INTO THE WORLD OF FANTASY
Sitting drowsily by a riverbank, little Alice once saw an oddly dressed White Rabbit running across the field, and go down a hole. Astonished, Alice follows the Rabbit and tumbles down the deep hole. She falls down and down and lands in a wonderland where everything is
bizarre and magical!
The character Alice is immortalized in the classic, ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. There are many such classic stories, novels, and fairy tales that are loved by children across the globe. ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,’ the ‘Panchatantra Stories,’ ‘Aesop’s Fables’ etc., are some among them. These books let the child fly on the wings of fantasy and imagination.
This issue of Tell Me Why lists some of the classic books for children that one should read.
Happy reading 😊
Why are the stories from the ‘Panchatantra’ one of the most popular collections among children?
The Panchatantra Stories are the most popular children’s book in India. These are the oldest surviving fables from India, which are popular abroad too. Panchatantra is believed to be written by Vishnu Sharma, along with many other scholars. It is basically a network of interesting stories on human behavior, depicted through animal characters that are loved by people of every age group
The stories were probably written originally in Sanskrit and later translated into English, and many other languages. These stories are the best guide to teach children moral values since each tale has a moral lesson at its end. Most of the stories are written very creatively, featuring plants and animals that can speak and converse with human beings too.
Apart from a short introduction, these tales consist of five parts. Each part contains the main story, called the frame story, which in turn, contains several sub-stories.
The most popular Panchatantra stories are ‘The Wedge pulling Monkey,’ ‘The Blue Jackal’ etc.
I’m the blue king from Panchatantra. (In Picture)
Aesop’s Fables is a collection of tales from the Greek storyteller, Aesop. He was a slave who lived in ancient Greece, between 620 and 564 BC. He was a keen observer of both animals and people. Most of the characters in his stories are animal s, some of which take on human characteristics, and are personified in their ways of speech and emotions. Each fable has an accompanying moral to be learned from the tale. The fables, numbering 725 totally, were all passed down orally through generations.
Aesop loved to write stories that were mostly fables. A fable is a very short story with a moral or a lesson to teach. Three centuries after Aesop’s death they were written down, and their authorship was attributed to Aesop.
There are many famous fables, including the most famous ones like ‘The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs, ‘The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse’, etc.
So, I have to make sure that my eggs are not gold. (In Picture)
If you are looking for something exciting to read during your holidays, try reading the ‘Jataka Ta les’. They are storybooks that are enjoyable, as well as filled with wisdom. Originally written in the Pali language, the ‘Jataka Tales’ have been translated into different languages around the world. They contain stories of the previous lives of Gautama Buddha. These include Buddha in both animal and human forms. These stories are extremely popular and are valued in all branches of Buddhism.
‘The Jataka Tales‘ are dated between 300 BC and AD 400. Many of the tales are set in or near Benares, now called Varanasi, a city in North India on the Ganges River.
Each tale begins by noting the occasion that prompted its telling and ends with the Buddha identifying the lives of the people in the introductory story with those of people from the past. There is humor in some of these stories.
Forbidden Wonder In 1931, the governor of Hunan province in China banned ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ saying that ‘animals should not use human language’. (In Picture)
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
What makes ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ an iconic children’s book?
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,’ the classic child ren’s book by Lewis Carroll, tells the story of Al ice who falls down a rabbit hole, and lands into a fantasy world that is full of weird, wonderful people and animals. Though it is a child ren’s book, it is one of the popular ones among adults too. Commonly shortened to ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ the book was published in 1865. Unlike most of the other child ren’s books till then, ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ was an imaginative fantasy work, not just bound to moral lessons.
The book portrays many interesting characters that Alice meets during her adventure. Some of them are the Duchess, the March Hare, Mad Hatter, and the Red Queen. The book has inspired numerous film and television adaptations.
I am looking for a rabbit hole to wonderland. (In Picture)
Why is ‘Oliver Twist’ considered as a very popular book for children?
“Oliver Twist” is a must-read, classic child ren’s novel written by Charles Dickens, published serially under the pseudonym ‘Boz’.
It is the story of a young orphan, Oliver, and his attempts to stay good in a society that refuses to help. Oliver is born in a workhouse, to a mother not known to anyone in the town. She dies right after giving birth to him, and he is sent to an orphanage, where he and the other orphans are treated terribly and fed very little.
After escaping from there, little Oliver travels to London, where he meets the ‘Artful Dodger, a member of a gang of juvenile pickpockets led by the elderly criminal, Fagin. In the later part of the story, Oliver meets a good man, who takes him in. But, the plot takes a turn when Oliver is again trapped by Fagin’s men.
“Oliver Twist” has been the subject of numerous adaptations for various media, including a highly successful musical play, ‘Oliver!’, and the multiple Academy Award winning 1968 motion picture of the same name.