May 182023
Was Munni Really A Monster? [Review]
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Title: Munni Monster
Written by: Madhurima Vidyarthi
Illustrated by: Tanvi Bhat
Publisher: Duckbill
Type: Paperback
Age group: 9 – 12 years
No. of Pages: 104 pages

This review is being posted on behalf of my 10-year old son Divit.

This story is about a girl called Mishti. Mishti loved her life. She had nice parents, a lovely Thamma (in Bengali the paternal grandmother is called Thamma), a roof to live under, food and water. And she also had a big brown bed which was her prized possession. She adored it and slept in it every day. It was Thamma’s before, but she gave it to Mishti. “It’s mine! I love it!” Mishti had exclaimed when she had been gifted the bed. It was made of strong, brown wood all the way from Burma! But little did she know that her sleeping rights in the bed will soon be taken away by the MUNNI MONSTER.

Now you may think that Munni Monster was this big and ferocious beast, but no! Munni was just a person. A really old, fragile person named Munni who was her Thamma’s cousin and had a disability. She was old, covered in wrinkles and needed help for going through a normal day. Life was not easy for Munni. Circumstances were such that Munni had to come and stay with Mishti and her family. While Munni had her own struggles of settling in a new place and surroundings, Mishti had her own complaints of being pushed out of her own room and space. Naturally, Mishti completely hated Munni. After all, Munni got to sleep in Mishti’s perfect brown bed, took away Mishti’s space from Thamma’s room and got the attention of all the grown ups in the house. So Munni was always in the WAY!

“I WISH MUNNI WAS DEAD!” Mishti remarked one day when she had enough of Munni. She was tired of having to share the love and attention that was all hers with Munni. But then, disaster struck. Munni got very sick. It started with some sniffles, then cough and a full blown fever. She had to be finally taken to the hospital although Mishti’s mother and father could barely afford it. Mishti started realizing that she was being very rude and unreasonable. She wished that she could go back in time and stop herself from saying such terrible things to Munni and thinking so ill for her. She didn’t realise that she had developed a bond with Munni and her Hal-lo-lo! Mishti had started missing Munni who no longer seemed like a monster to her.

Did Munni make it through her sickness and survive? Or did she breathe her last? Did Mishti understand her mistake? You should grab this book to know all these answers.

The book captures the struggles of Munni who had some special needs. It is so heartwarming to see how Mishti’s family adjusts and goes out of their way to make Munni feel comfortable and make her one of their own. I loved this book as it teaches us to be affectionate and kind to people who are different from us in many ways. They may be different but they still need all the love, care and affection is what I have learnt with Mishti in this lovely book.

The author’s debut book, My Grandmother’s Masterpiece has been reviewed here by Shipra.

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

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