The Elephant’s Friend and Other Tales from Ancient India

Marcia Williams. Candlewick, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5916-5
Williams turns to the classic stories of India in this companion to Ancient Egypt: Tales of Gods and Pharaohs (2011), with which it shares a comic book–style aesthetic. Food emerges as a frequent theme in eight stories of haves vs. have-nots and eat-or-be-eaten interactions: in one story, a hungry tiger persuades a man to cross a river to retrieve a lost bangle (“Here I come, my dear spicy friend,” says the tiger, meeting the man halfway). Williams frames her vibrant cartoon panels with thematic borders, the best of which features the ramblings of a loquacious turtle whose motormouth is his (literal) downfall. Funny, wise, and entertaining from first page to last. Ages 8–12. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/16/2012
Release date: 08/28/2012
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