How can a king knock some sense into his silly sons so that they grow up sensible young men? A wise man tells the king that he can do the job in six weeks. Every time one of the boys says or does something rash, the sage will put him back on the straight and narrow by telling him a cautionary tale – the story of a proud hare, or perhaps an owl, or a crow… This collection of fables, known as the Panchatantra and familiar all over Asia, were first told, then written down in Sanskrit over 2,000 years ago. Jamila Gavin brings them alove for modern readers by telling the story of the wise man and the young princes as original stories framing the classic animal fables. The result is a powerful and unique vision of this classic Indian work.
It is a refreshing change to see such an unusual collection and they will make a great classroom/assembly resource as well as for general reading. It is a beautifully produced book, with coloured pages and vibrant and perceptive illustrations’ (Parents in Touch)
Quite a challenging read due to the complex nature of some of the original stories. However, Gavin’s masterly skill as a storyteller ensures that the material is accessible… Bee Willey’sillustrations and the overall design and layout of the book contribute greatly to the atmosphere of these powerful stories making this a beautiful book for older Key Stage 2 readers. (Ibby Link)
Takes the unusual approach of matching five stories from the Panchatantra with five original tales. As a means of opening up the moral universe of the Panchatantra’s animal fables into the world of human actions and responsibilities, this works remarkably well… the language is rich and vigorous, and the book itself a handsome production. (Books for Keeps)
A very beautiful book, which will be a treat for primary school age children. (School Librarian)
About the Author
JAMILA GAVIN was born in 1941 in the foothills of the Himalayas. Her father was Indian and her mother English. She came to live in England when she was twelve years old. Her first book, The Magic Orange Tree, was published in 1979 and has been followed by a number of prize-winning publications. Coram Boy won the Whitbread Children’s Book Award in 2000 and The Wheel of Surya was the runner up for the 1993 Guardian Newspaper Children’s Fiction Award.
Bee Willey, illustrator of Celebrity Cat has illustrated many books for children, including Dancing Jane, written by Andrew Matthews, which was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award. She lives in Ipswich, Suffolk.