Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth

Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes, illus. by Sanjay Patel. Chronicle, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4521-0362-4
“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.)
Reviewed on: 10/15/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
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