Mangoes, Mischief, and Tales of Friendship: Stories from India (Hardcover)
Can Prince Veera and his best friend outsmart the king’s trickiest subjects? Inspired by traditional Indian folktales, these stories are sure to delight.
Being a wise and just ruler is no easy task. That’s what Prince Veera discovers when he and his best friend, Suku, are given the opportunity to preside over the court of his father, King Bheema. Some of the subjects’ complaints are easily addressed, but others are much more challenging. How should they handle the case of the greedy merchant who wishes to charge people for enjoying the smells of his sweets? And can they prove that an innocent man cannot possibly spread bad luck? Will Prince Veera and Suku be able to settle the dispute between a man and his neighbor to whom he sells a well — but not the water in it? Or solve the mystery of the jewels that have turned into pickles? Illustrated throughout by Uma Krishnaswamy, these eight original tales by Chitra Soundar task Veera and Suku with outwitting the kingdom’s greediest, wiliest subjects. Are the two clever boys up to the challenge?
About the Author
Chitra Soundar is originally from India, where as a child she feasted on folktales and stories from Hindu mythology. She is the author of the picture book Pattan’s Pumpkin: A Traditional Flood Story from Southern India, illustrated by Frané Lessac. Chitra Soundar lives in London.
Uma Krishnaswamy has always loved folk traditions of her native India and other cultures for their richness and vibrancy of color, form, and perspective. She teaches visual studies and lives in Chennai, India.
Soundar's energetic prose and wisecracking dialogue sparkle and Krishnaswamy's acrylic folk-based illustrations of characters and nature dance across almost every page. Like any folktale, Mangoes, Mischief, and Tales of Friendship is best when shared. Read aloud, the adventures of Prince Veera and Suku will surely captivate first- through fifth-grade classrooms, the dilemmas providing excellent opportunities for critical thinking. Independent readers age 8 to 12 are likely to delight in the boys' clever solutions, not to mention their ability to confound and outwit adults.
—Shelf Awareness for Readers (starred review)
These original tales are folkloric in style and content, but refreshingly contemporary in tone and form. The messages are of kindness and compassion, and for speaking up when things are unfair...the illustrations balance traditional Indian art forms with cartoonlike gestures that will make readers smile.
Krishnaswamy's energetic black-and-white spot art offers authentic glimpses of Indian life, with illustrations of people, birds and animals, the marketplace, the countryside, and more. Readers who are familiar with traditional Indian folktales will recognize these well-known stories; readers new to them may enjoy their quiet simplicity and the wisdom of the two young protagonists.
—Kirkus Reviews Online
It’s a little risky—even benevolent kings do not like being proved wrong—but in these stories for 6- to 10-year-olds ingenuity and good sense help the boys prevail. Veera and Suku are a great team: In between gorging themselves on buttery sweets such as laddus and jalebis, and wolfing down mango pickles with fried fish and rice, the two boys solve mysteries, expose swindlers and humble the arrogant...Originally published in the U.K. in two volumes six years apart, these lively tales benefit from Uma Krishnaswamy’s playful monochrome illustrations.
—The Wall Street Journal