The Sacred Banana Leaf
Radhashyam Raut
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
Tara Books
tricksters nature and wildlife folktales folk art
picture book, fiction, folk tale


What is it about trickster stories that they never fail to intrigue a child?

Readers and listeners will delight in this charming folk-tale of Kanchil, the Mouse Deer, who falls into a pit in the forest. Scared at first, he keeps his wits about him and carefully plans his escape strategy. He tricks other animals into believing that the world is coming to an end and that safety lies in the security of the pit. And therein lies the tale. The restrained subtle colours of the book are highly appealing.

Adding to its visual splendour is the creative use of the Patachitra style of painting from Orissa, brilliantly executed by Radhashyam Raut, a traditional folk artist.

This hardbound edition has endnotes on Kancil, from the Malaysian and Indonesian folklore. It also gives detailed explanations on this traditional art form. These will be of tremendous value to parents and teachers to introduce children to India‘s rich folk-art heritage.

A book to treasure. 

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee