In this book, author and scholar Arshia Sattar remains true to Valmiki’s version of the Ramayana. However, with the original revering Rama as the just and noble hero, this book shows Rama’s younger brother Lakshmana in a much better light. Rama’s unjustifiable actions of sneakily killing Vali, the monkey king and of abandoning his wife Sita are brought to light in this version retold for children. Her goal for doing so is not to undermine the character of Rama, rather, is to avoid creating polarized characters – which tends to be the case with traditional tellings of the Ramayana.
Sattar’s wonderful narrative style brings to life stories which can sometimes feel boring to young children. Her retelling creates complex characters which leave children asking questions. Her ability to recreate the stories of Ramayana and adapt them to be palatable to children, shows her in-depth knowledge of the text and her skills as an author.
This favourite epic is beautifully retold by the author and is accompanied by amazing illustrations by Sonali Zohra.
The author has presented the entire original Ramayana in a bite-sized book with a magical narrative style. A definite must-read for children interested in getting introduced to the world of Hindu mythology.