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Ganesha's Sweet Tooth Hardcover – September 19, 2012
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With bright, elaborately detailed illustrations, this picture book tells a fictionalized story based on the legend of how the Hindu god Ganesha transcribed the epic poem Mahabharata. Here Ganesha is “just like any other kid” except that he has an elephant’s head, and vividly colored pictures show him cruising around on a magical mouse. He loves sweets (he is a bit “chubby”), but when he bites down on “the super jumbo jawbreaker laddoo,” his tusk breaks off. He is furious and bitterly ashamed until he meets Vyasa the poet, who needs the tusk to write his poem, which is so long that “all the pens in the world would break before it is done.” So Ganesha helps the poet and uses his tusk to write the 100,000 verses of a story, which turns out to be so beautiful he even forgets about sweets. Blending computer graphics with traditional images, the intricate, stylized illustrations may be best suited for grade-schoolers, who will enjoy the story’s turnarounds and focus on luscious sweets, and many will be ready for the classic Hindu myth. Grades 1-3. --Hazel Rochman
"A classic Hindu tale gets an artful interpretation in this piece of eye candy" - Daily Candy Kids
"Zesty and original... Pink elephants haven't looked this good since 'Dumbo'" - The New York Times
"Two traditional events in the life of the Hindu god Ganesha are imaginatively recast" - School Library Journal
"The wordless two-page spreads retelling the ancient epic Sanskrit poem, Mahabharata is a masterpiece." - Lisa Von Drasek, Early Word
"A fresh and comedic introduction to a Hindu legend, with a winning combination of both eye candy and actual candy." - Publishers Weekly
"A feast for the eyes... So sweet we almost want to pop it in our mouths." - EntertainmentWeekly.com
"A confectioner's palette... strong shapes and a mix of modern objects with traditional designs add to the fun." - Kirkus Reviews
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Top Customer Reviews
However, I was disappointed that the authors chose to invent a story about Ganesha that is very loosely inspired by original texts, instead of retelling a classic story for a new audience. The book would be much more interesting to me if it were a genuine Hindu myth instead of a made-up one with elements that are not found in Hindu scripture. The authors say the text is "loosely based" on the classic legend, and that their intent is to "entertain and enchant" readers so that they will be inspired to learn more about "the rich and varied stories of Hindu mythology." I find this baffling--why not just use one of those "rich and varied stories"? Were they not interesting enough? When the afterword explains how Ganesha "really" broke his tusk, I just felt a little cheated by the whole nonsense about the jawbreaker candy. The original story makes so much more sense and is much cooler. Also, given that this will possibly be many non-Hindu children's only exposure to Hindu mythology, why on Earth would they want to warp the story so much that it's barely recognizable?
I would have preferred to use this text to teach an classic story of Hindu mythology, instead of having to give all kinds of explanations about which parts are authentic and which are the authors' fabrications.
I can’t say enough about this book. The art is stunning. Sanjay Patel is an animator at Pixar Studios, and the look and feel of the overall story definitely has a fun quality to it that Pixar fans will appreciate and everyone will enjoy. The colors and Indian-influenced artwork are breathtaking. This is artwork I would hang in my kids’ room, it’s so beautiful. It’s colorful and exciting, and introduces children to Indian-influenced art, which many will likely never have seen before.
At the same time, the artwork is adorable. Children will adore Little Ganesha and his best friend Mouse and relate to them. What child wouldn’t want to sit and eat candy all day long? What child doesn’t believe he or she is invincible, as Ganesha does? When Ganesha breaks his tooth, he is worried about his appearance and becomes angry and frustrated, throwing his tusk at the moon. He loses his temper, like any other child would in a frustrating situation, and there is a friendly adult, in the person of Vyasa, to deflect Ganesha’s anger and channel it into something productive.
There are good lessons to be learned in this story, including making the best of a bad situation and how sharing is important, as illustrated between Ganesha, Mouse, and their other friends. I read the digital version of the book, but encourage adults to read the actual storybook, as the font is playful, round, and fun, attracting young readers’ eyes and directing them to the action and flow of the story. The artwork will keep little eyes busy – there is so much to see! – and the story lends itself to great post-storytime discussions about sharing, listening to your friends, and seeing the good in every situation.
I mean that while it is great to have generic stories with typical boys and girls and their families etc, look how culturally loaded this one is!
How many details you can see and wonder about (the bracelets, the sari, the ladoo, the beads)!
Look at the geometric beautiful patterns and tiny details!
Now, my mom said that "that wouldn't be my choice" and I agree, it's probably not for everyone, but the way I chose books for my kid is:
- get different styles to let them see different things - they might not like it, but it's good to see different things and choose your favorites, and there's always a chance they will grow to like them later
- get different cultures and show kids that people can wear, say and like different things, that's how the world is
Great book, my kid and I loved it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Extremely happy with this purchase!