Suniti Namjoshi never ceases to amuse or amaze. ‘The fabulous feminist’ has the rare ability to weave stories that appeal across a spectrum of ages from children to adults.  Even her stories for children can be discerned at several levels. For instance, Little i, a delightful children’s tale, ostensibly for the five plus age-group, appeals to the child in adults.

In Little i, Namjoshi is back with her familiar and much-loved characters from the popular Aditi series — Aditi, Monkeyji, Siril the ant, Beautiful the elephant, and Little i, the tiniest character (literally and metaphorically), who unleashes a linguistic crisis because he feels ignored by the others.  As a consequence, Little i ferments a linguistic chaos that creates a communication impasse. The repentant Aditi, Monkeyji, the ant and the elephant surrender to Little i and plead with him to restore linguistic order. Little i accedes to their demands but not before hinting at a far worse linguistic conspiracy should they transgress again!

The book’s eye-catching typography has sufficient character to stand alone as an imaginative work of art as well as unobtrusively blend with the text and complement the narrative. Sayan Mukherjee sparkles as an illustrator and is a perfect foil to the wit and wisdom of the author. The symmetry and balance in the layout is evident and enhances the visual appeal of the book.

The language and content is delightfully simple and simply delightful.  Suniti Namjoshi makes it seem as easy as ABC! The author rises to artistic heights in her extraordinary ability to weave a simple story without making it appear simplistic. That she does it with such effortless ease is what distinguishes a great writer from a good one.

Dr. Nandini Murali

Author: Suniti Namjoshi
Illustrator: Sayan Mukherjee
32 pages
Rs. 160.00
ISBN: 935046572-8
Tulika, 2014
Age-group: 5+
Subject category: Contemporary/Concepts

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