Author/illustrator Demi (The Conference of the Birds) retells the tale of how Lord Vishnu, “the greatest of all the gods,” came to Earth as a child, Krishna, in order to “destroy all the evil demon kings and bring peace once again to the Earth.” The stories begin with his astounding escape as an infant from evil King Kamsa's prison and his adoption into a cowherd family, then continue with tales of Krishna's naughty childhood (stealing butter), phenomenal strength (lifting a mountain with his finger), and miraculous powers (swallowing a forest fire's flames). Each spread contains centered paintings framed by finely detailed, colorful, and ornate borders set against a pale beige backdrop. Text appears low on each page; empty space above draws the reader's focus to the illustration. Krishna, distinguished by blue flesh, appears either playing or dancing with animals and friends his size, or thwarting the king's increasingly elaborate attempts to murder him by conquering enormous demon animals or gods. More visually arresting than plot driven, this compilation of stories offers an accessible introduction to one of Hinduism's central figures. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Demi is the award-winning author of over 130 bestselling children's books. Her titles have sold over half a million copies. The Empty Pot was selected by former First Lady Barbara Bush in 1990 as one of the books to be read on the ABC Radio Network Program Mrs. Bush's Story Time, sponsored by the Children's Literacy Initiative. Demi's book Gandhi was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and received an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award. In addition, she represented the United States at the First International Children's Book Conference in Beijing, China, in 1992. She lives with her husband in Yarrow Point, WA.