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PREMLATA AND THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS by Rumer Godden

PREMLATA AND THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

By Rumer Godden (Author) , Ian Andrew (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: March 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-688-15136-1
Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperCollins

 A tender rags-to-riches tale from Godden (Great Grandfather's House, 1993, etc.), with an Indian setting and universal themes. Premlata cannot believe there will be no deepas--small oil lamps--for Diwali, the festival of lights that honors the goddess Kali. Her widowed mother has sold them--and most of the family's other possessions--to feed Prem and her siblings. At the big house her mother serves, Prem outhaggles the wicked housekeeper, Paru Didi, and is given rupees from the master, Bijoy Rai, to buy new oil lamps. She goes to the market, but is so distracted by sweets, toys, and gifts for her family that all the rupees are gone before she finds the lamp merchant. How Prem gets home safely (with the help of the master's friendly elephant), sees the end of Paru Didi's reign, and helps restore the family's fortunes is but part of this sweetly reassuring holiday story. Illustrated with soft-focus, beautifully detailed black-and-white drawings, the book provides a whirlwind tour of one small corner of Bengal life, and is sure to find an audience ready for any story Godden tells. (Fiction. 7-10)