ANYWAY, Farmer Falgu Goes To The Market is a lovely little book for the little one you know, or have. I would peg the appropriate age group for this book to be the 5-8 category (although I’ve actually no idea with respect to which age group the publishers have targeted), because I personally felt that each age group would get something different out of the book. The book’s about Farmer Falgu who is heading to the local market with all his lovely fresh fruits, vegetables and eggs, but encounters a difficulties on the way (including an adorable duck family and some hungry goats), that ultimately destroy his bounty. Instead of worrying about how everything’s been ruined, Falgu proceeds to borrow a few pans and starts selling omelettes instead!
The book is very appealing, visually, and the crayon style illustrations are unique and make the whole story pop, which is quite an achievement considering how the emphasis throughout the book is on sounds (the eggs cracked, the pan sizzled, the oink oinks and the maa-maas), so all credit to Kanika Nair!
I believe that it’s important that kids read, for lack of a better word, indigenous writing when they’re in that 5-8 age group because it plays an important role in helping them understand what’s really around them, like Farmer Falgu and his bullock cart, as opposed to quaint English concepts like Golliwogs and Treacle Pudding (also known as the two great disappointments of my childhood because I was never able to find either of them where I lived despite searching in many places and harassing even more people).
I think it must also be said that Indian Children’s Writing, today, is of such better quality when pitted against Indian Fiction Writing in general. When I was younger, and when my parents realized that I liked books, they bought me what they found in the stores then – my mom wasn’t really a reader, but she ensured that I got the best. I grew up on the Little Golden Books before I graduated to Enid Blyton and Carolyn Keene before eventually falling into that black hole called Young Adult (I lost many years to the Princess Diaries). My sister, though, went the Dr.Seuss – Roald Dahl route. Although she followed me into the YA Black Hole of No Return, Varsha read a lot more Indian Children’s Books than I ever did. Karadi Tales, and Tulika were just getting mainstream. True to form, Karadi Tales have been doing an excellent job all these years, and this book is no exception.
Over all, I really enjoyed this book, and I’m twenty five (I’ll be twenty six next year), so if you know any little ones who you want to introduce to good books, do pick up Farmer Falgu Goes To The Market!