Title: My First Hanuman Chalisa
Author: Chitwan Mittal and Sarita Saraf
Illustrator: Aparajitha Vaasudev
Publisher: Adidev Press Pvt Ltd
Age group: 4 years+ for co-reading, 6 years+ for independent readers
Every Tuesday, my Mom and brother read the ‘Sundar kand’ from the Ramayan and Hanuman Chalisa. Ishani (my 4yo daughter) always sits by my mother’s side while she reads and this has got her interested in Hanuman. Lately, she started sitting with a book and randomly started reciting something where she would include a few words from what she has heard during these sessions.
It is during this time that Asha ji asked if I would like to review this beautiful Hanuman Chalisa meant for kids and I was thrilled at the timing!
As per her note, the author, Chitwan Mittal, created this book based on her own experience with her children. The preface has a short introduction about Lord Hanuman, which sparks curiosity in young minds.
What is beautiful about the book is that it has text in the original Devnagri script and the same is also written in English. And that is not all, the meaning of the verse is clearly mentioned (along with highlighted words). This makes it really easy to explain the meaning of each word to little ones.
The illustrations are simply wow! Who could imagine such colourful and interesting illustrations in a religious book but Aparajitha Vaasudev has done a commendable job at it. Some of the verses are difficult to explain to children and that’s where these illustrations have helped immensely. They are so beautifully done that the child is automatically curious about what it depicts.
Now that Ishani can read, she is trying to read the verses on her own and sometimes even explains the meaning to us. The truth is that the book has also helped me understand the meaning of some verses.
Does a 4 year old sit through the whole book? Of course not! So, we read as many pages as she is interested in and then we close the book.
The book is truly what it claims to be – a translation that kids can read, understand and enjoy. I would recommend 4+ age for reading together and 6+ for independent reading.
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