Kirkus Reviews QR Code
TAJ MAHAL by Caroline Arnold Kirkus Star


by Caroline Arnold & Madeleine Comora & illustrated by Rahul Bhushan

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: May 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-7613-2609-0
Publisher: Carolrhoda

Placed over wide, sumptuous carpets of finely detailed golden vines or other motifs and illustrated with accomplished Indian-style miniatures, this lyrical account frames a touching tale of love and loss in magnificent visuals. Falling in love as teenagers, Prince Khurram and a court official’s daughter Arjumand courted in secret, and then after a glorious wedding went on to rule wisely and well as Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal until her death during childbirth in 1631. Obeying her deathbed wish that all the world know of their love, he built her the jeweled tomb that is still one of the world’s wonders. He too is buried there, as the separate, black tomb he planned for himself was never built. Historical summaries and other notes (including the admission that most of the story is based on legend, since Mughal rulers guarded their privacy), plus a short reading list, cap a story based in history, and as romantic as any in folklore. (Nonfiction. 9-12)