Title of Picture Book: Under the Neem Tree
Author: P Anuradha
Illustrator: A V Ilango
Publisher and Country (may be self-published): Tulika Publishers, India
Publisher’s Blurb: Everyday after school, Kla and her friends gather under the Neem tree and wait for Nainamma to tell them stories. Today Nainamma tells them about the well-known folktale about Ookamma and Okaiah, sprinkling it as usual with her homilies and conveying her world view.
Under the Neem Tree is not just a story about a story set in rural Andhra Pradesh. In it, two rolds come alive together – the real one in which children make riends, eat, play and watch adults squabble and bully, and the world of Nainamma’s story. And as the story of Ookamma and Ookaiahunfolds, so does the everyday life of the children in all its rich detail, drawing readers inot a world where issues of work and food are constant concerns. When the story ends, the children roll with laughter. And so does Nainamma.
The flowing lines of Illango’s illustrations perfectly capture the liveliness of the story and its ambience.
Translated from Telugu by N Manohar Reddy
Theme (Self, Friends, Family, Places, Celebrations, Nature, Technology, etc): friends, places, values
5 Keywords (other than themes): storyteller, hunger, death, rural life, speaking
Brief Review (in under 50 words): A seemingly wordy but very engaging tale within a tale. Cleverly woven together. Deals with some unusual themes like hunger, death and rural life.
Where to buy or borrow (if available): National Library Board, Singapore
ISBN Number (if available): 93-5046-060-2
Submitted by (could be your preferred name, including pen name): Moses