Miss Muglee coming to wow kids | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Miss Muglee coming to wow kids

This summer, a lipstick-smeared, rouge-cheek crocodile with painted nails will ride into Mumbai on a BEST bus hoping to enchant tots at home for the summer break.

mumbai Updated: Apr 17, 2010 01:38 IST
Purva Mehra

This summer, a lipstick-smeared, rouge-cheek crocodile with painted nails will ride into Mumbai on a BEST bus hoping to enchant tots at home for the summer break.

Miss Muglee Goes to Mumbai is the first book in a series that will be released by child rights organisation Akanksha on Saturday.

The book has been written in verse by Akanksha founder Shaheen Mistri and her mother Saker Mistri.

Miss Muglee is a lonely crocodile keen on having adventures and has for a friend, Faisal the frog.

The authors deliberately chose a croc for a protagonist even though it’s known to inspire fear. “We chose a scary animal but have given her a different personality. Muglee is naughty, playful and yet kind and sweet,” said Shaheen.

While the story falls back on the tested format of talking creatures reminiscent of the Jataka Tales, at no point does it get overly didactic, as was tradition with Indian folklore for children.

“We deliberately refrained from that too. Reading should be fun, we want kids to pick the book and have a good laugh and not tie them down with morals, not directly in any case,” explained Saker, who develops museum programmes and art publications for children.

The book’s most endearing appeal is in its illustrations.

Each page packs in exploding colours, artwork borders and big bold animals to captivate tots too young to know their alphabet.

Sirajul Khan, an alumnus of Akanksha and Sheetal Shah, an Akanksha art teacher for 13 years brought Muglee to life.

Miss Muglee’s tale also abounds in local references such as BEST buses, Chowpatty, Bollywood and skyscrapers.

“We wanted to create an Indian series because there isn’t much Indian literature for children. As a crocodile Muglee has universal appeal but each book will feature nuances of India,” said Shaheen.

The book reiterates Akanksha’s philosophy of simple and fun learning and providing opportunities to showcase a child’s potential, and marks it’s 20th year.

(Miss Muglee goes to Mumbai will be launched at Crossword bookstore, Kemps Corner, on Saturday at 6 pm. It is priced at Rs 200)