SAWNET: Kids Books
Traditional Tales Retold
- A Treasury of Ancient Indian Tales, by Swagata Deb.
Rupa, 2007 The first section consists of assorted tales that retell the stories of how thunder got its sound, and what happened when the child Hanuman thought the rising sun was a ball, to how Ganesha got the head of an elephant.
The second section tells tales of the never-ending wars between the Devas and the Asuras -- the gods and the demons -- and how they constantly tried to outwit each other and seize control of the universe.
The third section is about the ten Avataras of Vishnu: from the Matsya (fish) Avatara, who saved living beings from the great flood, to the yet-to-be-born Kalki, who will destroy all evil and create a new, fair and happy world.
The fourth section features timeless tales from the Mahabharata -- stories that are not part of the main storyline about the Pandavas and the Kauravas, but which are an integral part of the great Indian tapestry of imagination and myth: how Savitri brought Satyavan back from the dead, the tale of Shakuntala's lost ring, and many others.
(Ages 6 - 12)
- and land was born, by Sandhya Rao.
Tulika, Chennai. This earthly yet out of the world explanation of the creation of land from an endless expanse of water comes from a tribe in Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh. It is one among several original, often surreal, stories of the birth of the earth popular in different parts of India.
In this version, the people beg god to create at least a small space where they can keep dry. So be it, says the lazy god, and initiates a process by which the jugni matas or magical mothers become bumble bees who meet the tortoise bearing a precious egg on its back. The egg hatches into dry land.
The illustrations, based on the original wall paintings done in red, black, blue, white and yellow on mud wash done by the tribals themselves, create a three-dimensional effect. Art by Uma Krishnaswamy.
(Ages 6 - 10)
- Brahma's Hair, by Maneka Gandhi.
Rupa & Co., Calcutta. 1989 A collection of mythological and folk tales regarding trees, plants, and flowers of India. (Ages 8 - 12)
- Brother Against Brother and other stories, by Shinie Antony.
Tales of King Vikram. Populated by kings in danger and selfless servants, beautiful damsels and loyal friends, these stories with moral dilemmas are as interesting as they are informative. (Ages 6 - 10)
- Eecha Poocha, by Kala Sashikumar.
Tulika, Chennai An endlessly entertaining cumulative tale from Kerala about Eecha the fly and her friend Poocha the cat. They make delicious rice soup. While Eecha flies off to fetch a jackfruit leaf with which to spoon out the soup, Poocha watches over the pot. But Poocha is hungry, so hungry. Aaaah.....! Available in Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, English.
(Ages 4 - 8)
- Ekki Dokki, by Sandhya Rao.
Tulika, Chennai An endearing Marathi folktale about two sisters. Ekkesvali has one hair on her head; Dhonkesvali has two and thinks she's great. What happens to them when they meet an old woman who lives alone in a clearing right in the middle of the forest...? Illustrated by Ranjan De, available in Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Telegu, Marathi, Gujarati, Engli (Ages 4 - 8)
- Favorite Fairy Tales Told in India, by Virginia Haviland.
illustrated by Vera Rosenberry . For ages 8 and up. Eight wonderful tales. (Ages 4 - 8)
- From the Mango Tree and other folktales from Nepal, by Kavita Shrestha.
World Folklore Series Fifteen Nepali folktales ranging from the playful to the haunting.
(Ages 6 - 10)
- Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, by Upendrakishore Roychoudhury.
Translated by Swagata Deb. Penguin, India, 2004 (Ages 4 - 8)
- Grandma's Treasure Trove, by Rashida Islam.
Sahitya Press, UK. 2000 Three well known folk tales in English and Bengali. 'The Seven Brothers Champa & their Sister Parul', 'The Hermit & the Mouse' and 'The Fox & the Stork' (Ages 4 - 8)
- Jambavan: The Immortal Bear King (Mythquest series 3), by Anu Kumar.
Hatchette India, 2011 "?ambavan came face to face with Ravana. He moved with a speed and fought with a ferocity that was unbelievable"
He was endowed with incredible strength, he had the wisdom of the sages and he was a born leader.
Jambavan, the great bear king, led the army of vanaras in their search for Sita. He helped Rama fight Ravana and even helped restore the Syamanatakmani gem to clear Krishna's name. (Ages 6 - 12)
- Jataka Tales, by several authors.
Media Fusion, Bangalore
- The Deceitful Bird
- Greed does not pay
- The Clever Monkey
- The Lion and the Jackal
(Ages 4 - 8)
- Jatayu: Saviour from the Skies (Mythquest series 1), by Anu Kumar.
Hatchette India, 2011 "The battle raged in the skies ... Jatayu refused to give up, taking on Ravana with his giant claws and mighty wings"
He was majestic, he was strong, he was the wise king of birds. Blessed by the gods and armed with celestial powers, Jatayu races to the sun, saves Dasharatha from Shani's deadly glance and, in the end, fights the powerful Ravana, sacrificing all he had in the name of justice and loyalty. (Ages 6 - 12)
- Majantali & Co., by Upendrakishore Roychoudhury.
