When I was younger, I was a different woman. I was carefree and lived by my own rules. But once my son Vansh was born, a lot changed. The once don’t care attitude I had suddenly ceased to exist. Suddenly, my focus was my child and family’s needs. I have support at home and toyed with the idea of going back to work after delivery. But since I was financially secure at that time and naturally felt the need to nurture, I decided that I would devote time to my family.
A lot of women go through this phase in their lives. They live without a care and at a certain point, naturally transition into the role of a caregiver, the mother or ‘Mata’ (the caregiver – the protector).
Interestingly, Navaratri is a celebration of every woman who is a protector. She manifests herself in the form of different goddesses, and this festival dedicated to the worship of these ‘Devis’.
The word Navaratri means 'nine nights' in Sanskrit. From the sixth to the tenth day of Navaratri, Bengalis celebrate Durga Puja. The Durga Puja festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura epitomising the victory of Good over Evil.
The stories about Navratri and Durga Puja have enthralled kids and adults alike over decades. To delight my child with stories this festival,we decided to read some interesting books. Try them out.
1. Durga; Saraswati; Laxmi; Kali by Om Kidz – Rs 99 each
These are new releases by Om Kidz and they have just one sentence per page with wonderful illustrations matching the information. These are great babies as well since the pictures do the talking but are yet well-suited for a quick read aloud to older kids as well.
Picture Credits: ombooks
2. Mata Mama and Me – Chinmaya Mission – Rs 180
The book is a great read for children about 18 months old and above. The book has contemporary illustrations and it draws parallels between Devi (Divine mother) and the mother. Just as a mother takes care of her child, the Divine mother takes care of earth.
3. Amma tell me about Durga Puja Rs 350
The ‘Amma tell me series’ gets a mention everytime ‘children’s mythology books’ are mentioned. The one on Durga Puja first tells us about the celebrations / rituals celebrated during Durga Puja and it then mentions how Ma Durga defeats Mahisasur. The book has some captivating illustrations and rhymo-rhythm language for young readers.
4. Amar Chitra Katha
The Amar Chitra Katha, our generation’s go to books for any mythology and history-related reads also has two titles in the Mata series. Some of these titles are now also available on Kindle.
5. Saraswati’s Secret River – Rs 100
This is a fun read from the Fun in Devlok series by the mythology master – Devdutt Patnaik. Goddess Saraswati is looking out for her river, so the principal of a school goes with her aboard her Hansa (Swan) in search of of it. The journey enlightens the principal on how the essence of education is lost.
It is light and a great read aloud for 5-8 year olds. The only catch with the series is that the books have only few illustrations in black and white which may not appeal to all children.
6. The Little Hindu book of Indian Deities
If you’ve read my previous article (on books Ganesh Chaturthi), you probably know that I’m a fan of the author – illustrator, Sanjay Patel. The book is a great read for adults as well and they can then read or tell the story to their little ones along. The illustrations of the Gods and Godesses are also very contemporary. This book includes information on Godesses Saraswati, Lakshmi, Durga, Kali and Parvati, along with many other Hindu deities.
7. Kali the Feminine force / Durga the Feminine Force – Rs 225 – By Om Kidz
These are lovely books for older kids, as they cover the various facets of mythology around both the Goddesses in quite detail. The war sequences are elaborately described and vividly illustrated; hence it is recommended for an older age group but a parent is the best judge for what the child is ready for.
Enjoy this Navratri with your little ones. Happy Dancing and Happy Reading this festive season!
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