Eleven-year-old Aditi Amritesh gives Roopa Pai’s The Gita for Children, published by Hachette India, five stars!
I was delighted to receive this great opportunity of reviewing the book ‘The Gita for Children’ by Roopa Pai for the Goodwill Project, since it meant that I get to read a wonderful new book and support a good cause at the same time. When I first received the book, I was unsure whether I wanted to read it, as I felt the topics the Gita covers and the Gita’s storyline are uninteresting. But after reading the book, I realized that when the Gita’s messages were conveyed in a manner where I could understand them, the book made a lot of sense to me. I definitely enjoyed the book a lot. It completely changed my views on the Bhagavad Gita’s storyline and lessons. I hope my review of this book will encourage many readers of all ages to consider ‘The Gita for Children’ by Roopa Pai as the next book on their must-read list. I would love to receive another opportunity like this so I can review more books.
The Bhagavad Gita is an epic poem of 700 ‘shlokas’, or small couplets. The Bhagavad Gita itself is a small part of the Mahabharata, one of the world’s longest texts. When a child of any age glimpses upon the Gita, they are scared by the sheer volume of the poem. Roopa Pai has compressed the Gita into a smaller book, The Gita for Children.
In this book, Roopa Pai retells one of the most famous epics in a hilarious, informative, easy to understand and friendly manner, while preserving the Gita’s true lessons. The book briefs us on the Mahabharata story in the first few pages, so that the book makes sense to a person who has never read the Mahabharata. The lessons from the Gita are highlighted and explained one by one, and the original shlokas are shown along with them. The conversation between Krishna and Arjuna is portrayed in a slightly informal way, but still remaining serious.
Even though this version of the Gita has been considerably shrunk, its lessons and values haven’t, and that is why I recommend this book to you.
Below, I have assessed the book The Gita for Children using some elements of Common Sense Media (commonsensemedia.org)’s rating system.
AGE GROUP: 11+ YEARS
I would recommend this book to anyone aged 11 or older because the story might be a little boring for younger children.
LEARNING APPROACH: ***** 5 STARS
I would give this book 5 stars in this category, because it teaches you the essential lessons of the Gita in a fun and easy to understand manner.
WHAT FAMILIES CAN TALK ABOUT:
After reading this book, youngsters will easily be able to converse with elders who have read the book about the Gita’s life lessons.
SKILLS AND LESSONS KIDS CAN LEARN
(Thinking and Reasoning, Emotional Development, Self-direction, Teamwork):
This book is all about making wise choices and thinking before acting.
Thus, it reinforces important strategies about thinking and reasoning. However, the book also tells us about Arjuna’s regret over jumping into war without thinking and about how to deal with wrong decisions made on the spur of the moment. These incidents awaken emotional development and self-direction in the reader, wherein one can see how to stand by our decisions with courage and conviction. The book even mentions the team spirit of the Pandava brothers and how they stuck together no matter the size of their enemy’s army. These are very valuable examples of how teamwork can influence the outcome of any situation.
OVERALL QUALITY: ***** 5 STARS
This book may not be the kind you can read in one stretch. This is because you need time to read and reflect on each informative section of the book. The messages are conveyed in simple language but have deep meaning and impact. One such that keeps coming back to me from time to time is “Matter cannot be created or destroyed; it only changes form”. Another one that really impressed me is “Self-discipline is a muscle. Exercise it regularly to stay in great emotional shape”!
ABOUT OUR REVIEWER:
“Hello, I’m Aditi Amritesh. I study in the 6th grade of Pathways Noida. I am a budding author and artist. My story was recently published in ‘For Kids By Kids: Award Winning Stories’, a short story anthology published by Scholastic India, to publicize stories written by the winners of the 2015 Scholastic Writing Awards. I also love anime and manga (Japanese animation and graphic novels) and I am part of an online community for artists. I am a self-taught anime art enthusiast. You can find my artworks at www.paigeeworld.com/u/mikumikuvocaloid ”