The Auto that Flew
Ken Spillman
Ajanta Guhathakurta
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
Pratham Books
Delhi auto
picture book, fiction, fantasy

Arjun dreamed of flying, just like a helicopter, high above the winding Delhi roads. He knew he should be content with his life - after all, he had a caring family, he loved his work and was well looked after by his driver, Sirishji. But this little auto wished for more and his wish was soon fulfilled.

An old lady being ferried by Arjun, purchased bottled water for herself and Sirishji, from a vendor at a traffic signal, who claimed the water had magical properties. While they both laughed it off as yet another sales tactic, a transformation awaited all three.

Arjun (who had some water spilled on him), found himself flying. While all of them were thrilled by the fact that their desires were now a reality, they were quickly overcome by the need for familiarity; especially Arjun who felt lost and craved the hustle and bustle of Delhi life on ground. As they journeyed across the sky, they each saw value in what they already had and it is this philosophical twist that makes the book a must read for children and adults.

The writing is simplistic and is beautifully complemented by Ajanta Guhathakurta's illustrations.Given that each of the characters had their dream fulfilled, the author could have elaborated on the excitement that followed their sudden transformation. This, however, is a minor quibble. It is definitely worth taking this magical journey with your children and at Rs. 50, it's economical too... 

Reviewed by Dorita D'souza