-Sree Latha Radhakrishnan
Children are always fascinating. They can suck your sorrows out and inject an instant smile in you. Like rainbows, like elephants, like seas, like stars. They can surprise you and bring in a smile anytime. They are the only group that is constantly learning. So when there was an intimation about this book on children I grabbed it immediately.
Climbing Rainbows is a collection of six short stories. Each story speaks about a new and challenging situation that a child may face. Children stories are of two types. One is about children. They speak about children. The characters are filled with children. But the issues would be quite mature. The children would be just character in a quite adult movie. Steven Spielberg’s movies Extra Terrestrial (ET), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Charles Dickens’s book Oliver Twist would fall in this mature category. The other type of stories are for children. The stories would be simple to attract a child. The incidents would be childish and the fun would make the child glued to the story. Cartoons like Tom & Jerry and Popeye could fall under such genre. Rarely these two categories would merge, where a serious issue is told in a way a kid would understand. Climbing Rainbows is one unique book with a collection of such six short stories. These stories talk quite mature issues, but from the perspective of a kid. They speak from the point of view of a kid. A slight slip would have taken the stories to an adult one talking about kids. But no, the author Sree Latha Radhakrishnan has entire control on what she says. She has handled the flow extremely well. I really appreciate for her control on the story. All the six plots handled are quite mature plots and at the same time filled with incidents that would involve a kid. I could tell these stories to both my kids Soorya (age 8) & Varsha (age 5) with ease and they could easily involve in the stories. That is the success of this collection.
- A New Horizon talks about the transfer of a family and the way it impacts a kid. How the kid faces the situation and how he is established in the new environment. Almost everyone of us would have faced this situation of transfer, at least change to a new home.
- All in the Family is about the impact on a child who’s parents part in their own ways. Though the divorce is with mutual consent and there is no great fighting between the two parents, the separation indeed impacts the kid. This is a very delicate plot and talks about the child’s adaptation to the new situation.
- Second is Best is about sibling rivalry between two kids. How the younger kid wishes to become the older kid but eventually realises on how it impacts her life. With most of us having two kids these days, we are certain to face this in our family.
- Ammamma’s Will and Testament is not just about a grandparent but also about the village life. The author has beautifully portrayed not just the loss of a grandparent but also about an excellent village atmosphere which most of our kids miss these days. Never confine your kids to summer camps, but send them to their lovely grandparents. Before its too late.
- Battle of the Bulge is again about an issue which most of the families in metro cities face – obesity. The impact of this lifestyle problem is dealt psychologically and beautifully weaved along a great friendship.
- The young war Veteran is something which we would not have actually experienced and I pray God that none of us ever experience it. This is about a kid who’s family is shattered under a war. This is very courageous plot and I found it really tough to explain it to my kids. The impact of war on a kid and how he overcomes it.
Each story explains a psychological hardship faced by a kid and how he/she overcomes it. Though the stories handles tough plots, they all are highly positive. Recommend reading the stories to your kids, for your kids.
- Book Reviews, Short Stories, Interviews and Articles – Book Review : Climbing Rainbows by Sree Latha Radhakrishnan
- Outset-Rakhi Jayashankar’s blog – Review of Climbing Rainbows by Sreelatha Radhakrishnan