T r e a d Softly... YOU MIGHT TRIP ON TEXT

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Magic Store Of Nu-Cham-Vu

He's finally here!

You'd probably find him in the stores right now. Nu-Cham-Vu, the greedy little creature from Anchan Bay is here at last. And recommended by no less than the redoubtable Ruskin Bond himself.

The book is called The Magic Store of Nu-Cham-Vu, and it's from Puffin.

The age group is a bit wide, from 9 to 175 years. So, you see, few kids are left out. The exciting thing for me is, my son Vinayak has done the illustrations and those who've seen the cover picture are raving about it.
"A long time ago, when the moon was still green and the sky had just recovered from a severe case of rainbow measles, there was a children's store on Ju-Juicy Street. It had a glass window upfront, with a large pair of eyes painted on it that blinked heavily during the rains. A tiny little waterfall flowed down the windowpanes. It sold things you and I know nothing about."

That's how the book begins.

It's interesting how this book took off. When I was in Scotland on the Charles Wallace fellowship, my friend had asked me to write a story for children. And I did, sitting at my desk in my office in the Dept of English in Pathfoot building at Stirling University. It was a little tale, and told of strange people with funny names. Including a monster named Nu-Cham-Vu. He was, if I may say so, the hero. And villain. But, alas, no one came to take Nu-Cham-Vu off my hands. I can understand. He's that sort of a fellow. Years later, when my friend joined another publishing house, she asked me for "that story you wrote, remember?" Of course I remembered! I sent it to her. Her colleague and another friend of mine asked me if I could alter the story to suit even younger children. I was reluctant to do so, so they left it at that.

This time I didn't want Nu-Cham-Vu to sit around moping. A moping Nu is a dangerous thing. I sent him off to my editor friend in Puffin. She submitted it to the editorial group and they said: why not make it a book, a bigger story? Aaahh! I did!

And then came Vinayak's "stunning illustrations", as the blurb says.

It's publishing date was Independence Day, August 15.

I hope it's reached the bookshops by now.

The Nu book for children.

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