Zigzag and Other Stories
Written by Asha Nehemiah

Illustrations by Atanu Roy
Published by Scholastic India Pvt. Ltd.

A queer-looking African bird, with shocking pink plumes on the head, a yellow beak and eyes the colour of Cola, Zigzag, is the main character of the title story in this collection of short stories.

Somu leaves Zigzag, a talking bird, in the keeping of Dr. Krishnan while he is away. But this strange guest turns out to be a disappointment for the Krishnan family. Zigzag does nothing but sleep and snore all the time – even the neighbours complain about the noise.

A Chest Full of Stories
A Chest Full of Stories

In fact, nothing has been right since Zigzag arrived. What do the Krishnans do with Zigzag? Can the bird make them like him?

Another intriguing story, ‘The Green Voice’, is about Arti’s grandpa who is a famous Carnatic music vocalist. Living a retired life in his farmhouse now, he still practices music daily – much to the chagrin of his childhood friend Balaraman, who is also his next-door neighbour.

An excerpt from the book:

“What else can I do?” Balu sounded every bit as angry as Grandpa, “I tell you it is your ‘green’ voice that is responsible for all my problems. I will be ruined if you don’t stop singing.”

“What utter nonsense. Do you really believe that my voice can cause seaweed to grow in your swimming pool?” Balu was the owner of an outdoor, natural sea pool and water sports club…

As Grandpa began singing a beautiful raga… Arti noticed a small slimy clump of green weeds appear in the middle of the pool. By the time he reached his favourite ‘bhajan’, the blue of the pool was half covered with sticky green clusters of seaweed!

Read Zigzag and Other Stories to find out if Grandpa stops singing.

Some other stories in this collection are Rhyme Without Reason, Vitamin-M, The Priceless Coin, The Cat and The Travellers and Earrings for Nina. The illustrations in the book bring each story to life. If you are between eight to 10-years-old, these stories are perfect for you. You can even read it out to your younger brother or sister.

365 words | 3 minutes
Readability: Grade 6 (11-12 year old children)
Based on Flesch–Kincaid readability scores

Filed under: book reviews
Tags: #singing

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