by Shenaaz Nanji
Welcome to India! You are about to enter a country that is bursting with color, life, and contrasts. The stories you will find here come from all over the Indian subcontinent. You will read about magical spirits in the mountains of the northeast; sneaky robbers and brave heroines in the heart of the Indus valley; action and adventure in the far south and much, much more. And to complete your Indian experience, you’ll also learn some fun facts about each of the states that the stories come from. This is a trip of a lifetime!
Barefoot Books U.K. & USA, 2007
Silver - Parent's Choice Foundation
R. Ross Annett Children's Literature
Finalist, Writer's Guild of Alberta, 2009
"Part folklore, part cultural tour, this collection of eight folktales begins with a short, enthusiastic introduction to India's diverse history, people and landscape... Filled with East Indian customs and flavors, magic and secrets, and brave and silly characters, this savory collection is well suited for independent reading, reading aloud, and multicultural studies."
Booklist, November 15, 2007
"One can imagine the roars of laughter that reading this story to a group of 7-and-8 year-olds would elicit. Christopher Corr has illustrated the song He's Got the Whole World in His Hands, and the eye-popping acrylic paintings for this book add yet another fancy feather to his cap. The Indian peoples representing a variety of cultures are depicted here in daily and special occasion mode. Naive in style and filling the pages with bright sunshine yellow, pink and turquoise, these illustrations are a fitting complement to the rich text from Calgary resident Shenaaz Nanji.
School Library Journal, 2007
Manitoba Library Association
CM Volume XIV, Number 11, January 25, 2008
"This anthology presents eight fluid retellings of folktales from different Indian states... An introduction offers a brief overview of the country's history, from Indus Valley civilization to the Mughal dynasties, concluding with a paragraph about modern India. Each folktale is preceded by a note with facts about the state from which it originated, including explanations of festivals or terms that appear in the text. Illustrations and page borders support the texts perfectly as the folk-style paintings reflect colors of rural life. The collection provides a good introduction to Indian folklore and could be enjoyed as a read-aloud by younger children, while students in the intermediate grades can enjoy them independently."
"This collection of stories by Calgary author Shenaaz Nanji reads like an Aesop's fables from India. Rich in description and imagery, the stories are full of gods, mortals, royalty, love and magic... the stories have the feel of oral history."