the Sasha series would be available?

meera sriram said...

Sounds like fun ! And when details about places are neatly tucked in, its great! As for the same with an Indian backdrop, defly there is a dearth. However, there is Meera Masi's "Jay and Juhi's Peacock adventure" and "Jay and Juhi's Taj Mahal Adeventure": http://meeramasi.com/JJProductPage3.htm. I am also reminded of Ludwig's Madeline, a classic, and like this one, also set in Paris. And Katha seems wonderful too! Thanks TMM.

starry eyed said...

How sweet. I can just see my 4 and 7 yr old enjoying this series. Thanks!

Chox: tks for the info abt the Sasha series. Who's the publisher?

Anonymous said...

It is a great review. Now I want to read this book!

The thing is that one can perhaps get these books only online. I have asked Landmark, Odyssey etc for these publications. They may have the book in their list, but usually they are out of stock.

Hope to find them the next time I go there.

Best wishes,
Anjali

ChoxBox said...

@MM: ours were gifted by a friend (who bought them in india) plus have seen them myself at landmark so guess you could try any big bookshop.

@starry: sunbear publishing. here's the link: http://www.sunbearpublishing.com/books.html

the mad momma said...

@ poppins: now thats an idea - if only I could finance the trip!

@ meera - thanks - thats an awesome tip, babe. i must look for them

@ chox - oh great - then off i go to hunt for them!

Vidya said...

Lovely review! Makes me want to stock-up for my 9 month old! And from what you've written, looks like my 7 yr old elder one will also love them too!

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

What a lovely, lovely concept for a children's book!

And yes, they should have something on similar lines about our Indian cities. Considering that this is 'Katha', after all, why don't you (you, as in the entire Saffron Tree team) write to them and give them your inputs. There are so many talented writers who I'm sure would be able to do justice to this theme...

Sheela said...

Seems interesting - and would love to see something like this for Madras, my city.(I agree with you TMM about it not being preachy)

utbtkids said...

Loving it! There is something very Reggio about this concept.

Related Posts with Thumbnails