Title: The Village Of Manapparai
Author: Paulomi Babre (10 year old Paulomi is a kbc member)
Illustrator: Priya Babre
Publisher: Evincepub Publishing
Age group: 7 – 10 years
‘The Village of Manapparai’ is a wonderful book about the interesting incidents that transpire in a small village situated in Tamil Nadu. It recounts the adventures of three girls – Yubha, Sumati and Radha, who are fun-loving, intelligent, a bit mischievous, but very kind. Together, the detective trio tackles various mysteries ranging from idli thieves to dacoits, and also learn to overcome their own fears. The way in which they allocate tasks and co-operate with one another for solving their cases is remarkable. Paati, Yubha’s grandmother, is a very wise, loving and supportive figure in their lives.
The author, Paulomi, a 10 year old, has captured the essence of village life beautifully in her narration, through the description and details of the sumptuous food, beautiful clothes and various events that take place.
What also needs a mention is that Paulomi has done a splendid job at portraying relationships, whether it be the friendship between the girls, or their feud which they resolve by mutual dialogue, or the love between Yubha and Paati which they express through their small daily rituals. The respect for elders shown by the girls and the way the girls are entrusted by their elders for various tasks is also heartening.
My seven year old loved the book and devoured it in a day! He was very fond of the grandmother, Paati, and his favorite story from the book is the ‘Forbidden Temple’, in which the girls are captured by some dacoits. But with their witty and quick-thinking, they trick the dacoits and turn the situation around.
This is a collection of short stories that we (my son and I) would recommend all 7-10 year olds to read, while we await the next book from Paulomi!
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