Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Snow King's Daughter

The Snow King's Daughter
Author: Sowmya Rajendran
Pictures: Proiti Roy
Publishers: Tulika

With special thanks to Tulika for a free copy of the book for my participation in the Tulika Blogathon.

Nearly sixty years back, China declared Tibet as a part of PRC. This caused a world wide stir. Countries and people made their stand. But China did not relent.

Now comes in the time entity. Time is designed to make people move on, to forget and to forgive. Sometimes it is for the good. Sometimes it is not so good. Like in the case of Tibet, the passing of more than half a century has made Tibetian exiles make compromises in order to face day-to-day realities. Time has made countries change their stand. The common man who is not from Tibet shifts focus and gets excited about whatever is happening currently. The next generation comes and Tibet sometimes becomes an untold story. Author Sowmya Rajendran's THE SNOW KING'S DAUGHTER is an attempt to pass on the facts about Tibet to the next generation.

The Snow King's Daughter is set in India, where Keshav, a typical ten year old boy is spending his summer holidays pretend travelling to different places marked in his atlas. When Keshav finds that his neighbor Lobsang is from Tibet, he gets excited. From this flows the story of Tibet and its fight for independence.

Proiti Roy's illustrations are spot on. I was especially moved by the illustration on the page where baby Lobsang and her sister bid farewell to their parents, in order to come to India, leaving their parents to stay back in Tibet and fight for Tibet. The picture was powerful, adding a new dimension, making a compounded impact on me. When my five year old asked, "But Lobsang is just a baby. How can she go away with strangers?", I realized that it made the same impact on her too. I loved Proiti's touch where she added picture of Gandhiji where the book talks about Indian independence.

The book ends with Keshav putting his finger on 'Sri Lanka which looks like a giant teardrop'.
I can't wait to find out what Keshav finds when he pretend travels to Sri Lanka.


Tulika Publishers said...

Lovely. A review with historical context, a child's reaction and hope for the future:)
Also, typo alert! The common man who is not from Tibet *shifts* focus...:)

Julia Dutta said...

Sounds very nice this book. The struggle is endless really...

utbtkids said...

@Tulika: Ooops! Even spell check is not as good as a pair of human eyes?!
Thanks for visiting.

@Julia: Yes, beautiful concept lively illustrations.

sandhya said...

The exile of Tibetians and their subsequent integration into India (refer to Satish's entry for blogathon 3 by Tulika on Cricket) stikes you when you travel to these pockets of Tibetian settlement. It is really sad when one is forced to leave one's homeland for whatever reason. It is not so different when it is voluntary, but at least then one has the option of going back if one wants.

sathish said...

utbt, I cannot wait for the sri lankan journey too! nice pick.

utbtkids said...

@Sandhya: That is true. Seven years back when there were no kids to lug around, we were roaming on the streets of San Francisco. We stumbled in to a rug shop owned by a person of Tibetian origin. We spent quite a bit of time talking to the owner. He said, "We are both immigrants. We are both same in some ways. But we are not the same in many ways. If I get home sick, I can only look at pictures." It was touching.

@Satish: Thanks.

Choxbox said...

wow utbt - at your review and that comment (gave me the goosies).

Artnavy said...

Just got the news- Sowmya's The Snow king's daughter has been longlisted for the Vodafone Crossword book award

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