A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers will find the conventions of fairy tales. Traditional Indian dress in art, including saris. Words "Rajah" and "Rani."
Even if you have challenges, you can progress and change. Others can support your growth.
Positive Role Models
Cinnamon speaks when encouraged to do so by the tiger. Her parents allow her to do what's best for her, even though it means she leaves them.
Violence & Scariness
The tiger admits he’s a "man-eater." A parrot predicts the tiger will eat Cinnamon. He doesn't, but he does eat the aunt. Tiger puts his claw into Cinnamon's hand and draws blood. He roars to scare her.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cinnamon is by award-winning and best-selling author Neil Gaiman (Chu's Day), who's created a tale set in India that has the feel of a traditional folktale. Originally written in 1995 and recorded as part of an audiobook collection but never published, this tale of a blind princess and a tiger who teaches her to speak is now a picture book with beautiful art by Divya Srinivasan. There's some scariness because the tiger is a fierce "man-eater," and he eats the embittered old aunt.
Is It Any Good?
There's striking art and beautiful language in this tale about a princess in a lush South Asian setting. Some of the language in Cinnamon soars. The tiger is "huge and fierce, a nightmare in black and orange, and he moved like a god through the world, which is how tigers move." Some questions remain. Cinnamon's blind, but it's the fact that she doesn't talk that drives the story. It's a bit unclear what motivates Cinnamon, both not to talk and then to change her mind. But the story is progressive in that it doesn't seek a suitor for the princess, and education and experience, not marriage, are her prize.
Divya Srinivasan’s gorgeous art lends the book a rich texture. Her fabrics and clothing are sumptuous, her tiger fiercely regal, and the palace and jungle strongly evoke the wild, beautiful setting, ensuring that readers are taken on a very satisfying journey.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.