Chatur and the Enchanted Jungle by Subhash Kommuru
Chatur and the Enchanted Jungle by Subhash Kommuru is an illustrated children’s book that follow Chatur and his donkey Gadhu as they travel through a jungle on their way to town to look for work. They quickly lose their way in the jungle, and decide to take a rest under a big tree. Chatur says how thirsty he is, and suddenly a pot of water magically appears. He then exclaims how hungry he is, and then food arrives out of thin air. When Chatur mentions being sleepy, a bed appears, quickly realizing this jungle has powers unlike anything else he’s ever experienced. Gadhu warns Chatur not to be greedy with his wishes, but Chatur ignores his trusted donkey, instead wishing for a pot of gold, a horse, a house, and a great view. Chatur’s luck eventually runs out when thieves arrive in the jungle, and his wishes are no longer being fulfilled. Luckily, his donkey Gadhu is still on his side to help him in his time of need.
This is an entertaining and well-illustrated book that teaches children an important lesson, while also sharing an old Hindi saying which is a nice message to give to young readers. The two main characters of Chatur and Gadhu balance the story well, as Chatur gets over-confident in the powers of the jungle, while Gadhu tries to keep him grounded and prevent him from being too greedy. The book shows kids that you should try and be happy with what you have, and that when you do come across good fortune, to not take it for granted.
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