The Magic Mango, Written by Amelia Bonea Illustrated by Ioan Balcosi
(Also see our post for ‘Along The Lines,’ an immersive, virtual workshop and performance centred around The Magic Mango)
Amelia Bonea’s story The Magic Mango, published by Pratham Books’ StoryWeaver, is now available in 7 languages on the StoryWeaver website https://storyweaver.org.in/stories/27150-the-magic-mango
- এক টি জাদু আম (Bengali - L4)
- जादुई आम (Hindi - L4)
- ಮಾಯದ ಮಾವಿನ ಹಣ್ಣು (Kannada - L4)
- जादूई आंबा (Marathi - L4)
- மாயாஜால மாம்பழம் (Tamil - L4)
- A la recherche d’une mangue magique (French - L4)
- Sâmburele de mango fermecat (Romanian - L4)
Pratham Books is a not-for-profit publisher based in India, a spin-off of one of the largest non-governmental organizations in the country, whose mission is to put ‘a book into every child’s hand’. The StoryWeaver platform is part of their efforts to achieve this by publishing multilingual stories on a great variety of topics, from fantasy to science and nature, life skills, history and folktales. The platform currently features 9,060 stories in 118 languages from India and beyond. These can be used in classrooms as educational material (including for translation exercises) or read at home; they can also be saved to an offline library for those who do not have constant access to the internet.
Amelia’s collaboration with StoryWeaver began two years ago, when she volunteered to translate some of the stories on the platform into her mother tongue, Romanian. She was soon inspired to write her own story, which is loosely based on her first monograph about the history of telegraphy and journalism in colonial India. The Magic Mango is the outcome of her love for history and children’s books. It is the story of two siblings, Tara and Arun, who discover an old newspaper in their grandmother's attic. They open it and embark on a historical adventure about a magic mango seed and a little boy who tried to telegraph it from India to London at the end of the nineteenth century.
Recently, Amelia ran a workshop for children at the local library in her hometown Satu Mare in Romania. She used this opportunity to read the story, but also to talk about what historians do and to show the children the only telegram she has ever received: a birthday message from her uncle, sent way back in 1989, about three months before the Romanian Revolution! The children then learned to send telegrams in Morse code, a skill they put to good use by sending messages to their family members, pets and various imaginary friends!