Rama and Sita
Malachy Doyle and Christopher Corr
Every autumn term countless teachers in primary schools share the story of Diwali with their classes. This retelling with Christopher Corr’s vibrant folk art style illustrations and Malachy Doyle’s straightforward narrative is an ideal introduction that really brings to life the ancient Hindu tale of the victory of light over dark.
It recounts how living in exile Rama and his wife Sita are tricked by the demon king Ravanna who wants Sita for himself. He sends a deer into the forest and Rama follows it at his wife’s request leaving Sita alone.
In his absence, Ravanna kidnaps Sita and takes her away to his island kingdom.
When Rama realises he’s been duped, he resolves to rescue his beloved wife and as luck would have it Hanuman the monkey king comes to his assistance.
With the help of Hanuman and his monkey army, who build a bridge across from the mainland, Rama rescues Sita from the island whereon Ravanna is holding her prisoner. First though, a terrible battle is fought on that island between the monkey army and the wicked demon army until finally an arrow from Rama’s bow pierces the chest of the ten-headed demon Ravanna who falls down dead.
With Sita safe once more, the fighting is called to a halt and the reunited couple return to a huge welcome in their homeland
where divas are lit everywhere in honour of their homecoming.
During my time as a teacher I’ve collected several beautiful picture book tellings of the Diwali story that are now sadly out of print, so it’s great to see this new one.