Librarianship is a comparatively new discipline not only in India but also in the western countries. Though libraries and communication of information date back to the early days of our civilization, systematic approach to librarianship or information organisation, retrieval and dissemination is a recent phenomenon.
Although the first part of the title of Alexander Riddiford’s book is not put within quotation marks, the phrase stands out, so that even the lay reader unfamiliar with Madhusudan Datta would guess that it is, in fact, a quotation. For the reader acquainted with Madhusudan’s oeuvre, the word ‘madly’ would seem typical of the exaggerated phraseology so beloved of him, and it is, in fact, taken from a letter to his friend Rajnarain Basu, describing his state of excited creative composition at the time.
In ancient times, the Chinese said that ‘at the time of inspiration’, the poet flew from one world to another, ‘riding on dragons’. This sudden great flight or leaping up out of the conscious world of rational perception into the fantastic realms of the subconscious is what gives good poetry its peculiar force and its fascinating charm.
Deepak Dalal’s Vikram Aditya series, of which The Snow Leopard forms a part, are a truly delightful addition to literature for children written in India. C.S Lewis once remarked that a ‘a children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.’
How did story come to be born? The stories in this collection show how, overarmed by the forces of nature and strange and mysterious natural phenomena, early man invented stories to explain everything—lightning and thunder, the sun, the moon and the Milky Way birds and beasts and forests.
Vibrant colors and a quirky illustration of a pink monster with autorickshaw horns, draws you in. Flip through the book to assess it, and the Indian names gladden your heart. Ah! A children’s book set in an Indian scenario. Awesome. Anushka Ravishankar does a great job of narrating the interesting incidents in Moin’s life as he deals with the ownership of a monster.
Remember all those Enid Blyton stories that you used to love? You’d grab a Famous Five or Five Find-Outers mystery, and retire to a corner, engrossed in the adventures of Julian and George, or Fatty and Bets, laughing or gasping alternatively as they went rootling into crumbling houses, discovered secret passages or were caught by the local policeman.