This beautifully illustrated story is a retelling of a Bengali folktale. Grandma lives in a little village in India, and decides to leave her two loyal dogs behind and go visit her daughter, who lives on the other side of the jungle. She sets out alone, and uses her wits to survive encounters with a fox, a bear, and a tiger.
She explains to these would-be prey that she is too thin for them, and if they wait till she comes home, she will be fatter and taste better. After a wonderful visit with her daughter, she decides she better go home in disguise, and hides in a giant gourd. The tiger and bear both give the gourd a push, but the fox is too smart, and breaks open the gourd. Grandma asks him to let her sing before he eats her, and she uses her song to call for her dogs. They scare away the fox, and they all live happily ever after.
Evaluation: Children will love this rhythmic story and the colorful cut-out collage pictures by Susy Pilgrim Waters. The onomatopoetic Indian phrases for sounds (“khut-khut”, “daraam-daraam”, “kutur-kutur-kut”) make this a great candidate for reading aloud.
Published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan, 2013