A lighthearted, beautifully illustrated lesson on appreciating multiplicity through a Hindu lens.

THE VAAHANA TALE

Hindu deities argue over who has the best beast transport in this children’s picture book.

In Hindu mythology, the term vaahana, usually translated as mount or vehicle,refers to the animals that carry deities around. As explained in rhyming verse, eight divine children gather to play but then start debating the merits of their vaahana, each claiming theirs is the best. For example, Vishnu praises his eagle vaahana for its speed and strength, while Sariswati’s swan is said to be “the most perfect mix / Of beauty, brains, and brawn.” After a lengthy argument, the deities hear laughter nearby, which turns out to be the sound of their vaahana playing happily together; as far as they’re concerned, their differences don’t matter. The deities, “humbled and impressed,” decide to carry their vaahana home that day. In his third picture book,Jatkar entertainingly introduces elements of Hindu mythology, providing helpful character lists with pronunciations. Although the verses doesn’t always scan well due to inconsistent meters, the text vigorously conveys the mounts’ qualities. Durga’s lion, for example, “can crush many a bone / In his magnificent jaws!” The author’s collagelike, full-color images depict richly patterned characters that are all the more vibrant against the pages’ simple backgrounds.

A lighthearted, beautifully illustrated lesson on appreciating multiplicity through a Hindu lens.

Pub Date: July 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-9977181-3-3

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Monkeymantra

Review Posted Online: Sept. 8, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A wondrous, historically grounded Christmas story with vivid images.

THE WISE MEN WHO FOUND CHRISTMAS

This picture book offers a retelling of the Three Wise Men’s journey to visit the newborn Jesus.

Over the Arabian city of Petra, a great star appears in the night sky. The elder Melchior recalls a Jewish prophecy that the star is a harbinger of a great king’s birth. Consulting with his younger peers Balthasar and Casper, Melchior takes this news to Nabatea’s ruler. The king, fearful of insulting the cruel monarch Herod, who apparently has welcomed a new prince, sends the three men to Judea with tributes representing their land’s greatest riches: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And so the Magi begin their journey to greet Jesus, following the “moving star blazing overhead” and finding the newborn king in a small, sparse home. Arroyo’s book seeks to strip the Magi story of the “fictional embellishments” the tale has gained over time, returning the classic Christmas story to a more biblical, historical Bethlehem. These men are not majestic kings from Persia but theologians and star readers bound by the period’s politics. Le Feyer’s Magi are a triumph of representation, a far cry from the usual bland Nativity scenes, pulling beautiful, accurate features and diverse skin tones from the cultural melting pot of Nabatea and Judea. The illustrator makes heavy use of shadows, but the pictures never seem cold or dark. Light, be it from a candle, a star, or the divine, brightens and inspires with the awe of the season.

A wondrous, historically grounded Christmas story with vivid images.

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2022

ISBN: 9781644136201

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sophia Institute Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more