Tales of the Hindu gods

(Andre Deutsch 1987)

Chosen by the Book Trust for their Children's Books of the Year catalogue 1987
“The language is rich and the approach direct...what shines out most strongly from these retellings is the affirmation of human qualities...includes a clever version of the story of Rama [and Sita]… I thoroughly recommend the whole selection. Simple notes at the end convey helpful information about HInduism and the stories themselves.” - School Librarian
“a wonderful mixture of fantasy, magic, gods and people, all set against a background of the Indian countryside.” - Children’s Books of the Year
“A pleasure to read” - The Junior Bookshelf
“A lively flowing style and the author’s feel and sympathy for her subject make these excellent versions for telling or teaching” - RE Today
This book was inspired by a set of teachers’ handbooks on multi-cultural festivals that I was commissioned to write by Macmillan Education for the Commonwealth Institute. One of the festivals featured was Diwali, which of course focusses on the truly wonderful myth of Rama and Sita. I began looking at other Hindu myths and was totally enthralled. In my view they are so much richer than the classical myths of Greece and Rome - not only are they part of a living religion and culture, but they are much more interesting stories and have a solid moral framework.

The book contains 12 stories, featuring important deities such as Agni, Brahma, Durga, Ganesha, Hanuman, Indra, Krishna, Lakshmi, Parvati, Rama, Shiva, Sita and Vishnu, as well as various Demons.
  • The Fish with the Golden Horn
  • Daughter of the Mountain
  • The Churning of the Sea of Milk
  • The Dwarf’s Footsteps
  • The Tears of Death
  • The Boy who Moved a Mountain
  • The Warrior Goddess
  • Doom of the Magic Cities
  • The Filthy Giant
  • The Slaying of the Dragon
  • The Princess and the Ten-Headed Demon
  • Why the Moon Laughed
The notes at the back set them in context with entries on the various gods and goddesses; concepts of ‘the three worlds’ and the ‘ages of the universe; and a very brief introduction to Hinduism. The book has an interesting forword by Prabhu Guptara and stylish black-and-white illustrations by Meena Jamil.