The Magical Adventures of Krishna: How a Mischief Maker Saved the World

Overview

Features Krishna, one of the most beloved characters of the Hindu pantheon, a spirited naughty boy who grows up to save the world

• Based on original stories from India adapted for Western children

• Illustrated throughout with glowing full-color paintings in traditional Indian style

Long, long ago, the world was overrun by terrible demons. Even the Earth goddess, Bhumi, was unable to protect the land. She appealed to Vishnu, God of Preservation, who agreed to be born on Earth ...

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Overview

Features Krishna, one of the most beloved characters of the Hindu pantheon, a spirited naughty boy who grows up to save the world

• Based on original stories from India adapted for Western children

• Illustrated throughout with glowing full-color paintings in traditional Indian style

Long, long ago, the world was overrun by terrible demons. Even the Earth goddess, Bhumi, was unable to protect the land. She appealed to Vishnu, God of Preservation, who agreed to be born on Earth as Krishna, to save the world from destruction. Krishna is part superhero, part mischievous boy, and tales of his exploits—from childish pranks to death-defying demon slayings to his enchantment of the milkmaids—have delighted Indian children for centuries.

Like every child, Krishna tries to be good, but his irrepressible high spirits lead him into any number of mischievous escapades. In the end, though, all of his adventures lead to a happy conclusion. His mother, Yashoda, loves him no matter what he does, reminding us that children who get all the love they need grow up strong and brave and ready to save the world.

The glowing illustrations, executed in transparent watercolors and tempera paints, are done in a centuries-old method traditional to India. Richly detailed, they bring to life the colorful cast of characters—humans, gods, and demons alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Kala Ambrose
"I was so pleased to discover recently that the publishing house, Inner Traditions, has a division called Bear Cub Books, which features children's storybooks including classic Indian stories for children. Each culture throughout history shares myths, parables, and folklore, in order to teach children about morals and the human condition and the Hindu traditions and stories are both fascinating and delightful to read. . . . Beautifully written by Dr. Sperling, she does a wonderful job of explaining the characters, so that they can be easily loved and understood by western children as an introduction to Hindu culture and traditions."
The Midwest Book Review
"The seventh title in the outstanding 'Classical Indian Stories for Children' series . . . keeps its readers enthralled with all of the rollicking exploits of its human, divine, and demonic cast of characters."
S.V. Swamy
"Krishna's birth and His exploits in killing the many demons that were sent by His uncle Kamsa to kill Him are narrated well by Vatsala. Her style is simple and at the same time she holds the reader's attention. The illustrations by Pieter Weltevrede add great value to the excellent narration. The result is an excellent introduction to Krishna Tatva and Krishna Consciousness to those not yet exposed. To others, it would be one more opportunity to enjoy the nectar of Krishna's love for the whole creation."
Awareness Magazine
“Highly recommended for ages 6 and older, and anyone interested in world cultures.”
Feb 2010 The Midwest Book Review
"The seventh title in the outstanding 'Classical Indian Stories for Children' series . . . keeps its readers enthralled with all of the rollicking exploits of its human, divine, and demonic cast of characters."
October 2011 Awareness Magazine
“Highly recommended for ages 6 and older, and anyone interested in world cultures.”
From the Publisher
"I was so pleased to discover recently that the publishing house, Inner Traditions, has a division called Bear Cub Books, which features children's storybooks including classic Indian stories for children. Each culture throughout history shares myths, parables, and folklore, in order to teach children about morals and the human condition and the Hindu traditions and stories are both fascinating and delightful to read. . . . Beautifully written by Dr. Sperling, she does a wonderful job of explaining the characters, so that they can be easily loved and understood by western children as an introduction to Hindu culture and traditions."

"Krishna's birth and His exploits in killing the many demons that were sent by His uncle Kamsa to kill Him are narrated well by Vatsala. Her style is simple and at the same time she holds the reader's attention. The illustrations by Pieter Weltevrede add great value to the excellent narration. The result is an excellent introduction to Krishna Tatva and Krishna Consciousness to those not yet exposed. To others, it would be one more opportunity to enjoy the nectar of Krishna's love for the whole creation."

"The seventh title in the outstanding 'Classical Indian Stories for Children' series . . . keeps its readers enthralled with all of the rollicking exploits of its human, divine, and demonic cast of characters."

“Highly recommended for ages 6 and older, and anyone interested in world cultures.”

Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
This reprint of an earlier edition is the story of the beloved Hindu deity Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The infant Krishna is brought to earth by the pleas of the gods in response to the tyrannical king Kansa's excesses. He is helped along the way by the goddess Durga, who flouts Kansa's plan to find and kill baby boys so he can thwart the prophecy of his own destruction at Krishna's hands. Sperling's text is clear and straightforward as she takes readers through Krishna's childhood, youthful pranks, and battles with the forces that are out to defeat him. The flirtatious overtures of the milkmaids, until they realize that the handsome cowherd is God on earth, are represented with tenderness and humor. The complicated ins and outs of Hindu mythic tales are rendered in only as much detail as is needed for the story to stand on its own but may still feel overwhelming to those unaccustomed to such dense narrative. Krishna personifies divinity embodied in the child, but there are demons and battles and bloodshed here as well, as there are in the original stories. This book ends with Krishna's being sent to the abode of a sage with whom he will learn the arts of becoming a warrior king, in the years before he plays a pivotal role in the Hindu epic, The Mahabharata. Colorful transparent watercolor and tempera paint illustrations carry on the tradition begun by religious and spiritual teacher Harish Johari. Reproducible coloring page in back matter. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami
Kirkus Reviews
For children interested in Hinduism and its varied and numerous characters, this provides a general overview of Krishna and his many escapades. In the Hindu pantheon, Krishna functions vaguely similarly to Jesus, being the earthly incarnation of Lord Vishnu, God of Preservation, sent down to restore peace and rid the world of demonic rule. In his youth, Krishna straddles the line between regular boy and superhero. He's not above stealing butter from the neighbors just for fun but always spots the sources of evil, no matter how hidden they are, and destroys them. For those new to Hinduism and even those who aren't, the dizzying array of gods, goddesses and humans can be daunting, and Sperling's formal, dense text doesn't help make it easy. Weltevrede's classic-looking and expressive jewel-toned illustrations bring in a much-needed layer of emotion but also depict the frequent and possibly frightening violence. The message that one doesn't have to be perfect to be heroic is a good one-too bad its delivery isn't more accessible. (Picture book/religion. 7 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591431107
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Publication date: 11/15/2009
  • Edition description: 2nd Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Vatsala Sperling, Ph.D., a native of India, learned these stories at her mother’s feet and enjoys introducing them to children of the Western world. She is the author of several books in this series, including most recently Ganga: The River that Flows from Heaven to Earth. Pieter Weltevrede began his artistic studies with Harish Johari in 1977 and also studied with Shri Chandra Bal. He has illustrated several books in this series, including Ganga and Ram the Demon Slayer.

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