Author – Bhakti Mathur
Illustrations – Priyankar Gupta
Age Recommendation – 5years+
Total Pages– 79
One of my first read of the popular Amma, Tell Me series by Bhakti Mathur, saw me turning pages to unfold the stories at every level. This read got me to look for the other books in this series, which are all based in the form of a travelogue. A travelogue of a mother (Amma) and her two boys. Here is the Book review: Amma, Take me to Shirdi
Indian mythology has always fascinated me since it has all the elements : enigmatic characters, rich history, and vibrant vibes. And when narrated in the form of stories, it allures every listener and a reader.
This storybook takes you along with Amma and her young boys to Shirdi and unfolds a story on every aspect of Sai Baba in a very intriguing manner. Not only the story but even the interpretations of Baba’s actions and his life has been penned down in a very subtle, non-preachy way. This, in turn, helps kids learn the virtues of Love, Gratitude, Care is a very engaging way.
“Devotion and belief are very powerful!”
But when her young son (cricket fanatic) couldn’t really understand this is how it has been narrated :
“When you go on the field to play a cricket match, do you feel nervous?
Yes, a bit. I always get butterflies in my tummy, said Shiv!
What if you said a little prayer to the Universe, saying I turn over all my worries to you. And if that allowed you to focus on the game and not get anxious, wouldn’t that be great?
That’s what it’s like when you surrender to a power higher than you. It takes away your stress and gives you the strength and energy”
When I visited Shirdi some 10years back, all I knew was the main Sai Baba Shrine. Well, we didn’t even knew that there was so much to see in Shirdi (apart from the main Shrine), a huge neem tree(under which he meditated for days and nights), a dilapidated mosque (Dwarka Mai, which became his home), Dhuni Mai, the ever-burning fire Sai Baba had first lit it, The Hanuman Temple besides his Mosque.
This book unfolds ample mystical part of Sai’s life. Was he a Muslim Fakir, who loved qawwlis and dressed up with a long white old robe? Or was he brought up by a Hindu scholar, Venkusa with deep faith in Hanuman? He had studied the holy books of both the religion in-depth and always said “Sabka Malik Ek”. Did he lead the life of an ascetic? He had a brick, which he kept very close to him, but why? What is the real meaning of Baba’s philosophy towards life – Shraddha Saburi? And how beautifully the meaning has been explained for kids (with a reminder to adults) in this book.
The comparison of Baba’s magical satka with Harry Potter’s wand got my child all the more excited. We’ve all heard of Baba’s miracles and his healing touch. As you read through, you feel the presence of Sai Baba and the urge for his blessings. These feelings are pure.
Conclusion: Book review Amma, Take me to Shirdi
Written by Bhakti Mathur, this book does justice to its theme of communicating Mythology to children in an alluring yet poignant way. Illustrations by Priyankar Gupta brings the story to life. would certainly recommend this storybook for young readers!