Cover image for The rumor : a Jataka tale from India
The rumor : a Jataka tale from India
Thornhill, Jan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Toronto : Maple Tree Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
30 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 30 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.6 0.5 60552.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PZ8.1.T3794 RU 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
PZ8.1.T3794 RU 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales
PZ8.1.T3794 RU 2002 Juvenile Non-Fiction Fairy Tales

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Long ago in Ancient India, there lived a young hare who worried about everything -- food, rain, and even the color of her eyes. As the worrywort hare tries to settle down for a quiet nap in her favorite sun-dappled grove of palms and mango trees, she is startled into action by a sudden and very loud explosion.

Convinced that the world is breaking up, the hare tears out of the grove, into a thicket, across a marshland, through a forest, out into the scrubland and onto the open plain. All along the way, she spreads her alarming news, gathering up an ever-increasing herd of terrified animals: hares, wild boars, deer, tigers, and rhinos. The stampede continues and the frenzy grows, until one wise voice prevails....

Perfect for reading aloud, this beautifully told traditional story from India is a lovely version of a classic "The Sky Is Falling" tale. Vibrant illustrations set inside exquisite borders in a handsome large format book have an effect like gorgeous tapestries on every page. The richness of each illustration adds layers to this deceptively simple fable, and young readers will love to pore over the art to pick up the hidden details in each piece.

Nature Notes at the back of the book give additional information on the wildlife, flora, and fauna featured in the story and illustrations, as well as the origins of the tale and the style of illustration.

The Rumor is a retelling of an ancient Jataka tale from India. Jataka tales have been used for more than 2,500 years to teach about sharing, compassion, and the difference between good and bad.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

PreS^-Gr. 2. "What if the world breaks apart?" wonders an anxiety-prone hare in this folktale set in a lush forest in India. When a mango falls to the ground with a loud noise, the hare panics and speeds off, convinced that, indeed, the world is breaking apart. Her terror is contagious, and soon she's joined by other animals--boars, deer, tigers, rhinos--until the crowd meets a lion that brings reason and calm. An author's note refers to this as a retelling of an ancient Jataka tale--a story in which the Buddha appears in animal form. There's no mention of Buddha until that final note, however, so most children will think of Chicken Little when they read this well-told parable about the danger of rumors and how mass hysteria happens. The cumulative list of animals and the slightly blurred but luxurious color spreads of animals on the run have solid child appeal. Other stories rooted in Buddhist tradition can be found in the Read-alikes feature "Beginning Buddhism" [BKL Ja 1 & 15 02]. --Gillian Engberg

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-The plot of this beautifully rendered tale is reminiscent of the story of Chicken Little. When a young hare hears a mango crash to earth, she believes that the world is breaking up. As she flees in panic, she gathers up thousands of hares, boars, deer, tigers, and rhinoceroses, who join her in her flight. Unlike Chicken Little, this hare finally meets a wise and kind lion (representing the Buddha, although this is mentioned only in the endnote) who takes her back to find the mango and recognize her mistake. This is a story worth knowing, both for its cultural heritage and for its wise message, and it is retold in well-chosen language with just enough repetition to make the narrative sing without bogging it down. Best of all, however, are the illustrations. Rich greens, blues, and red-oranges dominate bordered paintings of hordes of animals running through the habitats of India. Some pages have a Rousseau-like look. Others are almost tessellations of creatures moving in unison. Varying perspectives move from close-ups of animals to bird's-eye views of forest, stream, marshland, and mango grove. The plot, language, and illustrations combine to make a fine read-aloud.-Ellen Heath, Orchard School, Ridgewood, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.