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The Mighty Tale of Hanuman

Writers | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod

The Mighty Tale of Hanuman is a children’s book that tells the story of the Ramayana using 18th century paintings from Rajasthan. The paintings belong to the Mehrangarh Museum Trust in Jodhpur.

Saker Mistri and Mamta Dalal Mangaldas

The authors of the book are Saker Mistri and Mamta Dalal Mangaldas. Their first book was The Kidnapping of Amir Hamza. We managed to get an exclusive interview of the authors. Read on to know more about this unique book.

1. How is your book The Mighty Tale of Hanuman different from other books for children?

Traditionally, storytellers in India wandered from town to town, narrating their tales and accompanying them with paintings,, music and drama. We wanted to introduce this meeting of the arts, where the traditional story and the ancient painting would be read and seen together. We have included an interesting activity at the end of the book, Jump into the Ramayana, where you can join Ram on his perilous journey in search of Sita.

2. Why do children like mythology?

Mythology is a world so much larger than ours, with giants that eat people, brave princesses, endless battles and adventures. It is a magical world that fascinates children.  Mythology also highlights the constant choices we all have to make between right and wrong. In our book, we have tried to present this battle between good and evil in a way that will make our young readers think about the choices they make because it’s not always clear what it right and what is wrong.

3. Why do children like drawing?

Drawing is perhaps the earliest way that children express themselves and use their creativity and their imagination. They can say through drawings what they may not be able to say through writing or speech. Drawing shuts off the overactive logical part of the brain and helps us to relax.

4. Tell us about your first book.

The Kidnapping of Amir Hamza, is also illustrated with Mughal paintings from the 16th century These were commissioned by Emperor Akbar when he ascended the throne at age 13 because the story of Hamza was his favourite tale. At the end of the book we show our readers how to become Art Detectives and discover clues hidden in paintings.

5. How can children become good writers or artists?

Creating a masterpiece is a slow process. Great writers and artists are not afraid to waste paper and canvas. Each draft makes you a better writer or a better artist. For inspiration, children should read great books and look at great art.

6. Any tips that you have for MocoMag readers?

Drag your parents to see every museum you can go to, because every painting tells a story and the most amazing thing is discovering these hidden stories. The trick is to visitonly a small part of the museum and really slow down and look at a few works of art. If you try to see everything that a museum has to offer, it will be like eating 6 great meals in a row. You will be very sick.

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