Additional Book Information
Series: NYRB Kids
Publication Date: October 4, 2022
Seasons of SplendourTales, Myths and Legends of India
by Madhur Jaffrey, illustrated by Michael Foreman
Seasons of Splendour is a richly illustrated treasury of stories about Indian gods and goddesses, kings and queens, princes and demons. Here are engaging and beautifully told tales of Krishna, Ram, and Sita, along with stories based on the Hindu epics the Ramayana and Mahabharata, as well as others of ancient origin with no known source. When Madhur Jaffrey was a young girl growing up in her grandfather’s house in Delhi, storytelling was an integral part of life. After dinner, she would huddle with her cousins and siblings around a seated aunt, grandmother, or mother and listen. This collection contains those enduring stories, each one introduced by a vivid childhood memory or humorous anecdote and arranged in the sequence in which they were told, in conjunction with religious festivals throughout the Hindu calendar year. From April to April, here is a year’s worth of tales, myths, and legends, a cycle of stories to read aloud, illustrated in full color with Michael Foreman’s sumptuous watercolor paintings. Also included is a “Who Is Who and What Is What” glossary and English pronunciation guide for curious young readers.
Click to enlarge images
Jaffrey is best known as a food writer and actress, but here she displays her talent for storytelling. . .These tales, based largely on the “Ramayana” and the “Mahabharata,” and set off by Jaffrey’s memories of hearing them as a child during Hindu holidays, feature gods and goddesses, royals, demons, pure-hearted peasants and stingy relatives. . . .elemental truths abound: the anguish of hunger, the blessings of generosity, the love of family.
—Catherine Hong, The New York Times Book Review
Stories of loving women, virtuous men, unpredictable kings and complicated prophecies. Ms. Jaffrey has organized these tales in the calendar order she might have heard them as a child, as connected with the cycle of religious festivals, and she has prefaced many of them with graceful remembrances of people and things past. For the read-aloud enthusiast, Seasons of Splendour offers tempting fare.
—Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal
These Indian tales, myths and legends will open up new worlds for most American children, giving them a sense of the world beyond European fairy-tales. Jaffrey’s writing is warm and accessible, and each story is compact. . . .paired perfectly with Michael Foreman’s gorgeous watercolor illustrations.
—Jessica Harrison, Cracking the Cover
[Jaffrey’s] feeling for drama imbues this collection with the color and vigor of Foreman's paintings and drawings. Selections from East-Indian lore are arranged according to the Hindu calendar and prefaced by the anthologist's reminiscences of times when mothers told the stories to their children. . . . Each tale is unusual and enthralling in itself, as well as a rewarding excursion into the culture of an ancient country.
The author understands. . . India’s colourful folklore and [has] penned down a dramatic collection of short anecdotes for the children. . . . Close attention has been paid to the graphics that accompany each story. The illustrations by Michael Foreman complement the anecdotes. Minute details, like arranging the sequence of the stories in accordance to the religious festivals as they occur during the course of a Hindu calendar year has been kept in mind. . . . Through the author’s vision, our great heritage of gods and goddesses and other magical and spectacular creatures come alive. The book is a quintessential bed time read.