The Champa Flower
age group: 
3+ yrs
Number of pages: 
trees Rabindranath Tagore imagination childhood
picture book, fiction

Childhood is a time when the imagination soars.

In his book Boyhood Days Rabindranath Tagore had mentioned how he used to sit in an old abandoned ‘palki’ in his house and let his imagination soar. He was a hero! A villain! A scary beast! A cloud! He would take off to faraway lands and have incredible adventures.

In this book, he imagines a young boy who decides to morph himself into a champa flower high up in the tree. From that vantage point he imagines himself  gleefully watching his mother go about her all-too familiar daily routine all the time being hidden from view. And how at the end of the day he would slip down and be her baby once again.

He writes, what if, “ became a champa flower just for fun?
And grew on a branch high up that tree.
Suppose I shook in the wind with laughter?
And danced upon the newly budded leaves.
Would you know me, Ma?

Through this whimsical little story, Tagore whilst indulging in a flight of fantasy, brings to life, the warm emotional bond between the mother and child, the active imagination of a child and also reveals the daily routine of a woman in rural Bengal.

Vivid illustrations with great page layout and minimal usage of words make this book a great introduction to the works of one of India’s greatest litterateur.

Other books by Tagore have featured here in the website are, The Land of Cards,  Boyhood Days and Holidays have Come

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee