illus. by Divya Srinivasan. 40p. ebook available. HarperCollins. May 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062399618.
Gr 1–3—In Gaiman's enigmatic parable, Cinnamon, a princess born without sight, doesn't speak, sheltered within the gardens and minarets of the palace, whose bleached pastel hues echo her muted existence. Although her parents invite noblemen from across the realm to teach Cinnamon to speak, she remains silent until a man-eating tiger arrives at the palace. By turns sly and savage, he teaches her about the world of experiences to be found beyond the palace walls, and Cinnamon enthusiastically departs with him into the jungle. The stylized characters and architecture in Srinivasan's illustrations reflect not only the story's Indian setting but also its unique blend of whimsy and depth. The glowing artwork is as luminous as the princess's eyes, with ornate patterns situated within bold graphic shapes that flow across the page with deceptive simplicity. Gaiman's dry wit infuses the tale with a faintly sardonic tone—as when the tiger gobbles up Cinnamon's embittered aunt—that will delight children and adults alike, while the book's ambiguity leaves it open to nearly endless interpretation.
VERDICT Gaiman's lyrical and distinctive fairy tale begs to be read aloud and will appeal to children who appreciate a touch of mystery and humor. A good choice for large collections and where the author is popular.

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