Dec 282023
Review: The Chhau Champ
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Book Name: The Chhau Champ (hOle book)
Written By: Vibha Batra
Illustrated By: Priya Kuriyan
Published by: Duckbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House
Type: Paperback
No. of Pages: 80
Recommended Age: 7-9/10 years

I am posting this review on behalf of my 10 year old son Divit.

When I got this book for review I was absolutely thrilled as I love Vibha Batra’s books a lot. I have read Pinkoo and Gobi and re-read them many times. While both Pinkoo and Gobi had male protagonists, this book has a girl protagonist which made me wonder what will be the storyline here. So let me tell you a bit about this amazing book.

Meet Shubha. She is an ordinary girl from an ordinary family. She has a brother named Shayon. Her father was part of a Chhau troupe and her mother sells rolled bidis. She desperately wanted to be part of her father’s Chhau dance troupe. But the problem was that her father was only willing to teach Shayon as Chhau was mainly a dance form performed by boys and he thought that if Shubha learnt Chhau everyone would think he was living off his daughter’s earnings. That was something he absolutely didn’t want. Shayon on the other hand had no interest in learning Chhau, he really wanted to play football when he grew up! But just because Baba was not willing to teach Shubha, she was not ready to give up yet! She was determined to find a way to learn Chhau.

Focussed on her mission to convince her Baba, Shubha tried telling him at least a thousand times but it was in vain as Baba just wouldn’t budge. At one point it looked like she was going to have to give up on her dream. Just when all hope was lost, one day Shubha found her brother playing football. She instantly came up with a brilliant plan. Learning Chhau was Shubha’s dream! Shayon finally agreed and taught Shubha everything he knew. In about no time Shubha had become an expert in Chhau and she could do the entire solo Shayon was going to perform on stage. She had gripped all the steps extremely well and was dancing gracefully.

The day of the final was here, but there was a gigantic problem! Shayon was nowhere to be seen. He had gone to football tryouts in the city! It was a disaster! Baba was demanding for Shayon! Shubha had to make more excuses to buy Shayon some time but would he show up in time? How angry will Baba get if Shayon misses the show! Is there a way to avoid the disaster? Read this amazing book to find what happens next.

I must add that the illustrations by Priya Kuriyan add an extra flavour to the book. These are mainly sketches and I love the detailing in each one of them!

Note: I didn’t know which dance form is Chhau so I googled it. This is what Wikipedia told me-

Chhau dance, also spelled Chhou dance, is a semi classical Indian dance with martial and folk traditions. It is found in three styles named after the location where they are performed, i.e. the Purulia Chhau of West Bengal, the Seraikella Chhau of Jharkhand and the Mayurbhanj Chhau of Odisha. The stories enacted by Chhau dancers include those from the Hindu epics the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the Puranas and other Indian literature. The dance is traditionally an all males troupe, regionally celebrated particularly during spring every year, and may be a syncretic dance form that emerged from a fusion of classical Hindu dances and the traditions of ancient regional tribes. (Source: Google, Wikipedia)

Vibha Batra is an award winning author and all of her books can be found here.

All of Duckbill’s hOle books come highly recommended for the topics they cover and of course, their humour.

The bookset of 25 hOle books is also available and works out awesome for gifting throughout the year!
NEW! The Library of hOles Box Set Product Bundle – Import, 22 May 2023 – This box set has 33 hOle books!!

If you enjoyed this review and wish to buy the book from Amazon (kbc affiliate link),


Disclaimer: Achira and her sons are part of the #kbcReviewerSquad and received this book as a review copy from the publisher via kbc.

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