Ganesha's sweet tooth

Sanjay Patel

Book - 2012

An original story based on Hindu mythology, this book tells the story about how Ganesha's love of sweets led to a broken tusk and the writing of the epic poem, the Mahābhārata. Includes author's note about the myth.

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Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
San Francisco, Calif. : Chronicle Books 2012.
Language
English
Physical Description
unpaged : ill
ISBN
9781452103624
1452103623
Main Author
Sanjay Patel (-)
Other Authors
Emily Haynes (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

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. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

"Ganesha is a Hindu god. He's very important and powerful. And a tad chubby," begins this stylish take on a classic tale from Indian mythology. Patel's artwork has a candy-colored palette that befits the subject matter, and he merges traditional Hindu iconography with decidedly contemporary influences: the book's eye-popping jewel tones, dots, and geometric patterns nod to the graphic design work of Saul Bass and Maurice Binder's title sequences for films like Charade and Dr. No. As a young god, Ganesha enjoys dancing, playing cricket, skipping rope, and—most of all—sweets. When Ganesha spies a tempting "super jumbo jawbreaker laddoo," his best friend, Mr. Mouse, warns him that it will surely break his tusk. "But I'm a god," Ganesha replies. "I'm invincible." Sure enough, his tusk breaks, leading to an encounter with the poet Vyasa, who persuades Ganesha to write the 100,000-verse long Mahabharata using his tusk as a pen. Though the story's ending fizzles, Patel and Hynes have created a fresh and comedic introduction to a Hindu legend, with a winning combination of both eye candy and actual candy. Ages 4–8. Agent: Tina Wexler, ICM. (Oct.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 1–3—Two traditional events in the life of the Hindu god Ganesha are imaginatively recast as though happening during his childhood: "he was just like every other kid except that he had an elephant's head and cruised around on a magical mouse collecting fruit, rice, sweets, and other gifts from the temples in his neighborhood." Drawn in Adobe Illustrator, comical Ganesha is a pink elephant/boy, his large head dominated by enormous round eyes. His love of sweets becomes his undoing when he ignores Mr. Mouse's advice and bites down on a super jumbo jawbreaker, breaking off one of his small tusks. As in the myth, Ganesha laments the loss of his tusk, but soon puts it to good use as a writing implement when he encounters the poet Vyasa, who is looking for Ganesha to be his scribe. Young Ganesha is soon hard at work writing one hundred thousand verses of the Mahabharata-"the great epic of Hindu literature." There's a pleasant color palette of pink, aquamarine, gold, cream, and black, and busy patterns of swirling graphic elements add energy to the boldly designed pages. The cheerful elephant/boy and his mouse and the sweet tooth episode all suggest a far younger audience than seems likely to follow the whole second half of the story. Libraries owning Amy Novesky's more richly rendered Elephant Prince: The Story of Ganesha (Mandala, 2004) and others may like to add this one. Storytellers wishing to introduce the intriguing figure of Ganesha will be best served by Uma Krishnaswami's The Broken Tusk (Linnet Bks., 1996).—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston [Page 103]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

K-Gr 2—Originally a traditional picture book, this variation on a Hindu myth loses nothing in its transformation to a board book. Elephant-headed god Ganesha, who gets around on a magical mouse, breaks his tooth on a super jumbo jawbreaker laddoo. This is upsetting until the poet Vyasa shows him that the tooth can be used to write out the 100,000 verses of the Mahabharata. VERDICT Deftly told with impish humor, the book is visually stunning with intricately stylized and patterned pictures in turquoise, pink, and gold on a dark blue ground. Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

An original tale based on Hindu mythology, this book tells the story about how Ganesha's love of sweets led to a broken tusk and the writing of the epic poem, the Mahåabhåarata.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

An original story based on Hindu mythology tells the story about how Ganesha's love of sweets led to a broken tusk and the writing of the epic poem, the Mahabharata. Includes an author's note about the myth.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

An original story based on Hindu mythology, this book tells the story about how Ganesha's love of sweets led to a broken tusk and the writing of the epic poem, the Mahbhrata. Includes author's note about the myth.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

The bold, bright colors of India leap right off the page in this fresh and funny picture book retelling (with a twist) of how Ganesha came to help write the epic poem of Hindu literature, the Mahabharata. Ganesha is just like any other kid, except that he has the head of an elephant and rides around on a magical mouse. And he loves sweets, especially the traditional dessert laddoo. But when Ganesha insists on biting into a super jumbo jawbreaker laddoo, his tusk breaks off! Ganesha is terribly upset, but with the help of the wise poet Vyasa, and his friend Mr. Mouse, he learns that what seems broken can actually be quite useful after all. With vibrant, graphic illustrations, expressive characters, and offbeat humor, this is a wonderfully inventive rendition of a classic tale.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

The bold, bright colors of India leap right off the page in this fresh and funny picture book retelling (with a twist) of how Ganesha came to help write the epic poem of Hindu literature, the Mahabharata. Ganesha is just like any other kid, except that he has the head of an elephant and rides around on a magical mouse. And he loves sweets, especially the traditional dessert laddoo. But when Ganesha insists on biting into a super jumbo jawbreaker laddoo, his tusk breaks off! Ganesha is terribly upset, but with the help of the wise poet Vyasa, and his friend Mr. Mouse, he learns that what seems broken can actually be quite useful after all. With vibrant, graphic illustrations, expressive characters, and offbeat humor, this is a wonderfully inventive rendition of a classic tale.