Poombah of Badoombah

Overview

The Poombah of Badoombah was mightier than any king, for he had the power to poombah anything. When he poombahs the potter, his pots leap out of clay. And when he poombahs a weaver, giant carpets fly from the loom. But the Poombah goes too far when he plies his powers on a wealthy nabob riding in a howdah. And before you can say Badoombah, the very naughty Poombah is banished to the countryside where he can make mischief and magic to his heart?s content! Rollicking verse and bright, busy paintings bring to life a...
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Overview

The Poombah of Badoombah was mightier than any king, for he had the power to poombah anything. When he poombahs the potter, his pots leap out of clay. And when he poombahs a weaver, giant carpets fly from the loom. But the Poombah goes too far when he plies his powers on a wealthy nabob riding in a howdah. And before you can say Badoombah, the very naughty Poombah is banished to the countryside where he can make mischief and magic to his heartÆs content! Rollicking verse and bright, busy paintings bring to life a funny tale of sorcerers and spellsùcomplete with a glossary of exotic Indian wordsùin a lively picture book about a most unusual hero! Dee Lillegard lives in Castro Valley, California. Kevin Hawkes lives in Maine.

When the powerful but mischievous Poombah of Badoombah finally takes things a bit too far, he is forced to flee the city and live out the rest of his days in the quiet of the countryside.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This tale's lavish imagery, borrowed from "The 1,001 Nights" and "Aladdin," may lure devotees of Eastern exoticism, but the plot, unfortunately, fizzles like a dud firecracker. Lillegard (The Wild Bunch) prefaces the story with a definition: "To poombah means to impart, or infuse with, extraordinary energy. A Poombah is one renowned for having this power." Thus, the title character is a village wizard, an impish, bespectacled man whose snow-white turban matches his eyebrows and pointy beard. As he strolls among blocky, whitewashed houses, peering into their shadowy interiors, he uses a twisted wand to fire green-and-gold zaps: "The Poombah sent a pudgy rajah/ swirling to the public bath./ The Poombah sent a nervous dervish/ whirling down a curvish path." The townsfolk indulge his harmless pranks, but revolt when the Poombah causes an elephant to rampage through a bazaar; they then banish the trickster to the countryside, where he lives as a hermit and cultivates magical "Badoombah beans." Hawkes (By the Light of the Halloween Moon) saturates every spread with gorgeous, glowing color. His sunny midday skies, clay pots and bright cotton clothing set the scene beautifully. Likewise, Lillegard's inventive verse and vocabulary ("howdah" rhymes with "proud") make for a peppy ride. Yet the abrupt conclusion is unsatisfying. The Poombah still uses his energies selfishly, despite hints that the Badoombah beans may provide an opportunity to make amends with his peers. There's no resolution besides the Poombah's unconvincingly merry solitude. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
This silly story, complete with glossary of made-up words as well as real vocabulary, is clever and funny and a real romp. Its rhythm and repetition are absolutely made for reading aloud, multiple times, to even the youngest child. It could even use a made-up tune. But I'm afraid it's not very politically correct. The portrait of an Indian potentate is a bit strange. No harm is meant, I'm sure, and it's so much fun that kids will simply accept the Poombah for whatever he is, and recite the story as it was written-and they may even learn a little about India!
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3The poombah is a mischievous fellow. With his crooked little wand, he zaps the potter and the weaver, making their pots and carpets fly about wildly. He gets in trouble when he poombahs a nabob's elephant in the bazaar, wreaking general havoc. It looks like his games are at an end, but not yet. He poombahs the beans growing in his garden, and when he eats the beans, the gas they produce propels him through the air as wildly as a sputtering balloon. Yes, small children laugh at jokes about body noises. That is not necessarily a reason for a picture book about a man who breaks enormous amounts of wind, even if said man thinks it is funny, too. Rhymes can't save it, vivid pictures of colorful characters and bazaars in India can't save it. Save your money.Ruth Semrau, formerly at Lovejoy School, Allen, TX
Kirkus Reviews
If, as defined by the author, to poombah is to infuse something with extraordinary energy, then consider Lillegard (Tortoise Brings the Mail, 1997, etc.) endowed with such powers. When the Poombah of Badoombah works his magic in an Indian marketplace, pots leap from the clay, carpets fly from the loom, the drummer's mridanga booms, and the spices zoom. With one ultimate stroke of silliness, the turbanned, bespectacled Poombah topples a nabob from his howdah atop an elephant, for which he's run out of town. What's a Poombah to do, banished to the countryside? Grow Badoombah beans, of course, which contain all the magic one needs for a one-man hullabaloo. Lillegard's fantasy is full of beans in the best sense; she works wonders with wordplay and internal rhyme, sending "a pudgy rajah swirling to the public bath" and "a nervous dervish whirling down a curvish path." Extending the merrymaking is Hawkes, stepping in with his penchant for exaggeration: Pop-eyed people and animals are sent flying, tapestries soar, and jugs sail, until hens land on heads and watermelons become hats. The timing of the ending is ideal, cutting short the giddiness with the turn of the page, and leaving readers wishing for another visit to Badoombah. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399227783
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/13/1998
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.75 (w) x 11.31 (h) x 0.31 (d)

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