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Updated: November 17, 2009 10:51 IST

In the land of no stories

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It was a boring town. Until something fell on Minky Binka's head...

Have you ever wondered how it would be if there were never any stories? Absolutely no stories – to read, to tell or to imagine. Oh! An awful thought indeed.

The Day it Rained Letters is a story about just that. Minky Binka lived in a land with no story books. There were no story books at home or in the school. Because there were no story books, at bedtime parents simply said ‘Goodnight' to their children and the children said ‘Goodnight' to the parents and the lights were turned off!

The situation in school was even more dire. As there were no story books, there were only lessons. And because there were no story books there was no imagination which in turn led to no games at playtime. It is almost like living a nightmare.

From the sky

But the town did have a printing house. Only it didn't make books, it made only empty cardboard boxes.

It was a very boring place. But then, things could not continue in this manner for long. One day, when Minky Binka was walking through a park on her way to school something fell on her head. It was a strange shape. The next day, the same thing happened. She showed them to her mother who had no idea what they were.

But at her school ‘Show and tell' Minky Binka finds out that Rama Khan had also picked up a few of the shapes. The mystery deepens.

Where can they find out about these shapes? Who can tell them in the land of no stories and no imagination? Would the library help? But there are no books in the library. “But there was a librarian and rows and rows of wise old people.”

The librarian suggests she meet Mr. Reed, “our encyclopaedia. He's in row twelve, seat four.”

Read on to find out how Minky Binka and Rama Khan find a solution. Does that mean there will be story books in the land of no books?

An interesting story, simply told and with lots of fascinating illustrations.

The South China Morning Post says, “This tale…gently reminds the modern parent to switch off the television… and help nurture a love of words…”


by Nury Vitachi and illustrated by Eamonn O'Boyle,

Hachette, Rs. 150

An excerpt:

‘What is imagination?'

‘That's also hard to explain,' Mr. Reed said. ‘Imagination gives children the ability to dream dreams even when they are awake. It gives them the ability to have exciting, dangerous adventures without any danger. It gives them the power to turn themselves into pirates or princesses or porcupines. With Imagination, children can fly around the world, travel through space, or even go forwards and backwards in time. And they can do all this without leaving their chairs.'


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