The elephant-headed—and, here, -bodied—Hindu god throws his considerable weight around in this lunar pourquoi tale.
So annoyed is Ganesha after being tripped up by a snake that he condemns the guffawing Moon to darkness: “There, this from now / on shall be your curse, / to be hidden forever, / be glad it’s not worse!” “NOOOO,” wails the Moon, and “WHAT’S HAPPENING??” cry frightened villagers. Even the gods are frightened, and so at their appeal, Shiva gently guides his pachydermatous offspring into a compromise that allows the Moon to cycle monthly from dark to light “and everything in between.” This well-known traditional episode is available in more elaborated versions in Uma Krishnaswami’s collection The Broken Tusk, illustrated by Maniam Selven (1996), and widely online. Here it is related in lumbering verse and illustrated cartoon-style in large sequential panels. Clad in a loincloth that looks rather like a red-and-yellow diaper, portly Ganesha cuts a comical figure, though his innate good nature isn’t really in evidence. Still, both his mighty pratfall and the broad-faced Moon’s exaggerated expressions of glee, dismay, and finally relief set a light tone.
A chortle-worthy, if sketchy, continuation of Ganesha: The Wonder Years (2015). (sticker sheet) (Graphic folk tale. 5-8)