Posted in Picture Book Reviews

Book Review #2: Bioscope

Author: Mamta Nainy

Illustrator: Shanti Devi

Release Year: First published in 2011 

Publisher: Katha (India)

Age group: 5 – 7 years

Available on: Amazon India

Let me take you around my village,

through the narrow lanes shaded by

stooping mango trees and the betel

vines curling on the tall electricity poles!

Story – 

A little girl Champa lives with her mother in a village, near Mithila. One afternoon, she is bored while her mother is taking a nap. In this boredom, she offers to take us around her home and village through her drawings since it is very hot outside to actually step out. She is proud of her drawings because her Ma is all praises for her drawings. She tells us she is learning to paint from her mother and in turn, teaches A B Cs to her mother. 

Enthusiastically, she talks about the stooping mango trees, the 2 squirrels who live on the tree outside her house, the snake who umpires the fights between the 2 squirrels and lives in a hole underneath the tree, the 2 Koyal birds who are sisters living on different trees and who meet each other once in a while, the village well, the choupal where grandpas of the village sit and chat and the sweetseller who frequents in the evenings.

What appealed to me?

  1. The minutest details in introducing the various characters, which only an innocent observation of a child can bring.
  2. Although the story is simple, it is the art work in the illustrations which enhances the appeal of this book. The art work is based upon the Madhubani art form which comes from the Mithila region in Bihar. Madhubani art is talked about in detail towards the end of the book.
  3. The book does a fine work of generating interest in the richness of folk culture and traditional art forms of India. 
  4. Revisiting the Hindi names of the months of the year with dedicated Alpana designs for each of the months at the end of the book.

What appealed to D?

  1. To know Mithila was the birth place of Sita, one of the pivotal characters from the epic, Ramayana.
  2. The interesting names of the squirrels, the snake and the Koyal and their playful antics.
  3. He had fun spotting and identifying the little objects, items and characters in the illustrations

What D questioned?

  1. Details about Nagapanchami Puja (mentioned in the story). Why snakes are worshiped for this festival? Why are they fed with milk when they eat rats?
  2. The meaning of the underlined phrase in the line –  ‘You must have heard of Mithila. I live in a village just a few miles shy of Mithila.’

This book is worth a read to give the city bred children a peek into the simplicity of life in an Indian village and enabling them to discover our rich culture and traditional art forms. 


Have a look at one of the illustrations from the book. What all can you see in this picture?

Note: This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon India. This means: if you buy this book by clicking on the link mentioned above, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you.

This book is a part of my own collection. I received this book as a part of the monthly book subscription box from Enchantico.

Linking this post with Literacy Musings Mondays #LMM

27 thoughts on “Book Review #2: Bioscope

  1. That’s such a lovely review .I have two Madhubani paintings and these look gorgeous .
    I think even my daughter will like these.

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