Ramayana is one of the most popular epics in the world, having been translated into various languages. It is a tale of Ram, the prince of Ayodhya, who was banished to the forest for 14 years. To honour his father's word, he agreed to be exiled without any murmur or rancour. In the forest, Ram, his wife Sita and his brother Lakshman met saints, new friends and strange foes. Each day brought new adventures. But their spartan, yet happy life was spoilt when Ravan of Lanka, the king of demons, abducted Sita. To rescue her, Ram enlisted the help of the vanar sena (monkey army) of Hanuman. In that battle many heroes died and new ones had come alive.
The book Ramayana Tales for Children is a compilation of 40 one-page stories for children. Language used is plain and simple. Each story unfolds the way original epic proceeds. Long details have been dispensed with while retaining the essence that children can easily grasp. The stories come with realistic caricature based illustrations to retain interest of young readers.
In this vividly told vibrant version for children, the ancient epic unfolds many unpredictable twists and turns. The traditional ingredients are all there – adventure and excitement, love and war and an infinite number of stories within stories, as are the traditional characters – monkeys, who cross a sea to lay floating bridge and also carry on their finger life-giving herbs found only on a mountain, besides shape-changing demons and monsters of many varieties. The epic has been rendered traditional and contemporary by the freshness and vitality of the author J.M.Mehta and exuberant illustrations that retain the interest of children till the last.