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The Little Book of Hindu Deities: From the Goddess of Wealth to the Sacred Cow Paperback – October 31, 2006


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The Little Book of Hindu Deities: From the Goddess of Wealth to the Sacred Cow + Ganesha's Sweet Tooth + Ramayana: Divine Loophole
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; 10.1.2006 edition (October 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452287758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452287754
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Don't mess with Kali, cautions Patel on the opening page of this arresting, innovative, entertaining book. Who knew the Hindu pantheon could be so much fun? Patel, an animator at Pixar studios, breathes new life into old mythology, telling the exploits of various deities while drawing us in—literally—with his joyous and unexpected full-color illustrations. In the introduction, he notes that he has always been influenced by Japanese animation, and his renderings bear the mark of the wide-eyed, large-headed, simple style that he so admires. The book is awash in color, with vivid saffrons, purples, fuchsias and oranges adding a lushness to the tales he recounts. Although some of the design work is too trendy to last—to wit, the oversized green and yellow polka dots that decorate some interstitial pages—it is precisely that faddish nod to the au courant that will make the book popular with teens and 20-somethings, who are the core audience ("Next time you're angry with your parents, don't turn into a monster," Patel jokes after introducing us to Bhairava, a vengeful incarnation of Shiva). Both funny and informative, this is a fresh and breezy introduction to the Hindu gods. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Throw another ingredient in the American spirituality blender. Pop culture is veering into Hinduism. -- USA Today

More About the Author

Sanjay Patel is an animator and storyboard artist for Pixar Animation Studios, where he has worked on features that include Monsters, Inc., A Bugs Life; Toy Story 2; and The Incredibles. He has also worked on The Simpsons for Fox and with legendary cartoonist John K., creator of Ren and Stimpy."

Customer Reviews

It's a good basic intro to the Hindu deities, great for kids and adults alike.
Vanessa L
Also, because he has presented very crisp information in a simple way, it is just so easy to understand.
Karpagam Rajan
This was just one of many times while reading the book that I was left howling with laughter.
Smoky Zeidel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Shari DeCarlo on March 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The visuals are captivating and engaging. There's a good dose of humour in there as well. My 2 year old loves to look at the pictures. My husband and I want to expose our children to all the different religious beliefs, mythologies and ideas we can. This is a great way to introduce the primary Hindu Deities to a house that hasn't had much exposure to them.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Darth Breather on August 23, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a handy compendium of Hindu deities, with the gods and goddesses made cute in a self-confessed Hello Kitty kind of way. The idea is sort of sweet, and I'd love to see Patel do other religious figures this way.

What was profoundly irritating was how difficult some of the pages were to read - white text on pastel-colored pages. The dark-colored pages were fine, but white on pink? White on yellow? What was Penguin thinking?

I hope they'll correct this in the next edition.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By latenac on December 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought this book when it was still being self-published. My daughter loves it. It's a great guide to Hindu deities. There's wonderful subtle humor in it and the drawings are wonderful. It's been a great addition to our library to teach our daughter about world religions.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Karpagam Rajan on July 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
I found this book really mind-blowing. I grew up in India.However didn't get to know much about hinduism, because Mom was an athiest. But had the basic knowledge about Hindu Gods from different sources(Family, visiting Temples, Television,Movies etc). As I grew up, had lot of basic questions, and really felt bad about it. Thought it was too late for me to ask now. I read this book and it cleared all by grey areas. thanks to Sanjay.

Also, because he has presented very crisp information in a simple way, it is just so easy to understand.

Overall, it's a very handy book and am glad now I can pass some knowledge to the next generations to come.
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Mom on April 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
My sister bought this book for my kids online. On the whole - the characterizations, the illustrations - everything struck the wrong note with me. I didn't like it all.

Aug 5th 2010.
Based on comments, I am qualifying my post with specifics:

First the author's background confirms my doubts. With an educational background in animation, it seems like he started with the illustrations and then added the text. His religious education is mostly informal, initiated by an interest in drawing gods and finding 'entertainment' in their exploits. Nothing against the author, but it sheds light on why it lacks reverence and why it won't help teaching religion or the spiritual side of Hinduism to children.

The 'funny' tone is not definitely funny to me, a hindu, who has had her share of laughs based on the gods. Some of the jokes are outsider jokes not insider - if you see what I mean. Some are downright repugnant - I don't want to repeat them - if you have read the book, I don't think you will have a hard time finding any of those.

I think the book confuses the lay reader on Hinduism more than educating him. It could've at least used a basic 1-2 page introduction of devas (gods), God, main philosophies/views ( trimurti concept/Shaivism/Vaishnavism etc) before delving in.

I would not like my children to identify reverential figures with the illustrations from the book.

Some stories, such as the one of Bhairava, I had never heard before. I did a quick look on wikipedia and the story is not even mentioned in his page. The 'Animal gods' section, where I expected the most irreverence, surprised me - It was educative.
Read more ›
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Allain on January 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
This was described to me as "a younger, hipper take on Hinduism." You get fifty deities, demigods, avatars, mythical planets and epic characters. The art is eye-catching and happy looking. A page is devoted to each deity with a picture and easy text. It can be used to keep Asian-American kids in touch with their culture or to introduce anyone to what Hinduism is.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Suhas R. Sheth on January 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am a Graphic designer. I was sold on your book off your website. The illustrations were original and vibrant, just like hindu culture. Only thing I was disappointed about was the quality of the paper. I really wish the book was printed on better paper. PREFERABLE GLOSSY PAPER INSTEAD OF MATT PAPER, I think this would have given the vibrancy it deserves.

Beside the paper preference I agree with all other reviews. This is a great book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By modern mommy on April 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i would rate this book a 4, almost perfect.

This illustrations in this book are unbelievably beautiful. I bought the original self published book that Sanjay Patel put out which was much smaller.

Here, he expands on it, with many many more pictures, pages, and expanded explanations (stories) of all the deities. I would give the book itself 5 stars, a must have!

My only problem with the book is the quality of the pages. :( It doesn't do his work justice. In the original book, "Little India', the pages were glossy and the colors leaped off the pages, like a coffe table art book or children's storybook.

In this version, the cover is glossy but the pages are matte and coarse, like a paperback novel. It really changes the look of the illustrations, they look muted.

In one way, it reinforces the idea that this is a 'story' book you are reading thru and not just about the pictures but... wow... what a loss, when I compare it to the original. I give it 3 stars for quality.

Unfortunently, I cut up the original when I was pregnant and framed them for my baby's nursery. I bought 2 of this one, to have one for reading and one for framing more prints. These are not the same quality although I'm sure any baby would still be thrilled to read it with mommy and daddy. :)

I hope he releases the other version again.
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