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Updated: October 14, 2013 16:41 IST

Take off on a magical journey

MADHULIKA GAUTAMA
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From Rangeeli Duniya to Creation’s Feet and onward to The Grove of Lofty Trees, Elbie takes off on a thrilling journey to save her home.

Elbie, a little big tree, embarks on a series of adventures in this book by Manjul Bajaj. The little big tree is the owner of the Soul Kitchen in Rangeeli Duniya, where she brews the world’s best Companionship Brew with focus and quiet. Ruffled feathers, preachings, speeches and chides, spoil the Companionship Brew and Elbie knows that she has to keep the rooms of her heart quiet and empty, sensitive to silence when she brews. However, the Brewer of Brews, Elbie is consumed by the idea that she may not be big at all, in fact a pygmy, the tiniest of the tinies. The Birches, Willows and Larches in The Grove of Lofty Trees looked so much bigger, taller and broader than her. But, she did look bigger than the bees and rabbits in her Soul Kitchen. So was she little or big? Elbie soon finds out when she travels to Creation’s Feet to save Rangeeli Duniya from destruction.

The quest

But she can’t do it all without her best friend — Aluf, the lone wolf. One day when Aluf and Elbie are in the Soul Kitchen, Aluf tells Elbie that he saw eagles earlier in the day. “But, we all know eagles don’t exist!” exclaims Elbie. Mythical creatures, confined to storybooks, eagles guarded the throne of Roshni Rani and protected the world from harm that Benoor Badshah wanted to wreck upon it. Elbie and Aluf are finally paid a visit by the eagles, who tell Elbie that Waffa, the Wise, has summoned her. The First Advisor of the One True Seers Council, Waffa tells Elbie that she needs to find onion-shaped sage, Kandha Rishi, in order to stop Benoor Badshah from destroying Rangeeli Duniya. Finding that he is not wanted, Aluf turns aloof.

When Elbie starts on her quest she meets Ernest Elm, Brittle Birch, Oak the Bloke — the few remaining trees to have not joined Benoor Badshah’s dreadful army of the tallest trees. The three trees grant Elbie special powers that help her in her quest to find Kandah Rishi. But Elbie is frightened. She is not big as the trees she has to fight and if she fails her beautiful home will be destroyed. Will Elbie save Rangeeli Duniya? Will Aluf and Elbie become friends again?

Elbie’s Quest is a magical book for anyone with a sense of adventure. Let your imagination soar as you travel with Elbie. On your way pick up a few new words for Brittle Birch only speaks in the finest prose. “Discombobulated, nidifugous, omphaloskepsis”… will you be confounded by these words like Elbie? Pick up the dictionary when you start on Elbie’s Quest.

ELBIE’S QUEST by Manjul Bajaj has illustrations by Team Oktopus, Scholastic, Rs. 175

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