From our experience, we can say that reading up both Ramayana and Mahabharata isn’t easy for kids.
Even though there are multiple characters in other stories, these two epics seem to be a bit of challenge for younger kids.
Here’s an author who’s increasingly become popular in reinterpreting classics and this time Devdutt Pattanaik has written two of the all time epics, the classics Ramayana as the Girl who Chose from Sita’s perspective and The Boys who fought as Mahabharata.
What we loved about the book is that it’s truly easy for young readers from 9 to 12 years to understand the story. The child at home finished reading The Boys who fought, Mahabharata story in one reading non stop in two hours.
The illustrations by Devdutt are eye catchy and relatable to the story. There are lot of Did you know facts as blobs which make the reading interesting.
Also unlike several interpretations where Sita in the story seems to be victimized, The Girl Who Chose gives her the power to dictate her life journey.
Apart from the easy language there are boxes with interesting research and meanings of mythology. Did you know Asuras are not the same as Rakshasas. Asuras are Kashyapa’s children while Rakshasas are Pulatsya’s. Asuras live under the Earth and they fight the Devas who live above the sky. Rakshasas live in the forest, follow the law of the jungle and fight humans who live in civilized societies.
In the second part of the book when you flip over you find the Mahabharata retold for children. Here’s an excerpt:
Krishna met the Pandavas in the forest, comforted them and promised to take care of their children while they were away. The Pandavas wanted to go to war against the Kauravas immediately, but Krishna advised them to keep their word and fulfill the conditions of the gambling match.
In the forest, the Pandavas were attacked by many rakshasas, like Kirmira and Jata. But Bhima defeated them all. They also met many sages who told them many stories including that of Sita and Ram and discussed many philosophies. The Pandavas lived in caves and travelled to several pilgrimage spots.
Mums and Stories loved it and gives it 4 on 5.