“We need offbeat, quirky stories like the ones in this collection to make history come alive – Ruskin Bond”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
For a children’s book this one has a lot going for adults. Most would not be aware of the swan shaped car that was designed for the Maharajah of Nabha. Accompanied by two cygnet cars for the royal princelings, it honked and flapped its way through the streets until ultimately the Maharajah lost his kingdom for being improvident. Curated from the popular Live History India website, Minnie Menon has put together stories with quirky illustrations to match offering interested readers a quick glimpse into what the history books do not usually tell you.
There are stories of drifting continents – Meghalaya and Australia were cheek by jowl at one point – and dinosaurs with Sanskrit names. The Live History team also links the story to other related issues of the time – the swan car for example leads to how many cars there were in Mumbai and how Jamsetji Tata sent to America for his car, following the example of Rustomji Cama. Interestingly the stories are not the work of a single author but several delving into different subjects and coming up with these nuggets.
Added 4th May 2020