The Truth about the Tooth by Maria L. Denjongpa is a picture book that explores a very abstract concept- the power of faith.
Tashi, a cloth seller who lives in the mountains near Kalimpong wants to go to Benares to buy colourful silks. His aging mother asks him for a memento from Sarnath, the land where Buddha preached his first sermon. Tashi keeps forgetting to get a memento for her. However, one day, he picks up an old tooth fallen on the ground and presents it to her as the tooth of Buddha.
Will she know the truth about the tooth? What truth will the tooth finally reveal?
This is an old Tibetan folktale that is replete with beauty and wisdom. Maria L. Denjongpa recreates the magic of this tale in words that are simple and very accessible to children and adults alike. The illustrator, Chetan Sharma, also does a magnificent task of capturing the natural beauty and local flavour of Kalimpong, as well as the myriad emotions that the story talks about.
A concept like the power of faith is not a very easy one to explore, especially when the readership is targeted at young children. But, this book does a commendable job of that. It is a story that one cannot just read and forget. It is something that one revisits from time to time, even as the young readers grow!
The Truth about the Tooth is a picture book that explores the power of faith through the retelling of a Tibetan folktale. Maria L. Denjongpa’s words and Chetan Sharma’s illustrations capture the essence of the tale. It will be a delightful read for children over four years.
Title: The Truth About the Tooth
Author: Maria L. Denjongpa
Illustrator: Chetan Sharma
Publisher: Karadi Tales
Genre: Children’s books
Age group: 4 and above