Translated by Madhuchhanda Karlekar. Thema, 1997 (Ages 4 - 8)
- Myths and Legends of India, by DA Mackenzie.
(Ages 12 - 16)
- Nandi: The Divine Gatekeeper (Mythquest series 2), by Anu Kumar.
Hatchette India, 2011 "Nandi was fearless?he gored all the powerful asuras to death in a fierce and swift motion"
He was ever obedient, he was brave and he was the most favoured of Shiva?s followers. Nandi, the great bull and gatekeeper of Shiva's abode, carried the Three-Eyed One across the universe. Always at Shiva's side, he danced the mystical tandava with him, fought great battles and even drank a deadly poison to prove his complete devotion to his lord. (Ages 6 - 12)
- Nyamia and the Bag of Gold, by Debjani Chatterjee.
Longman Education, UK. 1994 illustrated by Pampa Panwar. Four folk tales from Africa, India, Bangladesh & Poland for primary school children. (Ages 6 - 10)
- One grain of rice, by Demi.
Scholastic Press, New York, 1997. A mathematical folk tale. Illustrations inspired by traditional 16th and 17th century Indian art.
(Ages 6 - 10)
- Panchatantra Tales, by several authors.
Media Fusion, Bangalore New renditions of the Jataka Tales:
- The Foolish Scholars
- The Heron and the Crab
- The Singing Donkey
- The Talkative Tortoise
- The Wise Rabbit
- The Washerman's Donkey
- Castles in the Air
- The Mice and the Elephants
- The Brahmin and the Crooks
(Ages 4 - 8)
- Rama and the Demon King, by Jessica Souhami.
Dk Ink, NY. 1997 (Ages 6 - 10)
- Religious Stories, by several authors.
Media Fusion, Bangalore A series about religious figures:
- Buddha (Ages 4 - 8)
- Savitri: A tale of Ancient India, by Aaron Shepherd.
Whitman, 1992 Illustrated by Vera Rosenberry. In this tale from the Mahabharata, the princess Savitri outwits the god of death to save her husband. (Ages 6 - 10)
- Seven Blind Mice, by Ed Young.
Philomel Books, NY. 1992 In this retelling of the Indian fable, seven blind mice discover different parts of an elephant and argue about its appearance. (Ages 4 - 8)
- Shower of Gold: Girls and Women in the stories of India, by Uma Krishnaswami.
Linnet Books, CT, 1999. illustrated by Maniam Selven (Ages 6 - 12)
- Stories of the Flood, by Uma Krishnaswami.
Roberts Rinehart, USA. 1994 A collection of great-flood legends from nine world traditions. Includes the Hindu flood legend (Matsya Avatar) as well as a selection from Hawaii, Vietnam, China, West Africa, Maori, Alabama-Native American and ancient Sumeria and Greek traditions. Illustrated by Birgitta Saflund (Ages 6 - 12)
- Sufi Stories from Around the World, by Debjani Chatterjee.
Harper Collins, India. 1994. with black and white illustrations. Nineteen Muslim stories for children 9 - 12. (Ages 9 - 12)
- Tales Old and New, by Mariam Karim Ahlawat.
Harper Collins/Indus, India. 1994. A collection of fairy tales. (Ages 6 - 10)
- The Adventures of Young Krishna: The Blue God of India, by Diksha Clayton & Marilyn Heeger.
Oxford University Press, 1992 (Ages 12 - 16)
- The Blue Jackal, by Rashmi Sharma.
Vidya Books, Berkeley, 1992. Another rendition of the jackal story from the Panchatantra. (Ages 4 - 8)
- The Broken Tusk: Stories of the Hindu God Ganesha, by Uma Krishnaswami.
Linnet Books, CT, USA. 1996. illustrated by Maniam Selven. Seventeen tales of the mirthful elephant headed god of beginnings, pronunciation guide, prefatory material on Hindu mythology and on the character of Ganesha. (Ages 6 - 12)
- The Elephant and the Dog, by Badri Narayan.
National Book Trust, Delhi. A story about the friendship
between an elephant and a dog. Available in Hindi, Tamil, Telegu, Gujarati, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada, Urdu and English. (Ages 4 - 8)
- The Elephant-Headed God, by Debjani Chatterjee.
Lutterworth Press, Cambridge, 1989, and Rupa & Co., Calcutta, 1993. illustrated by Margaret Jones. 12 stories for ages 9-12. A collection of Hindu myths. (Ages 9 - 12)
- The Enchanted Anklet, by Lila Mehta.
Lilmur, Toronto. 1985. A Cinderella Story from India, illustrated by Neela Chhaniara. (Ages 4 - 8)
- The Funny Tales of Mulla Nasrudin, by Various.
