Bye, Bye, Motabhai! (Humpback Tales) (Volume 1)
2014 South Asia Book Award Honor Winner
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More About This Title Bye, Bye, Motabhai! (Humpback Tales) (Volume 1)


Do you ever think of your future - dream about becoming an astronaut, a surgeon or a wildlife photographer? What if animals too have such ambitions? What if a rhesus monkey wishes to be a school bus driver or a hard-working donkey wants to be a movie star? Just imagine what they would do to get what they want! Pavan, an over-worked camel in the city of Ahmedabad, India, hates his job. He often dreams of being a racing camel in Dubai. But hitched to a heavy vegetable cart and with his owner Motabhai around, how is this possible? One day, Pavan finds a way to escape with a little help from some kind-hearted children. He makes a mad dash through the city along with Bijilee, a dhobi's donkey whom he befriends on the way. Can you imagine the riot that this pair causes in the narrow, bustling streets of old Ahmedabad, as they race past its historic monuments, with Motabhai, an auto-driver, a policeman and a washerwoman hot on their trail?


Kala Sambasivan is a prolific and inventive children's writer. She has published numerous stories in India's leading newspapers and currently, has two long-running columns in The Hindu and Deccan Herald. Her delightfully whimsical tales engage children in complex issues, such as conservation, with humor and creativity. Read some of her hilarious stories at


"As I flipped through the pages of Bye Bye Motabhai!, by Kala Sambasivan, I was reminded of my trips through downtown Ahmedabad. ...For a parent who wants to jog their child's imagination and have them explore a well-known area of India through the pages of a book--this is just the ticket they should book." - Valley India Times

"Readers become caught up in his quest, cheering for the camel -- and rising up against the adult world's rigidity. The book teaches not only literacy and morals, but also offers a vista into the six million-population city Ahmedabad, India, introducing its flavors, tapestries, and vocabulary...An entreaty to chase your ambitions wherever they may lead, Bye, Bye Motabhai! thrills with its whimsical collages, cultural lessons, and life advice for readers of all ages." - Hyphen Magazine

Bye, Bye, Motabhai! is well written and deliciously funny. It takes readers right to the heart of Ahmedabad, with passing geographical references in the text as well as its solid visual roots...Pavan's cheeky chants will no doubt be repeated at many a story time, and may even cement a few ideas in young minds about the value of following one's dreams, as well as the need sometimes to jump over seemingly impossible hurdles to do so. - Paper Tigers

The illustrations are a delight! It's interesting how they carry the same vigor in innocence and goofiness that's also thematic to the story. Pavan's periodic and catchy chants keep up the mood of a chase. Throughout, we come across pointers to landmarks distinct to the historic city of Ahmedabad. Did Pavan see the last of Motabhai? Even the ending doesn't say it! But one thing's for sure, as children get off the ride, they'll be left thoroughly amused by the adventures of the camel that dreamed big. - InCulture Parent