The Flute

  • Illustrated By: Pulak Biswas
  • Pages:32
  • Publisher:Tradewind Books
  • Themes:India, picture book, fable, flood, family life
  • Available:03/01/2012
  • Age Groups:Fiction Picture Book
In this beautiful picturebook written by Governor General's Award-winning author Rachna Gilmore and illustrated by India's most renowned illustrator, Pulak Biswas, a little girl nearly drowns when a swollen river overflows its banks. Tragically, her beloved mother and father are swept away in the flood. Raised by a cruel and uncaring aunt and uncle, the little girl finds solace in her mother's magic flute. The Flute is an enchanting tale of the power of hope and the resilience of the human spirit.
"This beautifully written and illustrated story is reminiscent of a folkloric tale, sweeping us away in the pains, struggles and the hopes of Chandra's young life in an exotic land. Each page we turn we want to learn more about her, to the point of wanting to pluck her out of the book to help her...Rachna Gilmore's enchanting story of hope and Pulak Biswas' simple east Asian rural scenes flow with depth and grace just was the waters of the river in its calm spring stream. The graceful language is complimented in charcoal and ink textured monochromatic illustrations with hints of primary hues...This inspiring book is sure to be a permanent fixture in any library and one to hand down from generation to generation."
– Resource Links
"Pulak Biswas, one of India's most distinguished illustrators, displays his gifts in the striking woodblock prints coloured in red, blue, black and the occasional burst of sunny yellow, that both complement and enhance Rachna Gilmore's beautifully cadenced prose...[An] emotionally powerful tale...delivering a satisfying and happy resolution."
– The Globe and Mail
"Chandra is a strong yet realistically vulnerable figure who withstands adversity without appearing too saintly, while the magic that saves her offers some compensation for the misfortune she has suffered."
– Publishers Weekly
"The dramatic illustrations create a strong, rural south Indian setting, with their quick black lines, almost-solid black bodies and bold use of red and blue, with just a hint of yellow for the moon."
– Kirkus Reviews
"Full of hope springing from adversity, this is a touching story elegantly told, whose mood is captured in beautifully evocative illustrations."
"Ornamented and further interpreted with stunning black and white paintings with vivid splashes of red for Chandra's dress, blue for the river, and yellow for the overlooking moon. This author/illustrator team is first class and deserves further high awards for artistry, authenticity and design."
– Midwest Book Review
"The story reads like a folktale, and the striking, somewhat stylized artwork fits that tone. Despite its magical elements, this is really a story of hope and resilience in the face of hardship and loss."
– School Library Journal
"Deftly executed…The lyrical text is imbued with energy by the sweeping illustrations, much as the river bestows magic upon the music of the flute."
– Uma Krishnaswami, award-winning author of Book Uncle and Me
Resource Links "The Year's Best"   | 2011  |  Commended
SYRCA Shining Willow nominee   | 2012  |  Short-listed
CCBC Choices selection   | 2012  |  Short-listed