Title: My Fantastic Stories – The Fantastic Me
Author & Illustrator: Monisha Vishwanath
Publisher: Seema Books
Age group: 8+ years
A fresh perspective on many of the subtle values that we all strive to teach our kids, ‘My Fantastic Stories – The Fantastic Me’ is a collection of short stories scattered with magic and mystical creatures to serve this end.
As per my 7 year old, some of the stories are very interesting, his favorite being ‘Heart on a Plate’, in which a set of kids with some special abilities overcome their fears and make new friends, all with the help of a monkey auto-man. Some others like the ‘Fablery Digest, news from across worlds!’ were enjoyed for their humor quotient – a little fairy who lives in a giant’s ear!
But he did find some difficult words throughout the book (despite having a fairly decent vocabulary), which made it a little tough for the underlying message to be put across. And probably also the reason why some of the other stories did not captivate him much.
The illustrations were admired and so was the fact that the author was also the illustrator. The activities provided at the end, he has navigated with my help.
My personal take on the book is that these stories can serve as good conversation starters with children, as they provide ample food for thought. They kindle the imagination with their unique characters and settings (sometimes on different planets altogether!). However, I feel that co-reading and discussions after reading (according to the child’s age) would be necessary to help them reach the intended morals of the stories. Especially because the solutions to the problems that are pointed out are usually magically inclined, so parental involvement could help the child in thinking how and what they could do to solve these issues.
Also the language used is a tad bit difficult for children, with a lot of sizable adjectives and formidable words. And a few of the stories have many complex emotions being addressed simultaneously, which makes grasping difficult for the child.
To sum it up, I would say that it is an imaginative fiction with some good values to be picked up, which would make a decent read for children who enjoy fantasy as a genre and ‘love reading’ as the book itself says!
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