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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Ammuchi Puchi (The)
by Sharanya Manivannan
Age Range: 6-8
Aditya and Anjali loved listening to their grandmother’s stories. When they were small they were a little scared of her; with teeth stained with betelnut juice so that when she laughed she looked like she had brushed them with chilli powder. Grandma was always there for them, but one night their grandmother passed away and all the stories she had told them lost their meaning. Aditya and Anjali were very sad, but then something mysterious and magical happened and they wondered if their grandmother was still with them after all?
The Ammuchi Puchi by Indian author Sharanya Manivannan is a poignant story dealing with the loss of a loved one and the slow process of coming to terms with it. The poetic prose and colourful characters are combined with the stunning illustrations by Argentinian illustrator Nerina Canzi.
The rich, vibrant coloured artwork carefully follows the mood of the story. Another clever indicator are the flowers in Anjali’s hair that change as the tale unfolds. As moods change so too do the colours; when Grandma dies; the colours become muted shades of grey while the flowers in Anjali’s hair are shaped like teardrops. This expressive spread conveys the deep sense of loss and grief of the family. The facial expressions, particularly of the eyes capture all the different emotions of joy and sadness.
An unusual story that celebrates life, loss and the importance of family.