Plot Summary: ‘Amma, Take Me to the Dargah of Salim Chishti’ is a children’s book that narrates the story of two young boys who explore the secrets of the past- the ones associated with the Mughal Emperors. Written in form of a travelogue, this book throws light on the essence of our existence, stressing on the fact that no religion is greater than humanity. The story also helps in understanding the importance and relevance of all religions and teaches the children to respect all faiths irrespective of colour, caste, creed and sex. On their journey to Fatehpur Sikri, Amma (the mother) narrates the tale of Akbar and Salim Chishti Shaikh and enlightens her kids. Her narrative not only consists of historical names that are etched on our minds but also the meanings of simple terms like urs, Khwabgah, qawwali and many more.
Area A: Text The text has been organized in simple sentences. There is no specific literary device that has been used per se, albeit, the vocabulary is good. Storytelling has always been one of the methods to pique curiousity in children. Using amma’s character as a pivot, the author successfully delivers the information and caters to the mind of the readers. The target audience is young children aged between 7-10 years who have well developed auditory senses and comprehension skills. With bigger font and a lot of white spaces utilized by illustrations, the book will be likeable by the children.
Area B: Illustrations The cover of the book neatly presents the main idea of the plot. The illustrations strike the right chord and will be liked by the children.
Area C: Characterization The main characters of the story are Amma, Shiv and Veer. It is said that there are no seven wonders of the world in a child’s eye; there are seven million. The book proves this right and also urges the parents to adopt the role of a storyteller whenever they want to give their children a lesson.
Overall, with an objective atmosphere, this story is highly recommended to be read by the children. Simple narrative and interesting information form the USP of this book.