ABOUT THE BOOKMohan Chandar lives with his wife and three children in a tiny, remote village. One day, he rescues a strange creature from the storm that is raging outside. His astonished family wonder: What sort of an animal is this? Is he friendly? What does he eat? Where will he sleep? Still, they welcome him into their fold and soon enough, when life grows dark and dim for this family, the newest member brings them hope, comfort and warmth.
- This is a quaint and heart-touching tale about a strange creature that lands up in a village one rainy night, and a family that takes him in, shelters and accepts him although they know nothing of his origins. They act out of goodness and love with no expectations of profit and gain, but the animal, which they name Jwala Kumar, lights up their lives in unexpected and helpful ways.
- Jwala Kumar… is one of those unusual tales that is charming and fairytale-like but also grounded enough to show readers the gritty side of life without any airbrushing.
- Author Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar has turned the canonical children’s story on its head, for, while Jwala Kumar… contains the regular motifs of magic, delight, friendship and helpfulness, it also brings to the table issues of poverty, starvation, illness and non-mainstream culinary choices.
- Without using the words ‘caste’, ‘race’, ‘discrimination’, ‘inclusion’ or ‘exclusion’, the author tells us a gentle tale to remind us that friendship and love that spring from the heart are more meaningful and impactful than anything else in the world.
- Krishna Bala Shenoi’s artwork is quite unlike the conventionally colourful, happy illustrations in children’s books. Instead, his black and white illustrations, which play evocatively with light and shade, work beautifully to enhance the written word.
- The author tends to be repetitive, saying the same things over and over again, which makes the text unnecessarily verbose in some instances.