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Gobble You Up! Hardcover – October 15, 2013
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—In this adaptation of a traditional oral Rajasthani trickster tale, a wily jackal, who is too lazy to go hunting himself, challenges his best friend to catch 12 fish. The friend, an unsuspecting crane, accomplishes the task quite easily, but is shocked and chagrined when the jackal gobbles them all up and then unexpectedly swallows her, too. When a passing tortoise protests, the jackal sings "Ta ta tortoise," making a snack of the poor reptile. The hungry canine travels through the forest and proceeds to eat every animal who crosses his path, even an elephant. At last, feeling stuffed from his unconventional meal, he lumbers down to the river for a drink of water, where his stomach bursts and everyone tumbles out, rejoicing. The narrative unfolds in cumulative rhyme and is accompanied by distinctive geometric finger paintings created in the ancient Mandna style passed down from mother to daughter. The illustrations are silk screen, printed by hand in black and white. On each page, the jackal grows a little plumper as the crowd of intricately designed animals in his stomach increases. An author's note chronicles the history of the Mandna art form and the genesis of this carefully crafted picture book. Pair this title with another cautionary story, Monkey: a Trickster Tale from India by Gerald McDermott (Houghton Harcourt, 2011).—Linda L. Walkins, Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, Boston, MA
Folklore and fairy tales are filled with stories of beasts whose gluttony eventually gets the better of them. The jackal here is no exception, working his way from a few fish all the way to an elephant until his tummy bursts, disgorging the lot, who waste no time taking revenge with a rhyming taunt. What makes this book so exceptional, however, is Sunita’s use of mandna, an ancient painting technique used by women in her native Rajasthan, which the publisher elegantly showcases on handmade screen-printed pages. The weighty, rough-hewn animal shapes in thick black and white ink have a charming folk art look and jaunty energy, and as the hungry jackal swallows each animal, it appears crammed in his stomach. It’s an old story, and the thick, heavy, brown kraft paper pages paired with an age-old art form match it perfectly. The object itself, like an ancient artifact, makes the simple story resonate in a way that will prove ideal for studies of folklore and for read-alouds focused on older cultures and their stories. Grades K-3. --Jesse Karp
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Top Customer Reviews
Sunita is an artist from the Meena tribe in Rajasthan, who works in a traditional finger painting style called Mandna. This book is the first time that this art form has been used to illustrate a children’s story. To keep the feel of the art, it’s been silkscreen printed in two colors by hand on specially made kraft paper. The drawings have a lacy, delicate feel that speaks of the transitory nature of all life. It's a true work of art. If you'd like to read more about Tara books, read my blog post: http://www.joycorcoran.com/2014/10/tara-books-slender-art-galleries-on.html
The art work is sublime and the story-telling simple, direct, and brilliant.