Brahma Dreaming: Legends from Hindu Mythology by John Jackson and Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini
|Brahma Dreaming: Legends from Hindu Mythology by John Jackson and Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Wonderful retelling of stories in the Hindu tradition. Beautiful illustrations and an heirloom production. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 248||Date: September 2013|
|Publisher: JJ Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Have you heard of the Trimurti? This is the Hindu trinity in which three gods - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva - represent the universal forces of creation, maintenance and destruction. The Trimurti is often depicted as three heads on one neck, each head looking in a different direction. The Hindu tradition has a rich, deep vein of stories about the Trimurti and Brahma Dreaming is John Jackson's re-imagining of these all-encompassing, interdependent tales.
It begins with Lord Brahma dreaming the universe into existence and it's just beautiful. And from there, we find stories of kings and princes, epic battles, peacock warriors, maidens who dance in the sky and even a demon who catches the sun in its mouth - The stars and moon stopped shining, and even time stood still. The stories are full of drama and conflict and all the big themes of life and love and death and everything inbetween.
For many readers, these tales will be less familiar than those of other myth traditions - Greek, Egyptian, Arthurian. But the characters and themes are timeless - courage, love, grief, greed, jealousy, revenge. They're told in an elegant, precise prose and are by turns rousing, witty, affectionate and portentous. They are tales intended for sharing and particularly sharing with children, so each one is short and to the point, but the vocabulary isn't simple. I love this. Big words transport children. They're not offputting - they're exciting, challenging and enthralling.
The illustrations are absolutely and utterly stunning. Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini has surpassed even the work she did for her other collaboration with John Jackson, Tales for Great Grandchildren. Just look at the cover! Beautifully bound and printed, beautifully illustrated, this is a book with stories that you just know will be beautifully told. And you just know it will be pored over and over and over.
There's also an iBook version, which I confess I haven't seen. But if it's anything like as enjoyable as the app for Tales for Great Grandchildren, I think it will be a marvellous adjunct to the physical book.
We never tire of myth and legend. I don't think we ever will. The oldest stories are timeless. And we need to hear them, particularly when we are young and our imaginations are unfettered. Brahma Dreaming tells some of these important stories with great verve and a good dash of understanding. It's a beautiful book and I recommend it to you.
Another beautiful book of legend is The Thousand Nights and One Night by David Walser and Jan Pienkowski. There's also the enchanting Lugalbanda by Kathy Henderson and Jane Ray and the grand, vigorous Beowulf by Michael Morpurgo.
You can read more book reviews or buy Brahma Dreaming: Legends from Hindu Mythology by John Jackson and Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Brahma Dreaming: Legends from Hindu Mythology by John Jackson and Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini at Amazon.com.
Brahma Dreaming: Legends from Hindu Mythology by John Jackson and Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini is in the Top Ten Self-Published Books 2013.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.