Under the Great Plum Tree
Publisher: Tiny Owl
Set in the jungles of India, this is a marvellous retelling of a traditional tale from the Panchatantra, an ancient collection of Indian animal fables, which date from 300 BCE.
Miss Bandari is a monkey who is known throughout the land for her heart of gold. When Mr Magarmach, a frail, elderly crocodile, seeks shelter under her plum tree, Miss Bandari can see that he is hungry and generously shares her fruit with him. He returns each day and a touching companionship develops between the two creatures.
To repay her kindness, the crocodile tells her exciting stories of his younger days, when he battled with human hunters, pythons and lions. Their friendship is tested, however, when Mr Magarmach invites Miss Bandari to lunch and inadvertently puts her in grave danger.
Striking, vibrant artwork, inspired by traditional Gujarati patterns, beautifully complements this moving tale, which has courage, friendship and forgiveness at its core. This is a splendid addition to the One Story, Many Voices series, which explores traditional narratives from different cultural perspectives.