About The Great River Magic:

The Great River Magic written by Nandini Nayar is a book for children between ages 9-12. The story is about the great Rajpuri river and a family which depends on the river for its livelihood. The book features illustrations and is a fun read.

The Plot

The great Rajpuri river flows across the village of Rajpur. The people of the village believe that it is because of the river’s magic that the villagers’ businesses thrive. The villagers also believe that it is the first-borns of each family who are responsible for the family business.

Sangeeta is one such first-born whose family cooks and sell sweets and savories for a living. But then, Sangeeta would rather do math than cook for the family business. Her youngest brother, Dutta however loves nothing better than cooking. The middle child of the family, Nita has plans of her own. It’s not just the children in the family, the dad, who is a first-born, much to the annoyance of the grandma of the house, likes gardening better than cooking.

In the midst of all this, there is something mysterious happening to all the families in the village of Rajpur, as letters of complaints pour in about their products. How the author connects the happenings in Sangeeta’s house and the mystery of why everything made in Rajpur is going bad form the rest of The Great River Magic.


I really really enjoyed reading The Great River Magic. There are two important issues that ‘The Great River Magic’ emphasises. The first is about how  human beings are abusing natural resources for our own good. The river in this case but I think it applies to every bit of nature (sand, oil, water) we overuse not realizing we are leaving a bleak future for our future generations.

The second important issue, the book addresses is how the adults thrust their interests on the children. They do it regardless of what the children are good at or aspire to be. In this case, being a first-born is given as a reason to bring in the family’s interests above the children’s wishes. But ‘first-born’ can be construed as metaphors for various things like being a girl or family business or even parent’s pride.

It’s a great book for both kids and parents alike. It’s a chapter book with illustrations. The illustrations are simple and beautiful which will incite the kids to give it a try. On the whole, The Great River Magic is such a pleasure to read and to be read to.

Amazon India:

Featured Image Source: Amazon India

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