Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Chitra Soundar
Illustrator: Uma Krishnaswamy
Publisher: Candlewick Press
King Bheema rules over his prosperous kingdom. His citizens regard him as merciful and just. King Bheema's son Prince Veera is eager to begin helping his father with the duties of ruling the kingdom. But Prince Veera quickly learns that ruling is no easy task! With the help of his friend Suku, Prince Veera begins hearing citizen complaints in his father’s court. Although the complaints brought before him are often complicated, Prince Veera and Suku tackle them with humor, wit, grace, and compassion. But will any of the complaints brought before the court be too difficult for a young ruler? Inspired by Indian folktales, the adventures of Prince Veera and Suku are sure to be enjoyed!
Based on Indian folktales, Mangoes, Mischief, and Tales of Friendship contains two sections with several folktales. Although segmented into books and chapters, all the stories have the same main characters and setting. These folktales teach readers about how to solve problems, think creatively, decide between mercy and justice, and how to be a good neighbor and friend. Soundar tells the stories with enough detail to paint a picture of life in King Bheema's kingdom, while still making the stories accessible to young readers. Although the stories themselves are quaint and entertaining, readers may be left wondering about the traditional Indian tales that inspired them. The book also contains black-and-white illustrations to help readers understand the important events and things in the book. With its charming focus on friendship, young readers as well as old will enjoy this book.