|Pattan's pumpkin : a traditional flood story from southern India|
Author: Soundar, Chitra
A variation on the traditional flood myth from the Irular tribe in Southern India.
Kirkus Reviews (06/15/17)
School Library Journal (08/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/09/17)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2017 When kind-hearted Pattan rescues an ailing pumpkin vine and transplants it in his garden, he has no idea that he’s doing anything more than just that. Once recovered, the vine sprouts a pumpkin that doesn’t stop growing. Pattan and his wife, Kanni, and all the animals watch it grow until it’s bigger than the mountain. When ceaseless rainfall and a swollen river threaten to wash away the farm, resourceful Pattan has an idea that involves the pumpkin and saves the lives of all the animals and insects. The charm of this Indian folktale retelling—Soundar herself grew up in southern India—lies in the message of caring for others and in its illustrations. A vivid gouache palette and joyfully painted creatures will delight readers who notice the details: a piglet and a fawn asleep under Pattan and Kanni’s bed; ants, frogs, and butterflies that watch the goings-on; lollipop trees that dot the horizon. Most striking, perhaps, is Lessac’s rendering of everyone’s eyes—long-lashed and twinkly—which draw the reader’s gaze towards what’s important: all living things. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2017 PreS-Gr 2—This story is based on a traditional tale of the Irula people, who live in the hills of southern India. Pattan and his wife are farmers, responsible caretaker of their land and their various animals, including the insects. One day, Pattan finds a sickly plant and takes it home to care for it. This is a plant with "personality": "The plant liked its new home. Its yellow flowers smiled at the sun." One yellow flower produces a pumpkin that grows to tremendous proportions. When serious rains threaten the farm and the animals, Pattan and his family are able to hollow out the pumpkin and fit everyone inside, then float to the safety of the plains. Eventually they return home, raise many children, and continue to grow pumpkins. The story is nicely paced, and the excitement of the perilous journey comes to life. Pattan and his wife are likable characters. The gouache illustrations have a charming naive quality that should have considerable child appeal. VERDICT This title can be read independently or in a group setting and would be an asset to any folktale collection.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.