The elephant's garden A traditional Indian folktale

Jane Ray, 1960-

Book - 2017

Retells a traditional Indian folk tale in which Jasmine cannot determine who or what is eating the fruit in her garden, so she decides to stay up all night to end the mystery.

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Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
[London, England] : Boxer Books 2017.
Edition
First American edition
Language
English
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 28 cm
ISBN
9781910716229
1910716227
Main Author
Jane Ray, 1960- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Curiosity, greed, and contentment are a few of the themeslayered into this modern retelling of an Indian folktale. In it, Jasmine discovers a trespassing elephant eating her fruit and confronts him. He takes her to his garden in the clouds where the fruit is twice as large and much more beautiful, but completely inedible; the elephant's garden produces precious stones and jewels that are of no use to him. Jasmine tells her family, and, in predictable human manner, word about the riches spreads and results in the disastrous, greed-driven pursuit of the treasure. Eventually, a lesson about contentment is learned, and Jasmine's garden is appreciated even more. Young readers might be more captivated by the illustrations than by the story itself. In a style evocative of Matisse, Ray's collages are alive in color, movement, and texture, beautifully re-creating Jasmine's orchard brimming with exotic fruit. Pair this with other folktales about wise animals teaching foolish humans life lessons, such as Shobha Viswanath's The Monkey King (2014) or Mina Javaherbin's Elephant in the Dark (2015). Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 2—A traditional Indian folktale is retold and strikingly illustrated in this gorgeous picture book. When a girl discovers an elephant eating the best fruit in her garden, the elephant offers to repay her by showing her his own garden in a place beyond the moon and the stars. To reach this garden, Jasmine must hold on to the elephant's tail as the large animal flies through the deep blue night to his garden in a cloud. The elephant's garden indeed appears to be full of enormous fruit, but the girl soon realizes that each piece of fruit is actually a precious jewel. What follows is a story of gossip and greed, as the members of Jasmine's family each hope to see the elephant's garden for themselves. Ray deftly uses paper collage and paint to create flat, stylized scenes in vibrant jewel tones that fill the spreads with color and energy. Both gardens feature large trees with textured paper trunks and multicolored cut-paper leaves and fruits, resulting in a magical backdrop for the characters. But it is the scenes of Jasmine's family flying through the night sky that are both the most simple and the most expressive. Share with other tales about the folly of selfishness and greed such as "The Fisherman and His Wife" and "The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg." VERDICT A beautifully illustrated, well-written offering that deserves a place in all folklore collections.—Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A humorous retelling of a fantasy fable set in a small Indian village follows the efforts of a talented gardener who vigilantly waits to catch a culprit in the act of stealing her delicious fruits, in a story complemented by evocative, culture-inspired collage artwork.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Jasmine’s garden has the most delicious fruit in the village—but someone is eating all her beautiful apples, apricots, kiwis, and kumquats. Determined to catch the thief, Jasmine waits . . . and waits. Little does she imagine that when he arrives, he’ll lead her on a magical journey through the skies. Award-winning artist Jane Ray has created a vibrant, stunningly illustrated tale of greed, set in India.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Jasmine's garden has the most delicious fruit in the village'but someone is eating all her beautiful apples, apricots, kiwis, and kumquats. Determined to catch the thief, Jasmine waits . . . and waits. Little does she imagine that when he arrives, he'll lead her on a magical journey through the skies. Award-winning artist Jane Ray has created a vibrant, stunningly illustrated tale of greed, set in India.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A humorous fantasy story of greed set in a small Indian village, stunningly illustrated and retold by award-winning artist Jane Ray. Jasmine's garden has the most delicious fruit in the village'but someone is eating all her beautiful apples and apricots, kiwis and kumquats, papayas and peaches. Determined to discover the thief's identity, Jasmine waits . . . and waits. Little does she imagine that when he arrives, he'll lead her on a magical journey through the skies. Using vibrant collage artwork with jewel-like colors, Jane Ray has outdone herself by creating a beautiful new style.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

A humorous fantasy story of greed set in a small Indian village, stunningly illustrated and retold by award-winning artist Jane Ray. Jasmine’s garden has the most delicious fruit in the village—but someone is eating all her beautiful apples and apricots, kiwis and kumquats, papayas and peaches. Determined to discover the thief’s identity, Jasmine waits . . . and waits. Little does she imagine that when he arrives, he’ll lead her on a magical journey through the skies. Using vibrant collage artwork with jewel-like colors, Jane Ray has outdone herself by creating a beautiful new style.