Farmer Falgu is off to the Kumbh Mela festival in the third title in Soundar’s series about the titular protagonist.
Falgu, an adult, brown-skinned Indian farmer, is excited to travel to Allahabad to catch the key highlights of the Kumbh Mela, such as the sadhu procession and the elephant parade, and to take a dip in the holy river, but he keeps getting called on to help other people. He puts others needs before his, and so, unfortunately he misses what he goes for. Luckily for him, through a number of happy coincidences, he manages to complete his Kumbh Mela bucket list. While sharing a positive message of kindness, the story seem too good to be true. Even young children are likely to see through the perfect plot. A train delay and sheer serendipity enable Falgu to catch the Kumbh Mela highlights. He even randomly meets his best friend in the train—who happens to have extra lassi and jalebis for Falgu. Like other books in the series, the concise onomatopoeic sounds are set in large, color-coded type, which provides additional emphasis. Nair’s bold, thick-outlined illustrations are engaging but do not tie in to the story adequately at times. A note at the end about the Kumbh Mela provides additional context.
Anodyne at best. (Picture book. 3-6)