The Story of Divaali

by Valmiki

Hardcover, 2002



Local notes

398.2 Ver





Barefoot Books (2002), Hardcover, 40 pages


Retells the Hindu tale of a heroic prince and his bride who are separated by the demon prince Ravana until the Monkey Army of Hanuman, god of the wind, helps them. Includes facts about Divaali, the festival celebrating Rāma and Sītā's return to their kingdom.

Physical description

40 p.; 10.52 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member nieva21
It is too bad there aren't more books written about the Hindu holidays for Hindu and non-Hindu children alike to share and experience. I feel like this book does a great job illustrating important cultural concepts, but needs to steer away from some of the idealism. I realize the author does that
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because it's written for children, but since many fairy-tales are written truthfully I feel a child can handle a more bluntly told version of this story and holiday.
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
British author/illustrator team Jatinder Verma and Nilesh Mistry retell the story of the ancient Hindu epic, The Ramayana, in this lovely picture-book, chronicling the adventures of Prince Rama and Princess Sita, and their battle against the demon king, Ravana. As the title here suggests, this is
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the story of Divali - the Festival of Lights - and Verma includes a brief afterword in which he discusses some of the customs surrounding this time in the Hindu calendar, as well as touching briefly upon his source material, which in his case seems to be parental retellings of the 15th-century poem composed by Tulsidas...

Having enjoyed Prince of Fire: The Story of Diwali, Verma and Mistry's other retelling of this story, which was presented in chapter-book form, I was eager to track down The Story of Divaali. It's been a little over a year since I read the former, but it struck me that The Story of Divaali - which was published first - was quite similar to its creator's subsequent chapter-book telling of this story. I wish I had Prince of Fire to hand, so that I could compare the two, but based on memory alone, I would say that the chapter-book was simply a slightly expanded version of this picture-book. The artwork is gorgeous in both - full of color, with a beautiful fairy-tale feeling that is very appealing - although I think I preferred seeing it on larger pages, as it was presented here. As I noted in my review of Prince of Fire, I have never read The Ramayana, but this retelling has reminded me that I would like to - perhaps the version of Tulsidas? However that may be, I'd recommend this one to picture-book readers interested in the mythological story behind Divali, or in children's retellings of The Ramayana.
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½ (7 ratings; 3.9)
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