Tales from India

Overview

Discover a world of classic tales from India.

Come on a journey with renowned storyteller Jamila Gavin as she writes of great floods, legendary romances, and epic battles between good and evil. This new collection of Hindu tales, including the birth of the gods, tales of creation, and the arrival of humans, is illuminated by Amanda Hall's exquisite artwork, which reflects the influence of both classical and contemporary Indian art.

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Overview

Discover a world of classic tales from India.

Come on a journey with renowned storyteller Jamila Gavin as she writes of great floods, legendary romances, and epic battles between good and evil. This new collection of Hindu tales, including the birth of the gods, tales of creation, and the arrival of humans, is illuminated by Amanda Hall's exquisite artwork, which reflects the influence of both classical and contemporary Indian art.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Whitbread Book Award–winner Gavin, who grew up in India, presents 10 classic Hindu stories, accompanied by Hall’s lush and elegant gouache illustrations. The first story describes the origins of the world and the ongoing battle between good and evil. Others relate Lord Vishnu’s creation of the goddess Lakshmi; Lord Shiva’s battle with the gods of darkness, the Asuras; an ark legend centering on Manu, the first man; and the dark story of how Ganesh acquired his elephant’s head. Readers should be drawn toward the valor, action, and dramatic transformations in these powerful tales. Ages 9–up. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
Fresh versions of some very old stories, well suited to reading aloud.
—Kirkus Reviews

Readers should be drawn toward the valor, action, and dramatic transformations in these powerful tales.
—Publishers Weekly

Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
Paisley patterned endpapers, arresting art and design elements, and a gold-adorned jacket image augment these exquisitely turned stories. Gavin lends her distinct, precise voice to these traditional Hindu tales, many of whose oral origins undoubtedly predate the written word. Beginning with the creation story of the churning of the ocean of milk, the collection also includes the origin of Lord Shiva's blue throat, the Hindu flood tale (in a version that departs from the tradition of ascribing the fish form to Vishnu), the River Ganga's descent to earth, the origin of the beloved god Ganesh's elephant head, the birth of Lord Krishna, Hanuman's role in the epic Ramayana, the beautiful Damayanti and how she recognized her true love, the story of the tragic hero Karna, and the tale of Vamana and the three steps that crushed a tyrannical king. Each exemplifies a tale around which many related stories cluster across multiple linguistic and worship traditions, a diversity to which Gavin alludes in her prefatory material. In this introduction, she also details her personal engagement with these stories. Fast-paced, the tales are nonetheless lyrically crafted, with each one opening either in an emotionally charged moment or with the deft sketch of a compelling mythic character. Hall's delicately detailed gouache paintings borrow stylistic elements from traditional Rajput art. Some of the illustrations seem to echo folios created by artists from multiple periods of miniature painting, suggesting a kind of cultural mingling over the centuries. Backmatter includes a brief glossary. No formal sources are provided. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up—Ten well-crafted stories with elegant illustrations introduce a fine array of gods and events of the Hindu pantheon. Gavin opens with a creation tale, introducing the tripartite godhead—Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva—as well as the forces of good and evil that forever do battle in the three areas of the cosmos—heaven, earth, and the underworld. The tales feature the large personalities of the gods and their love interests, trickery, and interactions with humans, offering intriguing parallels with other belief systems as well as unique elements. A serpent figures prominently in early times, the great flood endures for 12 years, and Brahma is born of a human mother as Krishna. Both Vishnu, the Preserver, and Shiva, the Destroyer, are colorful and complicated figures. Hall's richly rendered gouache paintings, prepared in the style of Indian miniatures and framed in gold, vary in size and placement, and each story is introduced by a sumptuous, colorful title page patterned in gold. The details and dialogue serve the stories and competent readers well, but will be a bit challenging for reading aloud and storytelling. Beautifully presented, the book will be much enjoyed by mythology fans and likely lead to a search for further reading for some.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763655648
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 9/13/2011
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Jamila Gavin was born in Mussoorie, India, in the foothills of the Himalayas, to an Indian father and an English mother. Jamila has written many books with multicultural themes for children and young adults. She won the Whitbread Children's Book Award in 2000 and was runner-up for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. Her work has been adapted for stage and television. Jamila Gavin lives in England.

Amanda Hall studied art and illustration at the Cambridge School of Art. Inspired by cultures from all over the world, she has illustrated many books for children including Robi Dobi: The Marvellous Adventures of an Indian Elephant by Madhur Jaffrey. Amanda Hall lives in the U.K.

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