“The stories are simply told and comprehensible though the moral aspect may require adult intervention.”

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

Normally tales from the Jatakas are lauded for their wisdom and the serenity of the Buddha’s teachings – and there are quite a few translations available in India rubbing shoulders with the Panchatantra and other animal fables. This particular translation, however, is notable for the translator, Noor Inayat Khan, a woman noted for her courage and her self-sacrifice. An undercover operative in World War 11 France, she fought to undermine the Nazis and in the end gave her life to the cause. This is a perfect fit with a story like the Hare and the Fairy for instance where the hare is willing to offer himself as a meal to any starving person who comes by.

Noor Inayat Khan translated these stories when she was in her 20’s and they have been brought together in a beautifully illustrated collection that is just the right size for children to hold and appreciate. The stories are simply told and comprehensible though the moral aspect may require adult intervention. However, adults are likely to value this book even more for what lies behind the translations and may bring up their children or stories of Noor Inayat’s courage, taking a leaf out of the publisher’s introduction.

 

Reviewed by:

Anjana Basu

Added 10th February 2019

More Reviews By
Anjana Basu