The Great River Magic

Published by: Scholastic
Author: Nandini Nayar
Year of Publication: 2016


The story is set in a fictional place Rajpur where the two legends have made it popular all over the world. The assumption that the first born child had magical powers and talent was the reason there was a celebration and high hopes were placed.

Sangeeta, Nita and Dutta are siblings who are enthusiastic about school than focusing on the legends. Sangeeta, the first born, loves studying and solving maths puzzle, but their grandma has hopes from her that she will bring back the family honour through her magical skills.

Nita and Dutta, the second and third child, are expected to do whatever they like. Their mother doesn’t know cooking but has been shown as someone who raises voice for her children and the father too has a gentle behaviour.

The book is a perfect read for children studying in class 4th onwards till class 7th.

In the form of fiction, the book is trying to teach the importance of conservation of natural resources with a special focus on water—river.

Apart from the primary theme, which is well evident, the book also challenges the gender stereotypes which are assigned the moment a child is born.

The fable used in the story that only ‘the first born child’ is blessed with talent, becomes a ground to show that talent is not a matter of the number on which you are born, but of interests and dedication.

Where Dutta, a male child, chose to cook, the father decided on gardening, the mother learnt cooking and managed the family business, Sangeeta, first born girl child, loved maths and Nita, second born girl child, experimenting and possessing leadership skills to bring a change.

The magic was not in the numbers, but in the will of doing what one wished to.

One needs to progress with time and should be conscious of their surroundings.

It’s a beautiful book and a simple read teaching children moral, environmental and societal values.