A young girl sat straight-backed on the edge of her chair, chewing a yellow pencil. She wiped her table clean with her palm, and with reverence, took out five clean sheets of papers. With a smile of joy, she began to write.
Visited by the charming Story-Catcher, she writes stories of all kinds: a boy who finds the eye of a dragon; a girl who finds a letter from her great-grandfather whom she never knew; the Master of Dreams who helps create dreams every night; Coco who is half-deer-half-man; and Ruby who gets a glimpse of the other side of the mirror. Finally, the Story-Catcher himself comes to meet her, with his bundle full of ideas.
This enchanting collection of stories is sure to be read again and again and be remembered as a cherished book of childhood tales.
Review by Aarmita Khajenoori (Class VI)
The Story-Catcher is about a man whose name is the Story-Catcher. He is really tall and wears a dress like cloth which looks like it’s made of many tattered pieces.
The story is very interesting and the idea of a man sitting in mid-air and counting ideas is my favourite. The way the look on his face is described when the girl is talking to him is so real that you can imagine that you are standing right in the girl’s place.
This story is short and sweet and I recommend this story to everybody who likes to read in the genre of fiction.
Review by Arushi Upadhyaya (9 years)
In the wonderful book of “THE STORY CATCHER”, there are captivating stories based on fiction, fantasies and real life experiences. In the story “The Mirror”, Ruby meets herself beyond the mirror with little silver angels dancing and Ruby imagines – What a wonderland! Kavita in “The Windy Valley” has a terrible morning at home and rushes to the windy valley away from home but after a terrifying conversation with trees, she makes up her mind never to come back. Harshil in the story “The Lake” experiences a cramped car ride and enjoys a beach adventure with a dragon where he helps to find the dragon’s eye by mistake. These stories made me feel like I was in a fantasy land.
“The Little Corner Shop” in which Julie is fascinated by Lily’s passion for making magical stationary. The “Dictionary” is a story where Sana sees letters written by the reading group of her family which urges her to write her own letter. Esther in “Dreams” realizes that she chooses her own dreams and even her nightmares. “The Magic Tree” where Aditi and Rohini run away from their group only to find themselves in a fairy land. “The Old Yellow Scooter” in which Heema goes to buy bread but has a thrilling experience as the yellow scooter creaks and flies. These stories made me feel that I was present in the story and experiencing the entire story.
Samay is disappointed to know the puppet show might have to be cancelled but his frown turns upside down when he is part of the show. I was so engrossed in the story “Collecting Stamps” that it made me feel like a detective. In addition to these stories, there are other stories like –The Bicycle Race, Disgrace and The Circus Boy that are based on values.
The whole reading experience was so mesmerizing that I could not keep the book down until I completed reading all the stories!!
Review by Tanisha Hingorani (Class VI)
“The Old Yellow Scooter”, from the book The Story-Catcher, is a story where a girl named Heema goes out with her dad to buy bread, on a yellow scooter. I really like this [story] because it is like a fairytale and like a diary story, it is very interesting and the story is described well. The author shows the story and does not tell it. That is very good thing as it creates a picture in the readers mind and you just feel like reading on. The best part was when the scooter took off into the air. I would give this book 5/5 stars and would recommend it to all children and they should really read it.
Listen to a story!
Here is a video of me reading one of the stories from the collection, “The Dictionary”. Explore my blog for ideas on how to use the story in class. Free printables available for download on this page too!
Ruby stood before the mirror, gazing at her own reflection. There she was in the mirror, dressed in a peach night-gown, her hair neatly plaited.
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”
She watched her own mouth move as she spoke, and she reached out to touch the reflection, her hand touching the cold hard glass and leaving a smudge.
“Mirror…” whispered Ruby.
“There must be something the mirror does besides reflect! How does it work?”
She leaned forward and pressed her forehead against the glass and drew back again, staring at her reflection.
Time and again, she tried to catch the mirror by surprise; she tried to peek quickly at it and see whether she could fool the mirror into showing what it really was, but it never worked. The mirror always seemed to know when she came. Behind her, the curtains were drawn shut, but the light of the full moon still trickled through. Drawing the curtains open, Ruby lay down on her bed, thinking. There had to be something— something that would trick the mirror! Gazing at the ceiling above her head, she thought of all the magic mirrors people wrote about— the one that could tell who was the fairest, the one that would show what you secretly want the most …
Review on Amazon by Samiksha Deshpande (13 years)
All the stories have something to cherish in them. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to people of all ages as there is something in it for everyone.
The Story-Catcher by Varsha Seshan is a collection of short stories for children. It begins with the introduction of a girl who writes stories of various kinds. I really loved this idea as it brought a slight mysterious touch to the story.
My favourite stories in the collection were ‘The Little Corner Shop’, ‘The Lake’, ‘The Windy Valley’ and ‘Coco’s Holiday’. ‘The Little Corner Shop’ was a very sweet and heartwarming story and I loved the idea of the scented stationery. It made me want to rush to a stationery shop and buy myself a packet of crayons. ‘The Lake’ was, in my view, the best story in the book. I could imagine the entire setting in my mind and I could literally ‘see’ the encounter with the dragon taking place. I loved the idea of returning the eye to the dragon and its reaction to every little thing was very touching. In ‘The Windy Valley’, I liked the supernatural touch to the story and the promise of returning ‘some other day’ really appealed to me. ‘Coco’s Holiday’ was a very unique idea and I loved the character of Coco.
I felt that the story ‘Dreams’ ended quite abruptly. I really liked the idea and was hooked to it but it ended too soon. Also I felt that Esther’s reactions were too hasty and could have been more developed. In ‘The Nationals’, I felt that the matches could have been described in a bit more detail. I also felt that the events were a bit rushed and changed abruptly.
All in all, I really liked the book. It was a very good read and I would definitely recommend it to others.
… every once in a while, comes a character who completely surprised me (the Story Catcher, for instance). An inspired character; one with an existence beyond the scope of the story.
The Story-Catcher by Varsha Seshan is a wonderful collection of stories – for children (and in my opinion for adults too).
Enchantment – underlaid with common sense (Saaz Aggarwal – black-and-white fountain)
I was impressed with the scope of imagination here, and found the stories absolutely delightful. Starting with three tales of enchantment which I felt even very young children would enjoy, The Story Catcher goes on to casually introduce respect for tradition, awareness of the scope of the subconscious mind, the relative nature of problems, the different perspectives of parents and children, and other important concepts of life. These are interspersed with liberal doses of wish fulfilment – and also occasional humour which made me giggle.
If the child in you is still alive, I recommend you order the book immediately. If not, order a copy for the children you know!