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How Ganesh Got His Elephant Head Hardcover – October 8, 2003


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How Ganesh Got His Elephant Head + How Parvati Won the Heart of Shiva (Classic Indian Stories for Children) + The Magical Adventures of Krishna: How a Mischief Maker Saved the World (Classic Indian Stories for Children)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 - 6
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Bear Cub Books (October 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591430216
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591430216
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.9 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #543,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6-Ganesh, a Hindu god who is "loved as much as he is worshipped," is the subject of this traditional tale from India. The authors trace his creation from the hands of the goddess Parvati to his ultimate status as a brave and wise god, and explain how he came to have the body of a boy and the head of an elephant. Unfortunately, the stilted, formal language and an overly moralistic tone detract from what is an otherwise intriguing story. Lush, detailed watercolor illustrations, done in a traditional Indian style, do much to advance the plot. Added features such as a "Cast of Characters" of Indian gods and goddesses and a reproducible line drawing of Ganesh are welcome additions; wordy, overly long passages, including an extended introduction; a note to parents and teachers; and a step-by-step explanation of how the illustrations were made, are not.
Sue Morgan, Tom Kitayama Elementary School, Union City, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 1-4. This book brings together the story of how the beloved Hindu god Ganesh got his elephant head and one of the most well-known tales from his childhood, his contest with his brother to circle the universe. Told in an exciting and interesting voice, this story mostly holds true to the original legend; minor inconsistencies in the text do not detract much from the authenticity of the tale. The illustrations, done in a traditional nine-step Indian process, are beautiful and authentic. They bring to life the various multiheaded, multilimbed Hindu gods and goddesses and contribute to the overall effectiveness of the book. Public and school libraries can boost their scant collections of Hindu mythology with this fascinating look into that world. Linda Perkins
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Highly recommend for anyone interested in Hindu culture.
N. Warren
Kids ages 6-9 who are sampling multicultural folklore will relish How Ganesh Got His Elephant Head, a wonderful collection of classic Indian stories.
Midwest Book Review
The story is brilliantly illustrated and the text is great.
Boo Boo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Sharma on October 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
My daughter who is four loves this book. I was a little surprised that she liked it so much, since it is a little advanced for her. The only reason that I do not give it five stars is that the story has been altered slightly to be more palatable to today's kids. For instance, the Gods ask permission from an elephant mother before taking her son's head and putting it on Ganesh's body. This was not in the original story, and since we are talking about a religous text, this is the equivalent of telling children that Jesus drank grape juice instead of wine. Still a great book, but the story has been slightly sugar coated.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By AR on July 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
My son loves the book How Ganesh Got his Elephant Head! I have read it to him and his friends at least a hundred times! Although the author's choice of vocabulary is complicated for a five year old, my son has learned many new words and their meaning.

He says, "I like the pictures and learning about each of the Gods is fun. My favorite part is matching each God with his or her vehicle. How come Ganesh does not squish the mouse his rides?"
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Kids ages 6-9 who are sampling multicultural folklore will relish How Ganesh Got His Elephant Head, a wonderful collection of classic Indian stories. Pieter Weltevrede's bright full-page color drawings enhances these Indian classic folk tales, which should be part of any serious picturebook multicultural collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A4Q96 VINE VOICE on December 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I grew up reading Amar Chitra Katha comics that tell Hindu (and other) religious stories and Indian Folk Tales in a very straightforward (sometimes slightly graphic way). I still have a large collection I'll pass on to my kids, and their telling of Ganesa is my favorite.

Compared to those, this is a slightly less appealing though still decent telling of the Ganesa story. It takes some creative license (it leaves out some of the "color" to how Ganesa received the elephant's head, for exxample) that results in a story that is a bit too toned down/altered for my tastes, but it's still good.
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