Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth / What’s in the Box? / Halloween

Ganesha’ Sweet Tooth
Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes
Chronicle Books

Just in time for Ganesh Chaturthi in a few days is this lovely board book edition of a modern version of one of the most popular Hindu legends – the episode in which Ganesha got his broken tusk. It tells how when young, Ganesha liked nothing better than eating sweet things, especially the Indian confection, laddoos. This results in tragedy during Ganesha and his ‘friend’ Mr Mouse’s search for sweets when they come upon a new kind of laddoo, The Super Jumbo Jawbreaker Laddoo.

Despite warnings from Mr Mouse, Ganesha just can’t resist chomping down on the thing – “I’m invincible.” he reassures his friend – and snap! Off comes one of his tusks. Furious at being unable to repair himself, young Ganesha hurls the broken tusk at the moon.

It misses, landing at the feet of the ancient sage and poet, Vyasa who happens to have a special task for the tusk thrower and thus Ganesha lands the job of scribing the great epic of Hindu literature, the Mahabharata.

This little book is a riot of dayglo colour with Sanjay Patel’s brilliant ultra-modern visuals, some of which are reminiscent of what you might see in a temple in South India. Others are decidedly closer to some of the contemporary Pixar animations he has worked on.

By adding their own embellishments and playing slightly with the original plot, Patel and Haynes have created a wonderfully playful rendering of a classic legend that will appeal widely .

The next two are published by Little Tiger:

What’s in the Box?
Isabel Otter and Jaoquin Camp

How exciting: a pile of parcels has just arrived waiting to be investigated. What could be packed away inside? That’s what youngsters are invited to discover in this chunky tactile, lift-the-flap book.

Box one looks as though it’s rather fiery but what has made those scorch marks? There’s a hint in the cut-away shiny, scaly shape just visible.

The second box seems to have the fidgets and there’s a warning on the wrapping … A tricky one this. I wonder what it holds …

Next is a beribboned container but strangely some wool has escaped from within. “Fragile” says the label on the fourth box wherein so we read, is something noisy – hmmm? 

However, the best has been kept till last – it’s a veritable treasure trove of … Can you guess what?

With Isabel Otter’s brief rhyming text andJoaquin Camp’s alluring surprise containers to explore, there’s sufficient to engage little ones during several book sharing sessions.

Halloween
Patricia Hegarty and Fhiona Galloway

With Halloween coming up next month (I can’t believe I’m saying that), adults might want to reinforce counting skills with this mock-scary book that introduces in turn, one little skeleton that’s found a hiding place, two slightly anxious little trick-or-treaters, three glowing jack o’lanterns, four hoppy toads, five family portraits, one about to take a tumble, six sleepy bats, seven ghosts, eight spiders of the hirsute kind, nine snoozing moggies, or rather they were before being disturbed by the ten small, appropriately attired party goers.

The rhyming text and Fhionna Galloway’s cute, colourful illustrations offer plenty for preschoolers to enjoy herein.

Hindu Tales Retold

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Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth
Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes
Chronicle Books
Ganesha is the Hindu deity said to be the remover of obstacles and a very popular one he is too. With those extremely large ears he is reputed to be a good listener and Hindus often pray to him before embarking on a new venture or going on a journey. I have a large collection of Ganesha murtis collected on my numerous visits to India and each and every one seems to have a slightly different personality; all have a pot belly and many of them have him accompanied by his vehicle, a small rat (called Mr Mouse in this story).
There are many stories about Ganesha – how he got a broken tusk being one of the most popular and this colourful book is a modern version of the particular episode. It tells how as a young child, Ganesha liked nothing better than to eat sweet things, in particular laddoos, the Indian confection. This predilection results in a tragedy when our young hero comes upon a new kind of laddoo – The Super Jumbo Jawbreaker Laddoo. Despite warnings from Mr Mouse, Ganesha cannot resist chomping down on the thing – “I’m invincible.” he reassures his friend – and snaps off one of his tusks.
So furious is young Ganesha that he hurls the broken tusk at the moon. It misses, landing at the feet of the ancient sage and poet, Vyasa who just happens to have a special task for the tusk thrower and thus Ganesha lands the job of scribing the great epic of Hindu literature, the Mahabharata.

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The whole book is a riot of dayglo colour in which Sanjay Patel so brilliantly creates ultra-modern visuals, some of which are reminiscent of what you might see in a temple in South India.

DSCN5147 (800x600)

Others are decidedly closer to some of the contemporary Pixar animations he has worked on.

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By adding their own embellishments and playing slightly with the original plot, Patel and Haynes have between them concocted a wonderfully playful rendering of a classic legend that will surely have wide appeal.
It’s just the thing to read around the time of Ganesha Chaturthi the festival, which celebrates Ganesha’s birthday and falls in 2015 on 15th September.

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Rama and the Demon King
Jessica Souhami
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
My original hardback edition of this book has been read and recommended more times than I care to remember and after its publication soon became the ‘must share’ book for teachers at the time of Dussehra/Diwali. So, I’m thrilled to see a new paperback of Jessica Souhami’s wonderful rendition of the ancient Indian tale. For those who have yet to discover this gem, it’s wonderfully illustrated with wondrous scenes based on Jessica’s own shadow puppets (She has an amazing travelling shadow puppet company).
If like me, you had a copy from the 1990s and it’s been lost, read to death or perhaps, stolen, then you’ll welcome this opportunity to replace it. For those yet to discover this gem, I urge you to get a copy now. Souhami’s spare storytelling style is splendid for reading aloud and her visuals of Rama and his monkey army led by Hanuman, overcoming the evil demon King Ravana are magnificent.

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