SHOWER OF GOLD

GIRLS AND WOMEN IN THE STORIES OF INDIA

In this worthy anthology, Krishnaswami (The Broken Tusk, 1996) has collected and retold 18 traditional tales which originated in the Indian subcontinent, all with female protagonists. Many of these simply told stories feature a heroine who must stand up for her beliefs. The tales will fascinate those accustomed to European stories, for the heroines—instead of ending up with the guy and the gold—are frequently rewarded in less tangible ways, often gaining a measure of spiritual enlightenment. In one tale, a young princess comes to realize that strength and duty are more important than looks and marriage; in another, a group of royal ladies endure physical deprivation, eventually convincing the Buddha that they have the spiritual wherewithal to become disciples. Krishnaswami, selecting these stories from myriad sources—ancient literature, Hindu and Buddhist mythology, folktales and legends—demonstrates genuine passion for the material; every story is followed by a helpful note that provides context and cites sources. More edifying than exciting, but often intriguing, these stories comprise a worthwhile resource. (b&w illustrations, glossary, sources) (Folklore. 11-14)

Pub Date: March 31, 1999

ISBN: 0-208-02484-0

Page Count: 125

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

LAUGH-ETERIA

Florian’s seventh collection of verse is also his most uneven; though the flair for clever rhyme that consistently lights up his other books, beginning with Monster Motel (1993), occasionally shows itself—“Hello, my name is Dracula/My clothing is all blackula./I drive a Cadillacula./I am a maniacula”—too many of the entries are routine limericks, putdowns, character portraits, rhymed lists that fall flat on the ear, or quick quips: “It’s hard to be anonymous/When you’re a hippopotamus.” Florian’s language and simple, thick-lined cartoons illustrations are equally ingenuous, and he sticks to tried-and-true subjects, from dinosaurs to school lunch, but the well of inspiration seems dry; revisit his hilarious Bing Bang Boing (1994) instead. (index) (Poetry. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-202084-5

Page Count: 158

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE QUILTMAKER'S GIFT

A sentimental tale overwhelmed by busy illustrations and rampant pedantry. A gifted quiltmaker who makes outstanding quilts never sells her wares, but gives them away to the poor. A greedy king so loves presents that he has two birthdays a year, and commands everyone in the kingdom to give him gifts. Everyone brings presents till the castle overflows; the king, still unhappy, locates the quiltmaker and directs her to make him a quilt. When she refuses he tries to feed her to a hungry bear, then to leave her on a tiny island, but each time the quiltmaker’s kindness results in her rescue. At last, the king agrees to a bargain; he will give away his many things, and the quiltmaker will sew him a quilt. He is soon poor, but happier than he’s ever been, and she fulfills her end of the bargain; they remain partners forever after, with her sewing the quilts and him giving them away. The illustrations are elaborate, filled with clues to quilt names. A note points to the 250 different quilt names hidden in the picture on the inside of the book jacket. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 1-57025-199-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more