What makes ‘Kathasaritsagara’ a popular book among young readers?

            ‘Kathasaritsagara’, meaning Ocean of the Streams of Stories, is an 11th century collection of Indian legends, fairy tales, and folk tales,  retold in Sanskrit by a scholar named Somadeva.

            Nothing is known about the author other than that his father’s name was Ramadevabatta.

            The work was compiled for the entertainment of the queen Suryamati, wife of king Anantadeva of Kashmir.

            Unlike most familiar classics, this work contains no hidden moral lessons. Instead, it is an easy celebration of earthly life. It consists of 18 books of 124 chapters, and has more than 21,000 verses, in addition to prose sections.

            The book contains a major tale, which is about the adventures of Naravahanadatta, son of the legendary king Udayana.

            Most of the other tales are interestingly connected to this central story.

            The work was translated into English by Charles Henry Tawney. The translation was published in two volumes in 1880 and 1884.

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Why is ‘Don Quixote’ so popular among children?

            Written between 1605 and 1615, ‘Don Quixote’, also known as ‘The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha’, is a children’s novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. It has been widely read, and enjoyed by children.

            The novel, originally written in Spanish, is about a wannabe knight, Alonso Quixano, who drags a farmer, Sancho Panza, along on a series of adventures. Don Quixote, in the first part of the book, does not see the world for what it is and prefers to imagine that he is living out a knightly story. The book was immediately translated into English, and it was a great and continuing success.

            ‘Don Quixote’ is considered to be one of the most important books of all time, and it is often cited as the first modern children’s novel.

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What makes ‘Robinson Crusoe’ a popular children’s book?

            ‘Robinson Crusoe’ is another sea adventure children’s book, written by Daniel Defoe. The novel ‘Robinson Crusoe’ tells the story of a young and impulsive Englishman who defies his parents’ wishes, and takes to the seas seeking adventure.

            He was involved in a series of violent storms at sea, and was warned by the captain that he should not be a seafaring man. The young Robinson Crusoe is ship-wrecked and cast away on a remote tropical island for 28 years.

            This wonderfully written book is said to be based on the true-life events of Alexander Selkirk, a sailor who survived four years on a Pacific island, after he encountered a terrible ship mishap.

            Despite its simple narrative style, ‘Robinson Crusoe’ was well received in the literary world. Before the end of 1719, the book had already run through four editions, and it has gone on to become one of the most widely published books in history.

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What makes ‘Moby-Dick’ a one of a kind book?

            If you are into sea adventure books, you will thoroughly enjoy the famous story book – ‘Moby-Dick’, written in 1851 by Herman Melville. It recounts the adventures of the narrator Ishmael, as he sails on the whaling ship, Pequod, under the command of the monomaniacal Captain Ahab.

           ‘Moby-Dick’, is a classic, not only in children’s literature but also in world literature. It is a novel first published in London as ‘The Whale’ and a month later in the United States as ‘Moby-Dick or The Whale’.

            Ishmael is the narrator in the story. Ishmael believes he has signed onto a normal whaling vessel, but he soon learns that Captain Ahab is not guiding the Pequod to hunt any whale, but is seeking one specific whale, Moby-Dick, a great white whale infamous for his ability to destroy the whalers that seek him.

            The captain’s wooden leg is the result of his first encounter with Moby-Dick. After the ship sails, it becomes clear that Captain Ahab is bent on revenge and he intends to get Moby-Dick.

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Why is ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ considered a great children’s book?



               ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ is a classic children’s book, written by Jonathan Swift. It was originally published in 1726.

               ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, comprises four books. It is an adventure story involving several voyages of the main character Lemuel Gulliver, a ship’s surgeon, who, because of a series of mishaps, ends up on unknown islands living with people and animals of unusual sizes. However, Gulliver returns to his home in England, where he recovers from these unusual experiences and then sets out again on a new voyage.

               In this creatively written work of fiction, many exciting things are included, for example- ‘remote regions of the world’, including Lilliput, where Gulliver finds himself tied to the ground by six-inch-high human figures, where he meets a man ‘as tall as an ordinary spire steeple’.

               The book became popular as soon as it was published. John Gay wrote in a 1726 letter to Swift that ‘It is universally read, from the cabinet council to the nursery’.

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