Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On the tip of a pin was...



Title: On the tip of a pin was...
Author: Geeta Dharmarajan
Art: Ludmilla Chakrabarty

If there was ever the perfect time to be a child in India, this is it. A plethora of books, a number of publishing houses vying to entertain you, tales both old and new and the most wonderful illustrations.

On the tip of a pin was... is about a village on the tip of a pin, named, Pintipur (get it? Pin- tip?!). Well I didn't, until the Brat pointed it out, making me feel rather foolish.

And in this village live a variety of animals, all equally pesky. A lion who chews up the pig's tail. A pig who roars and chases the lion up and down the village. A cow that 'only climbs on top of houses to hop and skip and dance in the moonlight and sunlight.' But it's the worm who is the real trouble maker. Racing up and down the village she dug long tunnels across the moon, the stars and the clouds. Zoom, ziiiig, zoom, she was the best underground dancer in the world. And for some reason this really upset the villagers of Pintipur. You see, she disturbed their peace. Their equilibrium.

One day Mamta looked down the well and found an identical village called Pintopur. With its own goat, cow, lion, pig, and worm. Anyhow, the village of Pintipur decided to get rid of the troublesome worm and forms a get-rid-of-worm team. Worm begged and pleaded with them, "Come and see the other worlds at the end of the exciting worm holes." But to no avail. No one was interested in worm's exciting life or the tourist opportunities! Mamta did suggest making Worm the official hole-digger but worm had other plans. And they didn't include taking orders.

Off she went again, zipping around. And that is when she decided to look up Mamta's discovery, Pintopur. There she was much appreciated by young and old for the new worlds she showed them. And so she came back to thank Mamta for sending her to a place where people cared for what she could do for them.

And as is known to happen, it is only when the good folks of Pintipur realised that their 'bad' worm was being appreciated elsewhere that they decided to give her wormholes a shot. And soon they were zooming up and down worm holes, shooting past colourful stars, travelling through space and generally whooping it up.

And yes, finally the trouble-making worm and her holes to other parts of the universe were appreciated by the people of Pintipur, in their village on the tip of a pin.

Let us begin with the illustration. Oh wait, I already told you those were brilliant. Let me move on to the story then. I loved the way the text flowed across the pages and I made a big fuss about turning the pages around and around to read the curly jalebi like way it ran around, sending the kids into fits of giggles.
I love how the book encourages you to explore other worlds and other options. How it shows you that even if your own people don't appreciate your uniqueness, there will be someone out there who does. To not conform, to follow your heart and to keep learning, keep discovering, to not walk the beaten path and to be yourself. The book came to us at a time when it was much needed and frankly there is a a lesson in there for grownups too. Go get it!


12 comments:

ChoxBox said...

Sounds awesome MM! High-five to the kid for finding the pin-tip-ur bit :)

We have another Katha book by Geetha Dharmarajan called 'Swapnasundari and the Magical Birds of Mithila' - all illustrations are done in Madhubani style, incl. a little girl riding a bicycle!

The Restless Quill said...

Sounds great. And lovely review. Brat spotted Pintipur?! Erm.. okay. I didn't. At the risk of sounding fawning, he's a smart little one.

sandhya said...

Another Whoville? And a lovely allegory to explain how we always value what is intrinsically ours when a third party starts valuing it. Case in point: Sanskrit, Indian Epics, the concept of zero, etc.
My regard for Brat and Bean increases by leaps and bounds!:)

Vibha said...

Sounds very interesting and liked the part "if your own people don't appreciate your uniqueness, there will be someone out there who does".
Thanks MM :)

starry eyed said...

Sounds like a super book...thanks for the review...will look out for it! The lessons are much needed for my whole family!

Kodi's Mom said...

Pintipur, Pintopur! What fun!!! love everything you've told us about the book.

the mad momma said...

@ Sandhya - thanks :) and yes, very good points!

Chox - i must look for it. i've gone mad buying books after I started reading ST!

@ RQ - sigh. he's a funny little brat

Uma said...

I'm sure my daughter would love this! Am going hunting now...

utbtkids said...

Sounds fascinating. Like you said this is definitely the golden era for India in terms of kid-lit.

sathish said...

MM, a very nice idea.

Wonder if we are living on one such Pintipur!

Praba said...

My girls would certainly get a kick out of the worm dancing in her underground world. And would go, "Why wouldn't the villagers let her dance? She is not a trouble maker. Poor thing. awww...":)Thanks for this, MM. Will try and get it somehow.

Sheela said...

How delightful, TMM. And, so with you on how foolish I feel sometimes when I miss some wonderful visual or verbal nuance/pun, and have my daughter point it out to me :)

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