Beastly Tales from Here and There
Vikram Seth
Prabha Mallya
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
verse humour folklore animals


This book of stories in verse, is a demonstration of how a skilled writer can play with words to impart something interesting and unique for young children to revel in. The stories selected for transcribing into verse are from various corners of the earth and are funny, educative, and more importantly – thought-provoking.

Poetry plays a vital role in the world of children’s literature. It gives children a sense of rhythm and sound, and it can make simple concepts interesting. Funny and engaging, this clever way of imparting tales some new and others old give the young readers something to think about and enjoy.

The well-known Indian stories that can be found here are The Hare and the Tortoise, The Crocodile and the Monkey, whilst the others equally interesting ones are from China, Greece and the Ukraine and also have a few originals: figments of the authors own imaginative mind! My favourite is the elephant and the Trangopan, which succeeds in conveying through verse, a strong environmental message.

Children will treasure this book with its beautiful lyrical verse that has been complemented by colourful and vibrant illustrations.

A two thumbs up book!

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee