Who will Teach Emperor Akbar?
Deepa Balsavar
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
value education teachers wisdom Emperor Akbar
picture book, fiction


As, Emperor Akbar watches a group of learned men avidly discussing an issue, he realises that there was a lot that he did not know and so summons Birbal, his able adviser, to find him teachers who would educate him in areas that he lacked in.

Knowing that there was no limit to human knowledge, Birbal sets off to prove that it was not really neccessary or even possible for one to encompass it all. He presents to the Emperor the next day, a dhobhi, who could teach him how to get stains off clothes, a child who could entertain himself for hours on end, housewifes, ragpickers and so on.
He then goes on to explain to the perplexed king that everyone from the learned man to a simpleton is special in his own way and possesses knowledge of things that no one else does. To acquire all of that was not only impossible but also not desirable.Everyone is a teacher and a student at one and the same time.
What is important is that everyone can and should learn to be a good human being!

Excellent illustrations in the style of Mughal miniature art with a lot of interesting details on each page not only makes this book a delight to browze through, but also make a great book for children to talk about.

The only flaw in this lovely book is the font size. A somewhat bigger and more interesting font would make it more inviting for a not-so fluent reader to attempt.

Young India Books recommends.


Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee