Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Milkman's Cow

Take a story along the lines of the enormous turnip - the one where the old man, his wife, a little boy and a little girl and an assortment of animals together yank out the extraordinarily stubborn vegetable. Bring a cow into the picture, along with the plethora of folks you'd find in the streets of an Indian town or city. Add a refreshing twist and what do you have - a charming tale called The Milkman's Cow! Penned in rhyme by Vidya Pradhan and full of delightful illustrations by Saurabh Pandey, the book is published by the Children's Book Trust.

The milkman is in a fix - his cow has decided to park herself in the middle of the road. He pleads with her to please get up and get going as folks would be waiting for milk. But the cow refuses to budge.

Along came a policeman with buttons and buckles gleaming bright
"Hmmph", he said, twirling his long moustache,
"I'll show you how to do it right."
So the policeman and the milkman pulled and tugged and prayed.
But the cow wasn't going anywhere that day.

One by one, seven more passers-by stop to help and together try to get the cow up - a grocer with bags of potatoes and peas, a wrestler with muscles gleaming in the sun, an engineer with his fancy degree, an ice-cream man jingling his cart, a cobbler with his leather and awl, a painter with clothes splattered in orange pink and blue and a peanut vendor with roasted peanuts smelling fine. They pull and tug and pray. But the cow refuses to budge.

Finally a little boy stops by to watch the fun. He steps in and holds out a sheaf of grass and voila! the cow gets up and lets herself be led away by the boy to munch the yummy greens! All the grown-ups cheer and applaud the boy's cleverness. Kindness and brains win over brawn.

CBT has several books like this all of which sell for between fifteen and twenty-five rupees. Do not be fooled by the relatively low prices - they are excellent in terms of paper and print quality. Wedding Clothes and Mrs. Woolly's Funny Sweaters, both by Asha Nehemiah, are two more I can think of right away. They are all huge hits in these parts. Check out their stall at the Bangalore Book Fair or their website for their catalogue. Major bookshops also stock their books.

11 comments:

Poppins said...

*Duly Noted down the titles* The book sounds so much fun!

Vidya said...

Sounds too good! Must check out. Thanks for posting..

ssstoryteller said...

Hey....You have come right up my alley!!
I was despairing when i would ever be able to say, I have read This book to you all...hahahah!!
CBT, some of my favourites here...
You know this story makes a great play?
Lots of characters and lots of improvisations to the characters possible....
Thanks for putting up this crisp review...good pick...

Sheela said...

Just from the cover image and your description I can picture the delight this book can be, Chox! Thanks for the finds... now I can hand down a list to my mom when she asks what she can send for her grandkids :)

Praba said...

What a fun pick, Chox! Love it!! I am sure it will be a hit with my 3 yr old who is a huge fan of city cows:-)

personal story... Considering how much my 3 yr old misses seeing cows...after our return from India trip to a local dairy farm where our milk comes from was inevitable. She got to feed the calves, and was nice to see them graze freely. But, nothing like seeing cows roam freely in the city streets! :-)

meera sriram said...

Hey Chox, glad you brought these as well to ST! These books are simple, and great fun for kids! A friend gifted us a bunch of CBTs, 2summers ago - "The Runaway wheel" by Asha Nehemiah and "Chumki Posts A Letter" by Mitra Phukan, are my daughter's favorites!

ChoxBox said...

poppy: it is indeed :)

vidya: :)

ssstoryteller: when i was doing the review, thats exactly what i thought - this story is great material for a story-telling/theatre session!
btw why don't you move back?!

sheela: :) there are tons more sheela. your mom will have a great time choosing a pile of books for the grandkids!

praba: LOL!

meera: 'the runaway wheel' is a big hit with us too! haven't got the other one - thanks for mentioning it, will check it out.

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Looks like a great book to buy!

explorekids said...

I was recommended this blog by a relative and it's nice to find you here, Chox. This is an amazing blog I must say. Now I know where to search for the right book. Thanks!

ChoxBox said...

Swapna: Do! And CBT has a load of other books similar in terms of target age of readers and price.

Explore: Welcome here and thanks :)

Tharini said...

So cute. Always amazed by how writers come up with the simplest of storylines for a book. And anything with a rhyme and I am sold!

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