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This book is a part of a series of books that every home should have and every child should read growing up. I think that it the most wonderful way to introduce children to Indian history. This book is scrupulously researched and written in clear and easy language that also translates the power, importance and message of these stories. I loved that is is styled as a travelogue and it that it so effortlessly and engagingly underlines its ultimate purpose: to open a door into the bottomless universe of history and mythology. It is an absolute must read!!
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.
A Saint of stature and an Emperor mighty meet. As time passes by, the bonds between them grow giving birth to a city new and monuments that to this day baffle the human mind. People come; seek peace and blessings at the Dargah of the Saint. Yet many may not know/ remember the history of the Fort of Fatehpur Sikri and the mausoleum the Emperor built.
Eye- catching illustrations and a simple yet engrossing narrative are the highlights of ‘Amma Take Me to The Dargah of Salim Chishti.’ Part of a travelogue series that aims at introducing young minds to the history of different faiths and their associated monuments, this book introduces us not only to the great Sufi Saint Shaikh Salim Chishti, but also to his relationship with the Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great. As one ‘enters’ the ‘Buland Darwaza’ along-with Amma and her boys, one can’t help but marvel at the architecture that awaits us, as well as appreciate the sentiment that’s associated with the ritual of tying threads on the jali screens while making a wish. One also gets an insight into the strong yet humble side of the Sufi Saint and the power he wielded over one of the mightiest Emperors of all time i.e. Emperor Akbar.
The language is simple, yet has the power to conjure up a vivid imagery of the tour and the place. While the illustrations do justice to the narrative, the simplistic manner in which the great monument is introduced, leaves no room for doubt about the effectiveness of the narrative and the research that’s gone into the story.
‘Amma Take Me to the Dargah of Salim Chishti’ is by all means a fine example of history made easy, interesting and engaging. A great asset, this one ought to find a place in each and every Children’s’ Library across the country.
I grew up in a house that celebrated all festivals. Needless to say I want my boys to inculcate the same too. And it starts with knowing about a religion. After all we need to raise better humans, and that is the need of the day.
Bhakti Mathur’s book on the Dargah of Salim Chishti ticks all the right boxes – it is meticulous researched, the narrative – the dialogue between a mother and her sons – is interesting and fun, and the book brings alive the reverence a person feels when visiting the Dargah. I liked the interaction between the family members – the affectionate bantering tone is something that we are all familiar with. This book makes me really want to visit the Dargah with my kids, point out the structures highlighted in the book and tie a little red string- a prayer to the amazing Saint Salim Chisthi. The books in this series are a must read for anyone visiting the holy sites featured in the book.
This book is excellent on so many levels - a great read that gives kids a real appreciation of the story of Saint Salim Chishti. Also the graphics and visual elements are a great compliment to the story. The Amma series is a truly must have for parents in bringing alive Indian History in this age of poor attention span of kids with so much alternative stimuli.