"Funny, wise, and entertaining from first page to last." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Step back into ancient India as Marcia Williams brings her inviting comic-book style to eight animal folktales that continue to enchant children today. Drawing from three books of best-loved Indian folktales-- the Hitopadesha, the Jatakas,and the Panchatantra --this graphic storybook collection, alive with kidfriendly illustrations, is infused with humor and warmth.
Grades 3-7. With beautiful, intricately detailed artwork in a playful comic-book style, Williams retells eight Indian animal folktales. Elephant shakes its trunk to greet Dog, and they become close friends; then Dog is sold away, and the animals’ body language shows that elephant is heartbroken—until a huge double-page spread celebrates their reunion. Not every entry ends with such sweet resolution: scrawny Old Tiger tricks and eats a poor traveler; Cat pretends to be vegetarian as part of a plan to eat little birds. The simple language is elemental and eloquent: Swan, “rich in both food and friends,” feels bad about a poor family close by, hungry and in rags: “they had so little and he had so much.” But then the mother turns greedy, and there is no happy ending. Even the crocodiles in these stories have manners enough not to eat their friends. Best of all are the tales in which the trickster is outtricked, and kids will enjoy the message that “wisdom can overcome physical strength.”