Nepali Times
Review
Under the moon


Fairytales abound in all cultures. But finding the right kind is not the easiest task for modern Nepali parents. They may have grown up listening to their own parents and grandparents spinning tales of kings and giants and talking animals, but find themselves quite without the time or the wherewithal to do so themselves. What's more, there is little written material in English available that derives from local folklore. John Jackson's Tales for Great Grand Children, a baker's dozen of illustrated stories based on the author's travels through Nepal and India, steps into the breach admirably.

The tales retold and 'worked up' here by Jackson range from the whimsical to the macabre. In 'The Cold Side of the Moon' we witness a debate between a lion and a tiger about why it is so very cold; in 'The Hole in the Roof' a woman worries about how to get rid of a giant that has gobbled up her foolish husband. There are stories of wild spirits that enchant kings, elephants that fall in love with lotus flowers, and turtles that want to fly. Adults and children alike will delight in the story of Chhepu, the malformed creature too ashamed to show himself to Manjusri when he lets the water out of the lake of the Kathmandu Valley. The stories are told with such charm and attention to detail that they shimmer in front of you like the visions your grandparents wove for you once upon a time. The imaginative title pages and lavish watercolours by Daniela Terrazzini heighten this effect. At once universal in their messages and very local in their flavour, Jackson's tales are a perfectly judged blend of the familiar and the fresh. And is this not the essence of a story?

'Tales for Great Grand Children' is being released as a limited hardback edition but kids will be bowled over by the iPad version, complete with animated drawings and narration, to be released on 28 February.

Rabi Thapa

www.jjbooks.com/our-books/tales-for-great-grandchildren



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LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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