The Old Woman and the Red Pumpkin


We are a tri-lingual family, where my husband and I have different native languages and then there is English. In fact, we have a fourth language in the mix too, but Mini is not exposed to that….yet. Now, this would be another blog post (or two) altogether as, I want to review the book called ‘The Old Woman and the Red Pumpkin’.

It is an interesting because it has another language in it.

This story (that somehow reminds me of Little Red Riding Hood) is a traditional tale from Bengal. Bengali is a very sweet language,  largely spoken in Bangladesh and also in a small state in India, called West Bengal. My family originates in West Bengal and therefore I can speak, read and write Bengali very fluently.

When Mini brought this book from school as part of her reading curriculum, it made me smile. Mini read the book fluently and also read those Bengali words. Usually she is a bit embarrassed to speak Bengali outside the house (long story) and quite rightly identifies herself as ‘English’. She is only five, but she can understand the language and more or less express herself in Bengali.

Back to the book -This story is about a grandmother who outwits a  jackal, tiger and bear, when they all want to eat her. She assures them that she will get fat on her return from her grand daughters house and they let her go! On her way back, the grandmother hides in a massive pumpkin and escapes!! Brilliant !

This book is quite good for role play and Mini, Daddy and I, actually spent an hour role playing. Excuse the poor photography, we were engrossed.


role play 2

Fantastic book !