News & Reviews

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New series on Mahabharata

Campfire Graphic Novels, India’s leading publisher of illustrated graphic novels, has released the first volume of a brand new series based on the tales of The Mahabharata – The Kaurava Empire: Abhimanyu and the Conquest of the Chakravyuha. The series presents the rivalry between the Pandavas and the Kauravas in a space-age setting, highlighting the timeless nature of one of the greatest stories ever told. The book is written by Jason Quinn and illustrated by Sachin Nagar, the team behind Campfire’s award winning Gandhi: My Life is My Message, which won Best Writer and Best Graphic Novel of the Year at this year’s Comic Con India.

The first volume deals with the story of Abhimanyu and the Chakravyuha, told from the point of view of Abhimanyu and the young Kaurava warrior who finally kills him. Jason Quinn says of the series, “When I first read the Mahabharata I was totally enthralled. While I know that these great characters are very familiar to the people of India, I wanted to introduce them to readers across the globe. One of the things I love best about these characters is that there are no real out and out villains or heroes. Both sides have their light and dark sides and are incredibly sophisticated and perfect for the graphic novel medium.”

On the decision to begin the series with the story of Abhimanyu, Quinn reveals, “There are so many great scenes within the Mahabharata, but the Abhimanyu story has everything. It is perfect for the graphic novel medium in that it has fantastic visuals and lots of action, but it is also a story of sacrifice and emotion. The fact that the hero Abhimanyu and his killer are both in their teens is an added bonus, in that many of our readers will be able to identify with one or the other of the two main protagonists.”

NBT India organises interactive storytelling session

In its relentless efforts to promote reading habit in the country especially among the children, National Centre for Children’s Literature (NCCL), a wing of National Book Trust, India organised an interactive storytelling session for school children with Kusumlata Singh, author and Partha Sengupta, illustrator of the recently published NBT title for children Phir Khil Gaye Phool at NCCL Library in Nehru Bhawan, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi.

In response to children’s queries, Kusumlata Singh told the children that she started writing during her school days. She said that she had been an avid reader and the habit of reading helped her pen down her thoughts. She said that she got an idea to write this book when she went out for the morning walk. While, Partha Sengupta talked about the illustrations used in the book. He said that the minute details about characters in a story by the author helps illustrator create illustrations of the story. He added that illustrator also uses his imagination and creativity to make his work attractive. The children showed keen interest in the session which was coordinated by Manas Ranjan Mahapatra, editor, NCCL.

At the outset, Dr MA Sikandar, director, NBT, India talked about various activities undertaken by the trust to promote reading habit and urged children to read more and more books. On this occasion, the students presented small saplings to the guests to create awareness about environment.

Navneet Paint-o-Fun – July 2014 to June 2015

Price: Rs 65

Navneet Education Limited has recently released the all-new edition of Navneet Paint-o-Fun, an informative planner and year book. The key motive of this planner is to inculcate in children the habit of jotting down day-to-day activities right from their younger years.

This year, the theme of this product is journey of discovery of the wonders of India. The purpose of this particular issue is to bring children closer to culture, with 12 of best Buddhist, Jain, Hindu, Muslim and Christian monuments. There’s a sketch of each monument which children can colour and a host of information, which they can read and learn.

Apart from this, Paint-o-Fun has ‘Navneet Paint-o-Fun Mastermind’ contest, wherein there are more than 119 prizes to be won, besides monthly coloring contests exceeding 3,200 prizes.

Excellently produced, the book is truly a children’s delight.

The Little Alien – A Journey of Imagination

Author: Jason Quinn
Illustrator: Rajesh Nagulakonda
Publisher: Kalyani Navyug Media Pvt Ltd, New Delhi
(Pp 48, ISBN 978-93-81-182024)

Aliens have always fascinated us…a story about alien friends is bound to excite kids. One look at the book and children will fall for it – a small boy pulling a lovely alien girl while a cute dog going towards an alien cat.

Beautifully illustrated, the story is in the form of rhymes, which makes reading fun as reader meets space cats and space mice on a planet of cheese, take a bath in the Milky Way and still make it home before bedtime.

This is the first book in this new series of Campfire Junior and children can expect many more such adventurous fun tales.

–Varsha Verma

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