Monday, July 23, 2018

Review - Cinnamon

by Neil Gaiman
illustrated by Divya Srinivasan
Date: 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

A talking tiger is the only one who may be able to get a princess to speak in this beautiful picture book set in a mythic India by the Newbery Medal-winning and New York Times bestselling author of American Gods and Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman, and illustrated in bold colors by Divya Srinivasan.

This stunning picture book will transport readers to another time and place and will delight parents and children alike. "Full of Gaiman's wit and whimsy, this one is great for reading aloud. Gorgeous, with lush illustrations by Divya Srinivasan" (

Previously available only as an audio book, Cinnamon has never been published in print before, and Divya Srinivasan's lush artwork brings Neil Gaiman's text to life.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

WARNING: Major Spoilers! To read this review with the spoilers hidden, check it out on Goodreads.

What the hell? This is a children's book? It's awful. The only thing it really has going for it is decent grammar and passable illustrations.

Here's the real synopsis: A blind princess won't talk. So her parents offer lots of material goods to the one who can get her to speak. A man-eating tiger comes along, and her parents think, "Why not? It's just a man-eating tiger," and close their kid up in a room with the beast. The tiger, through physical and psychological abuse, gets the girl to speak at last. Her mother's aunt--whose only crime appears to be getting old and disappointed by life--makes a snarky comment and is eaten by the tiger. Nobody cares. The princess's parents allow the girl to go off into the jungle with her abuser. Apparently, nobody thinks this is a bad idea. They may have lived happily ever after, but probably not; in any case, we're never told what happens to anyone except the aunt: everyone remembers her as a beautiful young woman, based on her portrait.

I mean, seriously. What the hell?

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 2.17 out of 5

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