Title: Tuntunir Boi [The Tailor Bird’s Book]
Author: Upendrakishore Raychaudhuri
Publisher: Sukumar Raychaudhuri, 22, Sukia Street, Calcutta.
Printer: Printed by Haricharan Manna at the Kantik Press, 20, Cornwallis Street, Calcutta.
Date & edition: 1910
Price: 8 annas
About the book: A collection of twenty-seven folk tales for children. In his brief preface to the volume, Raychaudhuri writes of a story-telling habit prevalent among household women in certain parts of eastern Bengal [the author probably refers to Mymensingh which had been his desh or native region and a province particularly rich in folklore]. At the end of the day, when little children tend to drop off to sleep before having their suppers, affectionate nurses, mothers, aunts or grandmothers try to keep their sleepy-eyed wards amused with pleasing stories. The enchantment of the tales help keep the children diverted while the women feed them playfully. The tales of the book are drawn from that treasury of oral nursery lore, from a tradition steeped in the tenderness of motherly affection.
The stories are short and entertaining – as would suit the patience and understanding of little folks - and peopled with a stock of native characters: the sprightly tailor-bird, the stupid tiger, the little sparrow, the wily fox, the clever cat, the hunch-back woman or the foolish weaver.
Illustrations: Illustrated with line drawing sketches by the author.
Genre: Folk Tale
Source: The National Library, Kolkata.
1. Title page
Illustration, “Hati ar Tuntuni” [The Elephant and the Tailor Bird]