Lovably mischievous Ganesha figures out how to win a race and get his belly full of yummy rice in modern interpretations of two favorite Indian stories about the childhood of the elephant-headed god.
When Ganesha is challenged by his godly parents to race his superfast brother around the world to win a magic apple, his lumbering pace and portly form make him rethink the meaning of what is most important to him in the whole world. In another story, Ganesha’s boundless appetite causes great consternation to his host, the proud king Kubera, who must learn the secret to satisfying this young god. Told in hilarious rhyming couplets (“I am hungry, can’t you see? / You will have to get more food for me”) and illustrated playfully, this brief graphic novel ably introduces kids to the wise, exuberant child Ganesha. While most of the characters are drawn with cartoony panache and humor, the notable exception is a rather Caucasian-looking goddess Parvati, whose face is stuck in a constantly downcast direction—a puzzling choice for depicting the only female character. Despite this and some forced rhymes, on the whole Dutta and Nagulakonda leave readers happy and wanting more—which is on the way, if the last line, “Not the End,” is to be trusted.
Whether newbies to Indian mythology or longtime Amar Chitra Katha aficionados, readers are sure to be entertained by these fresh interpretations of ancient Indian tales. (Graphic novel. 5-8)