Thursday, December 13, 2018

Review: Babu and Bina at the Ghost Party!

Babu and Bina at the Ghost Party! Babu and Bina at the Ghost Party! by P. Tomar
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the things I loved most as a child was reading about other countries and cultures, including their mythology and folklore. Indian mythology and epics, including the Ramayana and Mahabharata offered exciting stories I was fortunate to have been exposed to at an early age. (I actually bought a small Ganesha bronze statue when I was about ten in an antique store! I bought a Parvati statue when I was eighteen!) It is good to know that there is continuing interest in the Indian mythos in children's books. Earlier this year, Disney/Hyperion released the first in a Middle Grade Indian mythology-based series, Aru Shah and the End of Time. This comes on the heels of other popular books such as Sanjay Patel's mythology-based books inspired by the Ramayana, including his charming Ganesha's Sweet Tooth. P. Tomar and illustrator Giulia Iacopini offer us a new series with an Indian cultural theme for young readers.

The first book in the Babu and Bina series, Babu and Bina at the Ghost Party tells a simple story of sibling elephants Babu and Bina Trunk visiting an East Indian fort with their family. When their naughty dog Pinto gets away from them, their chase after him leads them through mysterious places and finally to the ghosts of the Maharaja and Maharani who lived there long ago, along with soldiers and others who served them in the fortress. Babu and Bina keep an open mind about these ghosts and enjoy a light and sound show with them.

What really stands out in this indie-published picture book is the quality of the imagery. The illustrations are colorful and charming. For children and parents who love stories of other places in the world, this is a charming entry to a new series. The second book in the series, which publishes early next year, find Bina playacting as a Princess for a Day.

I received a Digital Review Copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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