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THE STORY OF LITTLE BABAJI by Helen Bannerman

THE STORY OF LITTLE BABAJI

By Helen Bannerman (Author) , Fred Marcellino (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-06-205064-8
Publisher: HarperCollins

A children's classic gets the Michael Jackson treatment: lightened skin, fancy new dress, a bit of (editorial) cosmetic surgery and voila! Fine old wine in a new bottle. The text remains the same (less the American edition's preface), except that Black Sambo, Black Mumbo, and Black Jumbo are given what are billed as "authentic Indian names''--Little Babaji, Mamaji, and Papaji--that are still appropriately ingenuous, but considerably less loaded. Marcellino (The Pelican Chorus, 1995, etc.) provides illustrations far more polished than the originals, ably capturing both the story's true setting and its glorious silliness. Little Babaji, looking like a glossy teak marionette, faces a succession of huge, luxuriously supple tigers whose eventual meltdown provides him, Papaji, and sari-clad Mamaji with a supper of pancakes--and "Little Babaji ate a Hundred and Sixty-Nine, because he was so hungry.'' Offered in a square format about an inch higher than the diminutive original, this remake combines a star illustrator and a story with proven appeal: You can't beat it. (Picture book. 4-7)