By Author / Illustrator

Neil Gaiman, Divya Srinivasan



Age range(s)



Bloomsbury Publishing PLC




Paperback / softback



Cinnamon is a princess in a faraway country in a faraway time. She is blessed with great beauty but she is blind and does not speak. Her parents, desperate to hear her voice, offer great riches (a field of mango trees, a parrot and a portrait of the princess's aunt) to anyone who can get her to talk. People come and try but leave disappointed. Then a tiger turns up, announcing he can get the princess to speak, and the girl's parents agree that this self-confessed man-eater should try. The tiger introduces her to pain and fear but it is only when he introduces love that the princess speaks. Her parents are delighted, her grumpy aunt is eaten by the tiger and she and the tiger leave the palace to live in the jungle, possibly happy ever after, possibly not. This is a story written by Neil Gaiman some 20 or so years ago, inspired by a sculpture of a girl riding a tiger. It is a short story married up with Divya Srinivasan's striking illustrations to form an exquisite picture book. The colours zing off the page and it is a visual treat. The tiger is dominant on every page on which he appears, baring his teeth, roaring fit to shake the palace walls and the story is suitably scary in places. The fate of the aunt, who drinks her tea 'disapprovingly' and offers uncalled for advice at every opportunity, is a little jarring - the Rajah pleads for someone to stop her talking and the tiger happily obliges. Younger readers will be entranced by the illustrations and there is much for older readers to discuss (why does the princess feel she has nothing to say, why does love give her voice while pain and fear do not, do elderly opinionated women warrant shutting up?) in this intriguing and beautiful book. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by June Hughes, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 5+


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