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THE RUMOR by Anushka Ravishankar

THE RUMOR

By Anushka Ravishankar (Author) , Kanyika Kini (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: May 8th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-77049-280-6
Publisher: Tundra

A multicultural—and universal—lesson on the dangers of gossip.

In the tiny village of Baddbaddpur, India, lived a grumpy man named Pandurang. He scowled and grumbled so much that no one ever wanted to be near him. But one day he had a coughing fit and, to his surprise, coughed up a feather. He told his wife, but urged her not to tell anyone else. However, she could not resist and told her neighbor about the strange occurrence. But in her version, he not only coughed up a feather, but the entire bird! The story is then passed from one person to the next, becoming more and more exaggerated with each telling. In the end, poor Pandurang has an entire forest growing from his mouth. Every time the rumor is told, Ravishankar uses humorous verse to add to the incredulity: “A tree grew inside Pandu’s mouth— / It grew and grew and grew and grew! / And on that tree, there came to nest / A flock of birds, full sixty-two!” The warm, jewel-toned illustrations play with perspective, growing Pandu’s face larger and larger as the rumor gets bigger, until trees sprout from his molars and animals of all kinds spring from his wide, open mouth.

A playful take on a familiar cautionary tale is enlivened by Subcontinental flair. (Picture book. 4-7)