The Children’s Book Review | August 10, 2014
Written and Illustrated by M. Anu Narasimhan
Age Range: 2 to 7
Publisher: Mascot Books, February 2015
What to expect: Insignificance, bullying, bravery, and perseverance.
The Little Parrot and the Angel’s Tears is a powerful allegory of overcoming insignificance. A parrot notices that there is a forest fire, but has no idea how a small animal of its size can put out a fire in order to save the other forest animals. The Devtas (pronounced “dayv-tuhs”), or divine spirits of the earth, notice the parrot’s meager attempts to rectify the situation. All but one Devta ridicules the parrot and is so moved by compassion in the small bird’s determination to save its friends that the Devta cries great tears of rain, which extinguishes the fire. As a result, the animals give credit to the parrot for saving their lives.
Rising children’s author M. Anu Narasimhan bases her debut picture book on a bedtime story told by her grandmother. Finding her passion for storytelling and art from her grandmother’s daily tales, Narasimhan utilizes specific elements to captivate a young audience. Right off the bat, the most appealing feature is Narasimhan’s illustrations. A combination of mixed media (including bold outlining to create apt childlike drawings) and animals (every child’s well-loved story characters), Narasimhan’s simple yet unique style immediately grabs the attention of young readers. Narasimhan’s brightly colored depictions catapult young mind’s imagination to an alternate world of a personified animal kingdom.
Narasimhan takes a bold step forward by incorporating the spiritual realm, which while possibly creating controversy among adults, children welcome with unequivocal acceptance. The Devta could easily be misinterpreted as pagan deities. Yet in the history of allegorical storytelling, the spirit world has played a distinct role, as in the epic example of Homer’s Odyssey. And much like Odyssey, Narasimhan exemplifies this spirit of storytelling by giving the parrot a voice, personality, and its ability to communicate with authoritative spiritual beings. Kudos to Narasimhan for deftly following suit in this inimitable tradition!
Again appealing to children’s preferences, Narasimhan’s lilting set of rhyming couplets is a perfect complement to her illustrations. This form of poetry gives children an opportunity to deeply engage in a full reading experience by feeling the rhythm and identifying the rhyming words. Furthermore, the moral to Narasimhan’s poem – overcoming insignificance – is one in which children can readily relate to in their struggle for identity as they grow into adulthood.
The Little Parrot and the Angel’s Tears is not only a fascinating and timely read, but also a welcome addition to the allegorical storytelling collection.
Add this book to your collection:The Little Parrot and the Angel’s Tears
About the Author
M. Anu Narasimhan grew up listening to tales her grandmothers would tell her daily. It is where she found her passion for storytelling and art. She studied English and art and one day hoped to put both to good use by bringing to the world the stories that she grew up with. The Little Parrot and the Angels Tears is her first book which she wrote and illustrated.
The Little Parrot and the Angel’s Tears, by M. Anu Narasimhan, was reviewed by Anita Lock. Follow along with our articles tagged with Birds, Bravery, Bullying, Perseverance, Picture Book, Rhyming Text, and Spirituality to discover more great books for kids.