Monday, August 23, 2010

Too Many Bananas



Author - Noni (Pen name of the writer)
Illustrators - Angie and Upesh
Publisher - Pratham Books
Age group - 3 - 6 years

"Too many bananas" is a heart warming and a simple story, which appealed to all of us at home. We were at our library the last weekend for a story telling session followed by Origami based on the book - Grandpa Cherry blossom and other folk tales from Japan. Pratham books had organised the event and there were quite a number of their titles for display and sale that day. In my eagerness, I started picking the books that I was familiar with, as gifts. Meanwhile Sooraj had picked this book and finished reading it. He said that he liked the book so much that he wanted me to buy it. "But if you have read it already, why do you want to buy it? " asked me with a big load of books in my hand. He insisted and I gave in, without looking so much at the book ! It was a good thing because it turned out that it charmed each of us in it's own way.

It is the story of Sringeri Srinivas, who grows so many bananas on his farm, that he distributes them generously to everyone around him. Then comes a day when people get so fed up of the bananas that they say "No" to him when he offers ! Poor Srinivas...what would he do with his rich harvest of bananas ? He then decides to go to Doddaooru and seek advice from the Farmer's Centre there. He gets a brilliant idea and comes back a happy man :-). He is no longer bothered about the distribution of the bananas in his village. He does not force them on to anyone and people are surprised now. They wonder as to what could be happening with this man.

One fine day his neighbour Shivanna (the very neighbour who refused the offer of fruits initially !) sheepishly comes and asks him for 108 bananans for a pooja at home. The priest had insisted on that. Sringeri Srinivas nonchalantly waves him away saying that he would help him out - though he doesn't say how he would, as his bananas have been cut already. The worried Shivanna as well as, we the readers, wonder what Srinivas is upto. Will he keep up his promise and how would he manange ?

Pick up the book to find the nice ending to the story !

The story line is simple and beautiful; the sentences short and easily understandable for little kids. What I loved was the usage of words and pictures culturally relevant to the state in which the story is set(Karnataka). Sringeri is the name of a famous temple town of Karnataka, which is home to the Sharada temple. Shivanna is a common name here in Karnataka. Dodda- ooru in Kannada literally means means "big town" ! There is complete harmony in the pictures and words. The illustrations are very striking and expressive and it is clear that a lot of effort has gone into them. The funny facial expressions evoked lot of giggles ! Both my son and husband were completely bowled over by the the colourful pictures in the book.

We had earlier read another Sringeri Srinivas book online and enjoyed it a lot. I think that's the reason my son went for this book in the first place !

7 comments:

ChoxBox said...

Thanks R!

Time to restock the Pratham Books on our shelves!

sathish said...

Sringeri Srinivas is Sooraj's new muse! :)
When I asked him how he got a big gash on his knees - he replies with a big naughty smile -- "I was watching a peacock and suddenly Sringeri Srinivas runs past me with a load of bananas and brushes past him. And that's how I got this gash!".

So, for atleast the next few days, everything will be blamed on Sringeri Srinivas!!

Btw, the illustrators were awesome - there is a funny illustration where SS tries to give his bananas to his cows and they break away from their tethers and run away. That was so cool!! Angie and Upesh, you guys were awesome.

Vibha said...

We have the Hindi version of this book and was read and re-read many times.
And the other one too - when SS gets the annual hair cut.

sandhya said...

I had seen this book when I had gone to the Pratham books office recently, but didn't pick it up. Should see if I can lay my hands on it now. Thanks, Ranjani for this one.

artnavy said...

I got this post our ST blore meet and gifted it at Anush's bday to some kids as well

A real hit in these parts as was the sister siter series

Sheela said...

Sounds interesting... and Satish's note on illustrations has made it even more so... we've read many books where illustrations are clever (sometimes caught only by adults) and hilarious (easily amusing the kids), sometimes unfolding a story of their own quite independent of the the text they are representing, but woven in so seamlessly that it is awe-inspiring... Sringeri Srinivas, simply love that name!

ranjani.sathish said...

Thanks everyone for your comments !

Sheela, yes indeed the name has a very catchy tune to it and it keeps getting repeated by both the kids in the house just for fun :-)

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