It’s only a Story By Cathy Spagnoli , Illustrated by Uma Krishnaswami, (Published by Tulika), Age – 3 to 7 years


A gem of a book really! A simple story of an Ant who invites her friend, the peacock over for a meal of hot spicy curry but tumbles in to the pot while stirring it and unknowingly starts a chain of events! Sharing this story comes with its own consequences. And in spite of a warning against hearing the story, curiosity gets the better of many! A river turns white, a mango tree’s leaves drop off, an elephant’s tail falls off, a crow’s wings stop flapping , a Rani’s silver tray shakes and a Rajah gets stuck to his throne and ALL this for only a story!

This is fantastic chain story with repetitive text that will engage little children and grown-ups alike as they try to remember the sequence of events right up to the end when everything reverts to normal and the ant climbs out of the pot. The twist and turns in the story make it a fun read-a-loud as everyone tries to keep up with what happens next!

The art work in the book is inspired from the Warli paintings, a tribal art form from Mahrashtra. The Warli tribe decorates the walls of the homes with paintings depicting stories from their everyday life. Traditionally made with rice paste and painted over mud walls, this beautiful folk art with simple geometric shapes has found its way into the modern world.


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The illustrations in this book are beautiful; a narrow strip running through the pages depicts the story as it unfolds, sequencing the events so you never lose track of the chain. These illustrations are a great way of introducing children (and adults) to warli art. The forms are simple and fun to try out. And children can draw their own stories.

You can read more about warli paintings here And try out the do it yourself project.

(Re-blogging a review done for Globetotting, a travel website.)


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