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The Rumor

by Anushka Ravishankar
Illustrated by Kanyika Kini

Published by Tundra Books, 2012
32 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-280-6

Ages 5-8

Pandurang “was so grumpy that no one in the village had even seen him smile. He was so dour that people said that milk turned into curd when he looked at it.” One day he coughs and spits a feather out of his mouth. “Don’t tell anyone,” he says to his wife. “Of course!” she replies, and promptly shares it with her neighbor, but in her telling the feather has turned into a bird. The neighbor tells someone else, and the bird has turned into a flock. And so it goes. The story spreads, the rumor grows, until the grumpiest man in town awakens from his nap to find a crowd outside his door, and when he yawns, they’re all disappointed: Where is the forest full of beasts and birds—tigers and monkeys and wolves and bears and parrots and mynahs and peacocks and more? Anushka Ravishankar’s playful variation on the game of telephone has an abundance of humor and marvelous cadence for reading aloud. Kanyika Kini’s lush and colorful illustrations capture a vibrant Indian village. (MS) ©2013 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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