I was tempted to read this new book while eating a candy bar, but since I didn’t have one nearby, a chocolate chip cookie was the perfect companion to the library’s newest – and sweetest – book: Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes. Inspired by the story of the Hindu god Ganesha, this picture book is a lighthearted and brightly colored story about Ganesha, who is “just like any other kid except that he had an elephant’s head and cruised around on a magical mouse collecting fruit, rice, sweets, and other gifts from the temples in his neighborhood.” I had to read that sentence twice. An elephant who cruises around “on” a mouse? The illustration on the accompanying page shows Ganesha balancing his tray of treats while on his friend, Mr. Mouse, but the mouse seems perfectly good humored about it. (see picture below!)
Ganesha’s favorite sweet treat is are laddoos, and when he discovers a new twist on his old favorite – a “super jumbo jawbreaker laddoo” – he bites into it with gusto, only to break his tusk. Through the encouragement of a wise friend, Vyasa, Ganesha learns that things aren’t always as bad as they seem.
The graphic illustrations in this book are amazing. Your teeth will hurt just looking at all of the bright pink! I found myself stopping at every page to look at the cool design and marvel at the way the illustrator uses color and space. Patel is an animator for Pixar, but the illustrations also made me think of Mary Blair, the Disney artist who worked on, among other movies, Peter Pan and Cinderella. Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth would be a good book to share with children between the ages of 6 and 9 – and should definitely be read while enjoying something sweet!