The Why-Why Girl


Author: Mahasweta Devi
Illustrated by Kanyika Kini

9788181460189 | Centre Stapled | pp. 24 | 2003 | Tulika Publishers

This is the story of Moyna, the ‘why-why-girl’ who lives in a little tribal village, where she cannot go to school but has a sharp, inquisitive mind.

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Moyna lives in a little tribal village. She cannot go to school because she has to tend the goats, collect the firewood, fetch the water… But she is so full of questions that the postmaster calls her the ‘why-why girl’! In this book the author tells us how she meets Moyna (and her mongoose!) and helps her find answers to all the why-whys – in books, that Moyna herself learns to read. Some of the translations have been done by well-known writers: Malayalam by Paul Zacharia, Tamil by Ambai, and Kannada by Girish Karnad.


Mahasweta Devi
Illustrator: Kanyika Kini




Tulika Publishers


Centre Stapled



Year of Publication:






Country of Origin:


About the Contributors

The author is one of India’s foremost writers. In her writings she used all her “reading, memories, direct experience and acquired information”, and always raised issues of politics, gender and class. This is her first picture book and children’s book.

The illustrator creatively visualised and illustrated this story while she was a student of the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology Bengaluru.


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