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“Her eyes were pearls, which gave her great beauty, but meant she was blind.”

Cinnamon is a story for young readers written by legendary wordsmith Neil Gaiman (text copyright 1995 and 2017) and beautifully illustrated by the deeply stylistic Divya Srinivasan (one might recognize her name from various album artwork, her own picture books, or the film Waking life). It is an inventive tale and a bold premise from which to leap from.

There is a beautiful princess with pearls for eyes, who does not speak.

Her parents offer rich rewards for anyone who teaches their daughter how to speak; all the courting tutors leave the palace cloaked only in the stench of their failure. Until one day a tiger comes to the palace.

“And the tiger opened his mouth and grinned like a hungry god, which is how tigers grin.”

Clocking at forty pages, Cinnamon is a well-paced and rewarding read. While the artwork and eloquent grammar will engage an age range from toddlers to young children, the deeper levels of metaphor laced within the pages will tickle at the adult-reader’s mind long after the back flap is closed.

Neil Gamain’s website for young readers

Divya Srinivasan’s website