Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Girl of the Wish Garden : a Thumbelina story by Uma Krishnaswami; pictures by Nasrin Khosravi

What's a girl to do when she's snatched from her mother by a gigantic frog? Lina, a girl no bigger than your thumb, enlists a cluster of curious fish to help her escape and takes up residence with a grumpy mouse. She sings a rhythmic melody to revive a lifeless swallow in The Girl of The Wish Garden :

                                  “Wind-whisper, bird-warble,
                                    bug-swarm now and then,
                                    breathe the bird in, breathe it back.
                                    Make it live again.”

Combine one heart-tugging magical tale, in lyrical text by Uma Krishnaswami, with a dozen exquisite illustrations by Iranian-born artist Nasrin Khosravi and you have a glittering jewel of a picture book for readers ages 8 and up. The Girl of the Wish Garden stands out as a unique cultural blend of art and poetic storytelling.

Inspired by Hans Christen Andersen's Thumbelina, The Girl of the Wish Garden is a tribute to Khosravi, winner of the best illustrator award at the Tehran International Biennial of Illustration. Originally published in 1999 in a Farsi edition, Khosravi's luminescent acrylic and tissue paper paintings fill the atmosphere like musical notes from a fine tuned instrument.

If you like this book, check the Virginia Beach Public Library catalog for other picture book versions of the Hans Christian Andersen story of Thumbelina and see which one speaks to your heart!

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