Cinnamon (Neil Gaiman)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Cinnamon, written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Divya Srinivasan, a dark, mysterious, and marvelous fable, written in 1995 by Gaiman and previously only available in audiobook form.

Cinnamon is a beautiful princess who lives with her mother and father, the Rajah and Rani, in a land where everything is very old. Cinnamon has eyes made of pearl, which are very beautiful but cannot see, and she doesn’t seem to be able to speak a single word. The Rajah offers a room at the palace, a field of mango trees, a beautiful painting and an emerald parrot to anyone who can teach the princess to speak, but so far the few who have tried have failed. That is, until the day a fearsome talking tiger emerges from the forest and offers his expertise. Cinnamon’s family, especially her cynical great-aunt, are unsure, but let’s face it: there isn’t much a tiger can’t do when he sets his mind to it, a few that can stop him. Will the mysterious tiger be the one to teach Cinnamon to speak? And if he does… what will she have to say?

This one was wonderful, beautiful, thought-provoking and strange – everything that you would expect from the writing of Neil Gaiman. The text is a joy to read, filled with sly humor, evocative language and fantastical themes. Srinivasan’s Indian folk art-inspired illustrations shine here, capturing the color-rich environments and characters in bold and dramatic yet understated art. There are a few things to note: the length makes this one better for slightly older bookworms, as even JJ began to wiggle by the end, and there are some decidedly darker moments, including a none-to-subtle and barely-offstage death. But for fans of Gaiman’s signature macabre humor and Srinivasan’s strikingly beautiful illustrated art, this is a treasure of a fairytale. Baby Bookworm approved!

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