CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 24. . . .February 22, 2013
Based on the story of Hans Christian Andersen’s Thumbelina, Uma Krishnaswami writes an enchanting tale about a girl named Lina, who is, as in the traditional tale, the size of a thumb. Captured by a ravenous frog and kept in a pond, Lina sings a magical tune that compels the resident fish to release her. She finds a home in the forest but soon grows lonely “for the warmth of another living soul,” thereafter rooming with a friendly mouse. Still not satisfied with her lot in life, she sings a bewitching song to a rescued swallow which is near death. The swallow springs alive and carries her to a comforting place where “someone held a hand out to Lina.”
Krishnaswami successfully utilizes elements from the original tale to weave a fresh and invigorating story that even purists will enjoy. Her poetic writing carries the reader along at a pace that even preschoolers will find stimulating and appealing. Dialogue adds to the story and marries well with the descriptive phrases. Adults will enjoy Krishnaswami’s lyrical and graceful writing style, although they may have to explain the plot to their youngest listeners/readers.
The composition was created by the author in response to Nasrin Khosravi’s illustrations which are splendid and complex, reminiscent of Chagall in colour and human figures. Blue and green tones dominate, with creative use of golden hues. Young readers and listeners will examine each illustration with interest – this will not be a quick read, as it requires time to savour each page.
Roxy Garstad is a librarian at MacEwan University in Edmonton, AB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.