Aditi and her Friends in Search of Shemeek
Suniti Namjoshi
Shefalee Jain
age group: 
9+ yrs
Number of pages: 
travel adventure
fiction, adventure


Aditi and her friends Monkeyji, Beautiful Ele and Sibil the Ant are visiting Prague when suddenly Monkeyji is unable to speak. It takes them some time to find out that she has been cursed by Princess Libusha’s grand-daughter so that she cannot speak the truth.

Only the snow-white horse Shemeek who sleeps behind a rock at Wusherad can help them. The pompous Sir Sparrow does all he can to prevent them meeting Shemeek, but with the help of the good dragons Goldie and Opal they get past Old Fiery Blue, a dragon who likes nothing better than a good fight but is really good at heart, and only wants to protect Shemeek from people who don’t really need his help.

Once Shemeek has lifted the spell the friends decide to teach Sir Sparrow a lesson, and turn his snowy white feathers bright pink. They also entice the naughty grand-daughter with a pretty dress made of leaves and put a spell on her too, so that she can speak only when spoken to. But they feel uncomfortable: perhaps the spells are too harsh. With the help of the gentle Princess Libusha, they understand that Sir Sparrow was pompous because he wanted to be somebody, and the grand-daughter was naughty because she was spoilt. The spells are reversed, and all ends well.

This story, based around a popular Czech legend, subtly poses the ethics of truth and falsehood, and what is good and bad behavior, without being preachy, leaving the reader to decide what is right. The eighth in the series.

Reviewed by Praveena Shivram