Sukumar Ray
Sukumar Ray
age group: 
12+ yrs
Number of pages: 
rhyme nonsense verse
fiction, verse


In his foreword Ruskin Bond, writes "Sukumar Ray's forte was the nonsense verse and rhyme, but no less entertaining were his drawings---his sketches of fussy school teachers, pompous pundits, eccentric family members, and of course weird creatures such as the animals in Professor Chuckleonymous's hunting tales, or the wild-eyed monster with an elephant trunk, a lion's mane and a lizard tail. The creatures he created for his poem Mish-Mash are truly out of this world!"

Sukumar Ray is indeed a master in the art of nonsense rhyme.  This book written in Bengali decades ago, still continues to enthrall and amuse the reader.

Painstakingly translated by Sampurna Chattarji for making sense out of nonsense, or rather nonsense out of sense, to quote  Ruskin Bond again, the book has anecdotes in nonsense and humourous verse with good vocabulary, rhyme and rhythm. It also has puns and wordplay, with caricatures and crazy cartoons.

There are stories not just about humans, birds and animals but about weird imaginative creatures as well, wonsters, duckupine, Graven Raven and Gobbledygook, the rascally schoolboy Pagla Dashu, tickling Tom who drives everyone crazy with a feather and more!

Reading this book will inspire and encourage children to try their hand in writing in verse.

Today, with the pressure of studies and ongoing assessments, this book makes for light reading. A great escape from reality into a world of fun and fantasy.   In other words a book to curl up with and enjoy! b

As invited to by Sukumar Ray in his Abol Tabol,

Nonsensical ways topsy-turvy gaze

       stay delirous all the time,

Come you travellers to the world of babblers

      and the beat of impossible rhyme.

An excellent book for children of all ages and adults, too!

Reviewed by Colleen Demonte