Review of the Week

Haynes, Emily. Ganesha’s Sweet tooth. Sanjay Patel, Illus. Pic. Bk. Chronicle, 2012. [34]p. $16.99  978-1-4521-0362-4. HIGH ADDITIONAL. GRADES K-3.

This playful reimagining of a Hindu legend offers the unanointed an entry into the ancient world of Hindu gods and Indian literature. Known for his sweet tooth, Ganesh, an elephant-headed, mouse-riding god, is undone when he can’t resist a “super jumbo jawbreaker laddoo!” But what starts with a broken tusk and tears, ends with the transcription of the epic Sanskrit poem the Mahabharata. Bold candy-like colors build intricately lined drawings that pop off darker backgrounds to create modern, neon sign-like illustrations. The unique visual stylings of Pixar animator Patel work in concert with the easy going text of first-time author Haynes (both Oakland natives) to deliver a spirited picture book that could also act as launching pad into a deeper exploration of India’s rich culture.

Celia Jackson, Oakland PL

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