Mulla Nasrudin can be a fool, he can be a clown, yet he can occasionally be very wise and very funny. The book is full of stories about the way Nasrudin tricks people, and sometimes gets tricked himself. Whatever happens, each story is guaranteed to make you smile, if not laugh. Children and adults, all readers will find the stories extremely enjoyable. The illustrations add to the reading experience, reflecting the humour in the stories. (Ages 6 - 12)
- The Gifts of Wali Dad, by Aaron Shepherd.
Atheneum, NY. 1995 Illustrated by Daniel San Souci. An impoverished grass-cutter finds that gifts can be a mixed blessing. (Ages 4 - 8)
- The Mahabharata: A Child's View, by Samhita Arni.
Tara Publishing, Chennai. 1996 The author started writing the story when she was 7, and it was published when she was 12. The two volumes are also illustrated by her.
(Ages 8 - 12)
- The Monkey and the Mango, by Eknath Easwaran.
Nilgiri Press, Box 256, Tomales, CA 94971. illustrated by Ilka Jerebek. Retold stories that the author heard from his grandmother while growing up in a matrilineal familiy in Kerala. Ages 3 and up. (Ages 4 - 8)
- The Monkey God and other Hindu Tales, by Debjani Chatterjee.
Rupa & Co., Delhi, 1993 Twelve stories for children 9-12, illustrated in black and white.
(Ages 9 - 12)
- The Monkey Who left his Heart at Home, by .
Contains 5 popular animal stories from the Panchatantra. This book has the
1. The Singing Donkey
2. The Monkey Who Left His Heart At Home (AKA the monkey and the
3. The Crow's Revenge (AKA The Crow and The Serpent)
4. The Nosy Monkey
5. The Insistent Tailor Bird
(Ages 4 - 8)
- The Most Beautiful Child, by Debjani Chatterjee.
Cambridge University Press, 1996 A picture book about the Goddess Lakshmi and her owl. Lakshmi asks her owl to decide who is the most beautiful child in the world. (Ages 4 - 8)
- The Naughty Mouse, by Susheila Stone & A. Welch.
Luzac Publishing, 1986 A story from the Hindu oral tradition about a resourceful mouse. Available in English/Arabic, English/Bengali, English/Chinese, English/Gujarati, English/Hindi, English/Punjabi or English/Urdu. (Ages 4 - 8)
- The Ocean of Story, by Caroline Ness.
Lothrop Lee and Shepherd, 1996. illustrated by Jacqueline Mair, who studied color etching at Shantiniketan for this project. Selected tales from the folklore of India with introduction by Neil Phillips. The title is borrowed from the Kathasaritsagara, stories are from diverse sources. (Ages 8 - 12)
- The Puffin Book of Legendary Lives, by Meena Arora Nayak.
Pegnuin, 2004. (Ages 8 - 15)
- The Rajah's Rice, by David Barry.
A mathematical folk tale adapted from an old Indian tale. When Zandra, the official bather of the Rajah's elephants, saves them from serious illness, she exacts from the Rajah a reward more costly than he realizes. (Scientific American books for young readers, 1994). (Ages 8 - 12)
- The Right Decision and other stories, by Shinie Antony.
More tales of King Vikram.
(Ages 6 - 10)
- The Snake Prince and Other Folk Tales from Bengal, by .
, edited by Sahitya Press, UK. 1999 Ten enchanting folk tales in English and Bengali. (Ages 4 - 8)
- The Stupid Tiger, by Upendrakishore Roychoudhury.
Translated by William Radice. Harper Collins, India, 1981. (Ages 4 - 8)
- The Winning Team, by Githa Hariharan.
Rupa, 2004 Classic stories with a modern twist. (Ages 6 - 12)
- Three Indian Goddesses, by Jamila Gavin.
Egmont, 2001 Three contemporary stories with mythological elements. When their cousin Durga comes to stay, Anil and Kiki find her a bit odd. Her clothes and manners are unusual, and she has a strange knack of seeing what is going on in people's minds. But when trouble threatens, Durga turns out to be a very useful person to know...
(Ages 8 - 12)
- Who Will be Ningthou?, by Indira Mukherjee.
Tulika, Chennai The Ningthous and Leima, king and queen of Manipur, rule well over their meeyam, their people. They have three sons and a daughter -- Sanajaoba, Sanayaima, Sanatomba and Sanatombi. The people are happy and live in peace. As the years roll by, it is time to decide who will succeed to the throne. The Ningthou and Leima desire that the throne go, not to the eldest son, but to the wisest, most able child. And so they hold a competition. Who wins the bout? Is the winner named the next Ningthou?
In this charming folktale from Manipur, writer Indira Mukherjee and the well-known painter A V Ilango recreate the land, the culture and values of Manipur as they gently lead the child to think about two very important issues: harmony with nature and gender equality. Available in Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, English (Ages 4 - 8)
[Traditional Tales Retold]
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Last updated 21 May 2013
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