In an earnest, gracefully told original fable, Prince Sanjay escapes from the tower where he has been imprisoned by his own father and rides a mysterious white tiger to a desert--where he is moved to compassion by the plight of starving, impoverished people. His father has failed to honor a promise to the god of creation and destruction--to give his wealth to the poor in return for a son; when he fails again after his son's return, the god destroys him and his palace in a river of gold. Sanjay, succeeding him, rules with justice and charity. The striking full-color art places the story in the East, perhaps India, its drama focused more on the opulent court than on the plight of the poor. Interesting, but not essential.