Tuesday, March 23, 2010

All Free

Title - All Free : a folktale from Gujarat
Author - Mamata Pandya
Illustrated by - Srividya Natarajan

Publisher - Tulika ('Under the Banyan' series)

The story starts with Bhikhubhai's heart craving for fresh, juicy, delicious, grated coconut but there is a small problem - he will have to part with a little money which he would rather not. He does not mind walking some extra distance if he could get a coconut at a little reduced price and what a blessing if he could get as many coconuts as he wants from the coconut grove itself - ALL FREE!!!
Too good an offer to be actually true.

But for that he would have to climb the tree himself to satisfy his specific requirement of not spending a single paisa but getting to enjoy the coconuts. So Bhikhubhai decides to climb the tall tree and in an attempt to grab the biggest fruit, does his foot slip? And he finds himself hanging from the fruit of his desire. Another man comes and hangs onto the feet of Bhikhubahi and to make the matter even more interesting one more man joins the chain by holding onto the feet of the person below Bhikhubhai. Now there are three men hanging from the big fruit, swinging in the air. In order to save their dear lives, the two men want Bhikhubhai to not leave the coconut and what happens when Bhikhubahi is offered a reward of three hundred rupees for providing this service?? Can he keep focusing on holding the coconut tight when his mind is thinking about the unbelievable - getting coconuts and three hundred rupees - all free?

Simply a laugh riot.

The illustrations by Srividya are influenced by the Garoda (story tellers of Gujarat) style of folk art. Beautiful figures in bright colours are accentuated with thick black outlines. Simple patterns in the illustrations depicting village scene are magnificent. Traditional tie-and-dye border on the cover page gives a glimpse of the signature art of that region.

Other titles in 'Under the Banyan' series -
Mazzoo Mazzoo, a folktale from Kashmir
Wrestling Mania, a folktale from Punjab
Sweet and Salty, a folktale from Andhra Pradesh
Eyes on the Peacock's Tail, a folktale from Rajasthan
Magic Vessels, a folktale from Tamilnadu (Reviewed by Ranjani here)
Hiss, Don't Bite ! a folktale from Bengal
A Curly Tale, a folktale from Bihar


Karadi Tales said...

Hey Vibha. Just wanted to let you know that the 8 titles from the Under the Banyan series (including All Free) are available as audiobooks from Karadi Tales. Take a look at the series here: http://www.karaditales.com/FormProduct.aspx?SeriesId=26. In fact, this series is also broadcast on Disney Channel as animated episodes!

the mad momma said...

:) this one sounds awesome. i must pick it up. thanks Vibha!

SoulSpace said...

I must tell you that this story is in Hindi in my daughter's 4th std text book...NCERT
it is good fun reading this story

utbtkids said...

We have this book and it is a favorite. I know so not just by the repeat reading sessions, but because the girls play 'coconut store' inspired by Bikhubai, complete with phrases such as 'Arre', 'No baba', 'Sahib' and such :)

utbtkids said...

Another favorite is SWEET AND SALTY.

Bangaramma and Penichillaia are endearing.

Hema said...

This has been my son's favorite, the biggest attraction being the pictures and the part when all three men fall off the tree:)

Choxbox said...

This is indeed a hilarious story! Has been much enjoyed in the Karadi audiobook version.

Tulika Publishers said...

Some more art from the book is online at http://bit.ly/9xxcZz :)

Vibha said...

Karadi Tales ~ Thanks for your comment. It would be interesting to watch the disney animated version of these stories.

MM ~ You will surely enjoy it :)

SS ~ Knew that some Tulika books are part of the curriculum in some schools but didn't know that these stories are in the NCERT books too. Thanks for the info.

utbt ~ Yeah, Sweet and Salty is the other favourite here too.

Hema ~ Fully agree :)

ChoxBox ~ Will surely take the audio version too. We recently picked up the Karadi rhymes by Usha Uthup and akhand(uninterrupted) paath of those CDs is going on all the time:)

Tulika ~ Thanks for the link.

SoulSpace said...

Some stories that has been covered here are in NCERT books..
Chuskit is one
Bhikubhai is the other

Her maths books have stories about The bee keepers
The junk sellers...

I dont know...just a thought...why dont yu cover the NCERT primary books...I wld recommend the 1st to fifth (Maths/Eng/Hindi/Env.science..the entire series)...just so that people can get an insight into how our policy makers are changing their attitude and outlook...
check it out

Vibha said...

ss ~ Great idea. The school where my kids study follow the books of their own teachers in primary section (atleast I know about 1st and 2nd grades)but I always buy a set of NCERT books and really like them all.

Choxbox said...

@SSS: Agree - NCERT textbooks are fab nowadays.

I think it could partly be Prof.Krishna Kumar's magic - he was the director of NCERT till recently. Had once heard him speak at a conference for primary school education and his one hour long speech was the most inspiring I have ever heard.

Sheela said...

Thanks, Vibha!I am only catching up here on ST - and yes, I saw this cross-posted in your space first :)

Praba Ram said...

LOL, V! Would love to read this one aloud at my storytime. I must pick it up while in Chennai. In the meantime, will google to see if the story is available online. Thanks for this! :)

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