First published by our partners Penguin Books India in 1995, Indian Folktales & Legends is a unique collection compiled and edited by Pratibha Nath. It contains a variety of rare Indian folktales from different parts of the country, as well as a number of legends, which draw from ancient books and religious texts like the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
The book is considered a work of children's literature and is divided into two sections, providing a total of 18 folktales, followed by 12 legends. Prior to its publication, many of the folktales contained within Indian Folktales & Legends had fallen out of public consciousness, or knowledge of them was restricted to particular regions of India. As a result, the book brought many of these stories to a wider audience and helped to re-establish them. They remain as fresh today as when first published 23 years ago.
About The Book
Indian Folktales & Legends consists of a series of short folktales and legends, which can be read individually or in sequence. Pratibha Nath introduces each of these with a short introductory paragraph, detailing the background of each tale, setting the scene and explaining which part of the country it originates from.
Examples of stories contained within include The Qazi of Jaunpur, which is about a labourer called Jumman who believes his donkey has been transformed into a judge. Meanwhile, Bhim and Hanuman is a story adapted from the Mahabharata, in which the monkey god Hanuman helps to free Bhim from his ego and teaches him to have respect for the weak.
Who Will Enjoy This Book?
Although Indian Folktales & Legends is aimed at young readers, it may also appeal to adults as a form of light reading, or as a means of succinctly re-telling folktales and legends from across India. It is also a great source of stories for reading to younger children.
The stories ultimately centre around everyday themes, such as honesty, friendship, forgiveness, justice and self-reliance. These universal themes can be useful within schools, book clubs or other settings, in order to teach children important lessons about life and the world around them.
About Pratibha Nath
Pratibha Nath is a freelance journalist and author who specialises in writing children's literature and non-fiction books about the English language. She was born in Agra in 1931 and is currently based in New Delhi. After graduating Agra University with an M.A. in English, she went on to teach the subject in schools for several years.
Among Nath's best-known books for children are the Living With Values series, as well as A Treasure of Tales. In addition, she has written books for schools on the topics of creative writing, spelling, vocabulary and written comprehension. Several of her English language works are found in the U.S. Library of Congress in Washington.
Indian Folktales & Legends, 9780140380873, Pb, £7.99 – reduced to £5.00
Available from Amazon.co.uk, The Book Depository, The Wordery (online)