The Broken Tusk: Stories of the Hindu God Ganesha

Overview

This collection of Hindu folktales for middle readers features stories about the god, Ganesha, who is easily recognized because of his elephant head. Krishnaswami introduces the stories by recalling her own introduction to Ganesha and goes on to offer a mythological context for the tales. Included among the tales are Ganesha's Head, The Broken Tusk, and 'Why Ganesha Never Married. Most of the stories come from Hindu legend; one comes from Mongolia, where Ganesha made his way into the Buddhist tradition. The ...

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Overview

This collection of Hindu folktales for middle readers features stories about the god, Ganesha, who is easily recognized because of his elephant head. Krishnaswami introduces the stories by recalling her own introduction to Ganesha and goes on to offer a mythological context for the tales. Included among the tales are Ganesha's Head, The Broken Tusk, and 'Why Ganesha Never Married. Most of the stories come from Hindu legend; one comes from Mongolia, where Ganesha made his way into the Buddhist tradition. The pen-and-ink illustrations have child appeal, and readers will be aided by the pronunciation guide and glossary.

A collection of stories about the pantheon of Hindu gods, centering on the sometimes greedy, sometimes impulsive, but always generous, elephant-headed Ganesha.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Charles Wyman
Ganesha, the elephant headed god, is the perfect choice to introduce Hindu mythology. He is not fearsome. He is fun loving, a god who removes obstacles from people's paths. This wonderful collection comes from the author's recollection of stories from her childhood and subsequent extensive research. The words of the reteller are rich in imagery; her words flow like the Ganga. These tales reveal the pantheon of Hindu gods, provide an understanding for certain rituals, and teach lessons that are valid in all cultures. In addition, there is a pronunciation guide, a partial list of the 108 names Ganesha is known by, an annotated listing of the characters, and source notes. This is a vast mythology, and the author has whetted our appetites for more.
Kirkus Reviews
Krishnaswami's retellings of Hindu myths from India about the elephant-headed god, Ganesha, which include variants of tales heard in childhood or found in later research, make an elegant and eminently readable volume that's a vital addition to any multicultural shelf.

Useful prefatory sections on the whole of Hindu mythology point out that the stories continue to be living cultural and spiritual entities in a way that tales from Greek or Norse mythologies are not, aiming to inculcate a way of life that includes ideas from the Hindu faith. The focus on Ganesha happily clarifies the swirling complexity of Hindu tradition while also enabling readers to empathize with this most likable and humorous god. The question that springs immediately to many readers' minds—why an elephant's head?—is entertainingly addressed in the first tale, along with the notions of reincarnation and filial responsibility. The latter notion expands in the next story, a clever narrative dealing with the relationship of child to parent. The book also includes one tale, "The Birth of Phagpa," from the Buddhist tradition of Mongolia. Throughout, black-and-white illustrations depict Ganesha's childlike charm, even when he's under duress or stress, or in the throes of heartbreak. This book opens perceptual doors to a great and still vital Eastern tradition—a gift indeed.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874838060
  • Publisher: August House Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/25/2006
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,308,333
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 920L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.12 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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