Friday, May 20, 2011

Adventures of the 5 Elements

Adventures of the 5 Elements
Written by Lalitha Sridhar
Illustrated by Saurabh Pandey
Published by Children’s Book Trust
Ages: 4-8, 8-12

If there was one book I had to pick from the CBT catalogue (there are many drool-worthy ones but if pushed to choose just one is what I mean!), it would have to be Lalitha Sridhar’s The Adventures of the Five Elements. Amazing book, all for 37 Rupees only. Plus it has delightful illustrations by Saurabh Pandey that keep my little one spell-bound for hours. I had first come across it almost six years back in a dusty corner of a bookshop while on a des trip, got greedy and grabbed all the five copies there were for friends back in London. One of them still lives in the library in my children’s old school there and has been much appreciated.

The first of the five stories is about Jal, a drop of water with a sense of adventure. We meet him when he is resting on a blade of grass in a garden and rise up with him as the sun heats up. We then meet Baadal the cloud and also find his friends Pani, Thanni, Neeru and others all sailing across the sky with Baadal. Eventually they bump into Pahaad with much noise and thunder and fall down down down into a lake, enter a stream that becomes a mighty river and are on their way to the sea.. when suddenly they hit upon a huge wall much to their bewilderment. They are channeled into narrow tunnels that become narrower and they are treated with things that smell, and they finally land up at the edge of a tap. Suddenly they fall down and are about to go down the drain (literally) because someone has been very careless and left the tap running. What happens next and how he finds himself back at the same spot as at the beginning of the story - well, read it yourself to find out!

Then we read stories of Vayu the wind, Agni the fire, Bhoomi the earth and finally Aakash the sky. Each story, without being preachy, delivers powerful messages about the fcat that five great elements deserve to be treated with respect and not callousness. 

Needless to say I can no longer dare to leave the tap running even for a moment, the resident eco-warrior will jump in to protect Jal the drop of water!

Image Courtesy: CBT website


starry eyed said...

Div loves this book! Can't remember if it was you who gave it or Sandhya...but thanks!!

Choxbox said...

Think it was yours truly wonly - had bought multiple copies from the Bangalore Book Fair for folks I knew would like it.

Vibha said...

Picked this book from the CBT center, Delhi last time. It has been a personal favourite here too.

sandhya said...

Still waiting for my copy!:)

Loved the way you narrated the story of Jal. Also found it very interesting that all of Jal's friends are named by synonyms in other Indian languages. Brings the story near to children in all languages.

AA_Mom said...

Thanks for the review Chox.

Will keep looking for it as it is not available in Hyd or on Flipkart. Whilst looking for this I found another CBT read-aloud stories book. The kids are enjoying the stories muchly.

Choxbox said...

Hey AA_Mom! I had in fact picke dit from Hyd the first time - it is available in this chain of bookshops called Book selection centre. There is one on the Kachiguda crossroads on the road coming from Sultan Bazar crossroads, there is one near Shalimar Theatre and one in Chikkadpally if I remember right. Google them and call - the book is worth it IMO!

Will pick more copies when I see it next ( will soon go book-hunting for the library we are setting up) and mail it to you, alternatively.

AA_Mom said...

Thanks Chox, Those are the exact bookstores I checked out. As I remembered you saying in a post that they are available in Book Selection center.

Thanks for your offer, let us see who finds it first then ;)

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