Under The Great Plum Tree by Sufiya Ahmed & Reza Dalvand

I am a tiny bit fascinated by the animal fables which have been passed down through many generations and cultures. I love trying to piece together the moral at the core of the story and the fact they’re often accompanied by traditional illustrations in bright and bold colours.

This particular book is a modern reworking of ‘the monkey and the crocodile’ which comes from the Panchatantra, an ancient indian collection of fables which dates back to 200-300 AD.

Miss Bandari is a monkey with a heart of gold who befriends an old crocodile called Mr Magarmach. He is hungry and tired so she lets him rest beneath her tree and she throws down juicy red plums for him to eat. The pair become best pals and they spend many hours together, sharing tales of adventure and enjoying each others company.

One day Mr Magarmarch decides to repay Miss Bandari’s kindness by taking her to lunch at his home. His friend King Crocodile has heard of her golden heart and very much wants to meet her. She proudly accepts, but a chance encounter with Dame Hati the elephant makes her realise this was a terrible mistake. Despite what her friend says, King Crocodile is only interested in her because he wants to eat up her plum-flavoured heart.

Dame Hati’s quick thinking saves Miss Bandari’s life, but what will happen to Mr Magarmarch when he returns to the swamp empty-handed? And will their beautiful friendship survive?

Ivy loves stories which have an element of mild peril so she is a big fan of this book! We’ve had lots of fun discussing the plot and have talked about the concept of a ‘moral. Ivy thinks the moral of the story is ‘Don’t visit crocodiles if you might be tasty’ but I suspect it may have more to do with choosing your friends wisely, staying calm in a crisis and learning to questions the motives of others!

Buy it now: https://amzn.to/2IRC1mR

Disclosure: The publisher provided us with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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