Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews
When Bhakti Mathur, a banker by profession wanted to tell stories from Indian mythology and folklore to her two young boys, she could not find anything that met her standards. She says, “ I found that there were no resources that were simple to understand and that captured the rich imagery of mythological India that is such an integral part of these stories for me.”
So Bhakti decided to write the books herself and thus was born the Amma Tell Me Series. She found a voice that was fun and non-preachy and collaborated with Maulshree Somani to create illustrations that brought out the imagery she wanted.
The eight books in the Amma Tell Me Series are delightful. Stories of favorite gods like Ganesha, Krishna and Hanuman, epics like Ramayana, and festivals of Holi and Diwali are written in simple verse.
Each book tells a lovely story. How Hanuman learns that great power comes with great responsibility, why Ganesha is invoked before each new undertaking and how good always has the power to overcome and defeat evil. The books on the festivals of Holi and Diwali re-tell the old in a fun, modern way to engage the young. Each book also has its own glossary where Indian/Hindu terms are explained.
There are eight books in the series till now, and Bhakti has plans for many more.The stories of Hanuman and Krishna will be trilogies. The Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth), Saraswati (the goddess of learning) will be some deities who will feature in the forthcoming books.
The books are from the Hindu treasure trove, but I didn’t find any religious overtones in them; these are cultural stories that many Indian kids listen to while growing up.
What really completed the storytelling for me are the gorgeous illustrations by Maulshree Somani. The stories and characters come alive with impeccable detailing. The characters and their features, their clothes, jewelry and make-up, flowers, instruments, utensils, animals and the landscape are deeply traditional Indian, and yet so contemporary and fresh.The colors used are ones associated with the Indian palette – warm, strong and vibrant orange, yellow, pink, red, blue and green.
Books in the Amma Tell Me Series
Amma Tell Me About
Amma Tell Me
– How Krishna Fought the Demons
– How Krishna Defeated Kansa