Words by Anushka Ravishankar
Illustrated by Kanyika Kini
Published by Tundra Books
Published in 2012
In the village of Baddbaddpur, the people like to tell tales, “so tall that if you put them one on top of the other, they would reach the stars.” Pandurang is so dour that he can make milk turn sour. One day he coughs up a feather. As the story of Pandurang’s feather is passed from one person to another it grows and grows and grows until it can hardly be recognized. And that’s when the story weaves its magic on the ill-tempered Pandurang. An international version of “broken telephone” this is a funny cautionary tale about the nature of rumors.
A line or two:
"A fwather? How's that?" asked Gangu.
"I don't know!" whispered Pandurang. "But don't tell anyone."
"Of course!" said Gangubai, and as soon as Pandurang had eaten his lunch and gone to take a nap, she slipped off to see her neighbor and best friend, Sakhubai.
I loved this modern day version of gossip gone wild. The story opens up with a man coughing up a feather. He's so surprised he tells his wife but mentions not to say anything to anyone else about it. He is after all, the town recluse and doesn't want anyone talking about him behind his back. Well, of course the man's wife can't resist but to tell one person and before you know it everyone knows. Only, the original story keeps changing with every person that passes it on. It's sort of like a modern day version of the game telephone. It's always been a great way of demonstrating how gossip isn't always true and it works well in this book too.
The Rumor is a fun, engaging read for young children. It's also a fun read for adults. The artwork is enticing and draws you in from the cover. Then there are many surprises in store for you! Without going into details, I can say the story changes from person to person in the most creative ways. It's fun to see how everything turns out for Pandurang in the end. So glad I picked this one up!
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
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