The Littlest Giant: The Story of Vamana

Overview


King Bali is not a bad soul; he’s just ambitious. He wants big things! As a consequence, he doesn’t have friends. What he does have is an evil adviser named Shukra, who is even more ambitious than the king. When King Bali is visited by a tiny sage, Shukra is suspicious and warns the king to stay away. In this retelling of an ancient story from the Sanskrit histories, King Bali learns that big things can come in small packages — and that sometimes a small courtesy can bring big rewards. Illustrator Emma Moore ...
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Overview


King Bali is not a bad soul; he’s just ambitious. He wants big things! As a consequence, he doesn’t have friends. What he does have is an evil adviser named Shukra, who is even more ambitious than the king. When King Bali is visited by a tiny sage, Shukra is suspicious and warns the king to stay away. In this retelling of an ancient story from the Sanskrit histories, King Bali learns that big things can come in small packages — and that sometimes a small courtesy can bring big rewards. Illustrator Emma Moore applies luminescent colors and dynamic perspectives to her visualization of this tale of big and little, adapted from India’s beloved “Ten Avatars.” Author Joshua M. Greene’s elegant and direct storytelling renders an otherwise esoteric subject accessible and relevant for contemporary young readers.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Kirkus Reviews: review of "THE LITTLEST GIANT" will go live on the Kirkus Reviews site on Feb. 19th, 2014. The review will also be published in the March 1st edition of Kirkus Reviews. "Full-bleed, vividly colored illustrations, reminiscent of Indian religious posters, show Vamana with his traditional umbrella. The author’s note mentions the original source, a Sanskrit text called the Bhagavata Purana...A wisdom tale that children of any background can understand. (Folk tale. 7-10)."
Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-19
An ancient Hindu story about one of Vishnu's avatars, who challenges the greedy king, Bali. Bali, with the help of his goading adviser, Shukra, has moved beyond his kingdom to take over the Earth and the galaxy beyond. He is still not content, so Vishnu, the Supreme Person, comes to him in the form of a small human to help him understand himself. When the king, power-hungry but still charitable, sees the childlike person who presents himself as Vamana, he wants to grant his every wish. Vamana makes a modest request: "I do not need much, only a bit of land as wide as my three steps." Although Shukra is suspicious, Bali grants the wish. Only then does Vishnu reveal himself, growing into a giant. He uses his large steps to take back the Earth and the universe, creating the Ganges River along the way. When there is no other place for Vamana to take his third step, the king graciously offers his own head. Vamana takes his last step, reduces himself in size again and rewards the enlightened king by restoring his original kingdom. (In some versions, Bali is given the underworld to rule.) Full-bleed, vividly colored illustrations, reminiscent of Indian religious posters, show Vamana with his traditional umbrella. The author's note mentions the original source, a Sanskrit text called the Bhagavata Purana. A wisdom tale that children of any background can understand. (Folk tale. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608873036
  • Publisher: Insight Editions LLC
  • Publication date: 2/18/2014
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 560L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Joshua M. Greene teaches Hinduism at Hofstra University in New York. The author of several children’s books of stories from India, including Kaliya, Serpent King and Krishna and the Mystery of the Stolen Calves, he lives in New York City. Emma Moore attended Stourbridge College before moving to India, where she studied Hindu art and philosophy for five years. Also the illustrator of Manu’s Ark: India’s Tale of the Great Flood, she lives in Hertfordshire, U.K.
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