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Bookistaan is India’s first recommendations based online children’s bookstore

As a small town bookstore, we have an inclination towards Indian publishing and writing, that hasn’t been able to find the routes into smaller towns. We believe it’s important for children to be exposed to their own literature for them to grow into empathetic individuals, proud of their own roots.

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Vikram and the Vampire

While the world was depicting vampires as grotesque, fanged, fearsome creatures, early Indian stories depicted them as wacky, challenging the up to no good label associated with vampires more often than not.

The stories of Vikram and Betal have been part of India’s growing up culture for ages. These stories, originally written in Sanskrit, are over a thousand years and many versions old. And Natasha Sharma’s Vikram and the Vampire is another twisty, spooky, side-splitting version.

How things unfold?

It all starts in the court of King Vikramaditya, having received an elephant, two horses and gold shoes, the King lifts the curtains off yet another tray to find… an apple. As kings must do, he graciously accepts the fruit after which the merchant returns everyday bearing a different fruit. Paying no heed whatsoever to the fruits, the Kings resumes his royal life, only to one day unwittingly find out that the fruit has a jewel hidden in it – correction – the fruits have hidden jewels hidden in them. Having discovered an undeserving treasure, he embarks on the most obvious mission – find more treasure. He meets the merchants who is actually a tantric and is given a task. He must bring back a corpse hanging on a tree in the middle of the jungle. Enter Betal. Turns out the corpse is infested by a chatty, storytelling vampire!

Why read it?

Meet Betal, the zany vampire
Vampires have been a constant fascination in literature, from Dracula to Edward Cullen. But Betal is quite a trend setting vampire who will baffle you with his riddling tale and also has a good deed up his sleeve or two.

Tales of good humor
Betal has plenty of tales in his pockets, tales of the most sensitive queens, the foolish brothers, of the King Dukhdard and many more.

With riddles galore
And each tale ends with a riddle. But Beware! For if you answer the riddle… POOF! Betal will return to his tree and have to be fetched again. Looks like it’s going to be a long night for the King.

Who is it for?
Bookistaan recommends this laugh riot for the middle reader, ages 10 and above.

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