________________ CM . . . . Volume V Number 14 . . . . March 12, 1999

cover A Folktale from Bihar: A Curly Tale.

Vayu Naidu. Illustrated by Mugdha Shah. Narrated by Usha Uthup.
Adyar, Madras, India: Sky Music (India), (Distributed in Canada by The Banyan Tree, 2355 Fifth Line West, Unit 46, Mississauga, ON, L5K 2M8, 1-888-468-0334), 1997.
20 pp., paper, audiotape (22 min.), $12.99.
ISBN: 81-86895-08-6.

Subject Heading:
Folklore-India-Juvenile fiction.

Kindergarten and up / Ages 5 and up.
Review by Irene Gordon.

**** /4

A Curly Tale is a folktale from the Northern Indian state of Bihar. It is similar in many ways to traditional European fairy story. A poor shoe maker goes to see a holy man because he wishes to become rich.


"Okay then. Areyoooo!" The holy man called, snapping his finger three times.

There was a swish of smokey blue mist and a ghost stood beside him. The ghost wore a pair of curly shoes.

"So," grunted the ghost, "I am Bhootram, your servant. What can I do for you?"

[Kalia] swallowed his fear and said, "Bhootramji, I-I-I want money. Lots of money. But no cheating, hanh!"

"Awwwlrrright," replied Bhootram with a flourish. "Give me some work to do and I will earn money for you. But remember, you have to keep giving me work or else I will eat you up, and your wife too!"

picture Both the audio cassette and the text are well done. Younger students will enjoy listening to the story and music on the cassette and looking at the illustrations in the book. They may also practise their reading by following along in the book while listening to the tape.

      The kit might also be used for units on fairy tales or India. Students could use it for studying Indian art and music. The colourful, stylized Mithila paintings which illustrate the story are in the style done by women of that area of Bihar. They begin with finely detailed line drawings which are then brightly painted. Students could produce paintings of their own in that style.

Highly recommended.

Irene Gordon of Headingley, Manitoba, is a free-lance writer and former teacher-librarian who spent 14 years working in a junior high school library.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364