The Runaway Peppercorn
Ashok Rajagopalan
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
around India food kerala humour
picture book, fiction

Finally it’s here. A story set in India so akin to the much loved Russian folktale, The Little Round Bun and the traditional Gingerbread Man.

One fine day, Amminikutty Amma decides to make spicy ulli chammandi and reaches for Kurumolagu, her last peppercorn, only to find it roll away. The rest of the story takes you through the escapades of the little peppercorn, as he rolls, bounces, flips and flops, skids and swerves and even super-somersaults away. Unlike the other two afore mentioned tales, this one has a delightful ending with Kurumolagu escaping Amma and ending up in a sack of peppercorns.

The narration is simple and interspersed with Malayalam words that keep your tongue rolling like the peppercorn, and gives the story a South Indian flavour. The blurbs explain the indigenous words, and keep the sense of the story intact, even for the non-Malayalam reader.

The lively animated illustrations capture the tempo of the rolling peppercorn and the layout keeps one engrossed.

All in all, a delightful tale that leaves the reader gasping for breath as he keeps pace with the little peppercorn. 

eThis book is also available in Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Malyalam, Telugu, Gujarati and Marathi. r

Reviewed by Donna Reen