Mangoes, Mischief, and Tales of Friendship
Being a wise and just ruler is no easy task. That’s what Prince Veera discovers when he and his best friend, Suku, are given the opportunity to preside over the court of his father, King Bheema. Some of the subjects’ complaints are easily addressed, but others are much more challenging. How should they handle the case of the greedy merchant who wishes to charge people for enjoying the smells of his sweets? And can they prove that an innocent man cannot possibly spread bad luck? Will Prince Veera and Suku be able to settle the dispute between a man and his neighbor to whom he sells a well — but not the water in it? Or solve the mystery of the jewels that have turned into pickles? Illustrated throughout by Uma Krishnaswamy, these eight original tales by Chitra Soundar task Veera and Suku with outwitting the kingdom’s greediest, wiliest subjects. Are the two clever boys up to the challenge?
When his father becomes ill, Prince Veera is allowed to hold court and listen to the citizens complaints. With the help of Suku, Veera manages to outwit the citizens, while teaching a valuable lesson. Soon, Prince Veera and Suku become a witty duo who can best just about anyone in the name of justice. True and equal justice.
I really like that King Bheema is open about letting Prince Veera address the citizens. I also like how the king listens to Prince Veera and accepts when he's made an unfair judgment. Prince Veera is a wise person who takes other people's living situation into account. He doesn't judge people for their background and is open to listening to both sides of the story before thinking things through. While I'm not familiar with Indian folklore, I enjoyed these stories and how the reader can learn a valuable lesson from them.
Final Verdict: I would recommend this to fans of folklore, Indian culture, friendship, and justice.