ABOUT THE BOOKLachmi’s War: The evil asura Tobakachi wants to rule the world by not educating girls. But Lachmi knows better than to give in to his wicked plan.
One Magical Morning: When Jishnu asks for a son from the Sun God, he does not expect to get pregnant himself! How does Jishnu’s pregnancy change him and his village?
- Lachmi’s War and One Magical Morning are two stories from Katha’s Gender Series. One Magical Morning speaks about why we treat boys and girls differently, while Lachmi’s War deals with the question of education for girls.
- Both stories bring important issues to light – issues which have their roots in the attitudes of people, and which can be resolved by teaching people to think differently. The books try to challenge existing perceptions and show them to be flawed. For example, when Jishnu of Vikaspur in One Magical Morning becomes pregnant because of a boon from the sun god, he begins to realise the pressures and difficulties of being a woman.
- The books contain some interesting discussion prompts at the end which encourage children to think about the ways in which girls and boys are treated differently. For instance, Lachmi’s War contains prompts that asks readers to look around in their milieus and think about what problems girls face. This is a useful and important exercise in attentiveness.
- While the books deal with significant subject matter, their treatment of the message is somewhat heavy-handed, to the point where the stories themselves are lost. Neither One Magical Morning nor Lachmi’s War is a very exciting or interesting story, and unless messages are woven into a captivating narrative, it is hard for them to sustain a reader’s attention. The plots of these books are too threadbare, and the characters, whether of Jishnu or Lachmi, are vague and lack personality.
- The illustrations in both books appear faded, skewed and blurry, making the pages seem rather unattractive. The issue appears to be with the way in which they have been designed/printed rather than with the drawing and colouring.