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Sita's Ramayana

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3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  395 ratings  ·  105 reviews
The Ramayana is an epic poem by the Hindu sage Valmiki, written in ancient Sanskrit sometime after 300 BC. It is an allegorical story that contains important Hindu teachings, and it has had great influence on Indian life and culture over the centuries. Children are often encouraged to emulate the virtues of the two main characters — Rama and Sita. The Ramayana is frequentl ...more
Hardcover, 152 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Groundwood Books
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Zanna
For a thousand years the Dandaka forest slept.

And then Sita arrives with her tale, and the solemn-eyed flowers listen. Beginning here, in a plea for shelter and help, I hold my breath, and feel the forest embrace me with the beautiful queen of Ayodha, my fellow daughter of the earth.

The forest - not this one in particular, but, The Forest as archetype - has many functions and many grades of presence and consciousness only hinted at in this short work, but the hints are so evocative I am lost, I
...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Excellent art in a traditional Bengali style underpins this retelling of the Ramayana, one of India's two great epics, from the perspective of Sita, wife of the hero of the story. The narrative is often very good, raising questions about the moral implications of characters who tend to be venerated as gods in this country. But despite some stunning moments, the narrative doesn't go as deep into the issues and perspectives it touches on as it could have. Perhaps part of the problem was that the a ...more
Aurina
I would give the artwork 5 stars; the book is truly stunning visually. Sadly the writing doesn't match up. I wish the book would've concentrated more on Sita's exile rather than the traditional Rama vs Ravana story. It does, to its credit, look at the war from Sita's perspective: Instead of the monolithic good vs. evil story that we've been raised to believe, Sita despairs over the massive waste of life and limb caused by the battle. Worse, we find out Rama undertakes the mission not to save his ...more
Crystal
"War, in some ways, is merciful to men. It makes them heroes if they are the victors. If they are vanquished--they do not live to see their homes taken, their wives widowed. But if you are a woman--you must live through defeat...you become the mother of dead sons, or an orphan, or worse, a prisoner."

I found this book very powerful. There is action, adventure, love, war and all kinds of things going on, but underneath there are truths pulsing like "Violence breeds violence, and an unjust act only
...more
charlotte
I've been looking for a way into Indian mythology for a loooong time, and grabbed this from the library when I saw it. This gorgeous graphic novel was great -- told from the heroine's p.o.v., it's got a mildly feminist take on the story of the Ramayana, which reminds me forcefully of the Trojan War in Greek mythology. Sita, in this telling, is a sympathetic Helen-type character -- i.e., she's the stolen woman and the ostensible reason for a violent war that's really more about the royal male cha ...more
Deepa Ranganathan
Ramayana never fails to enchant me, regardless of the medium or form in which it is told and retold. Beautiful illustrations of Patua art. Was hoping for a newer angle to the epic as it is, after all, Sita's rendition of the Ramayana, though.
Cristina Garcia
One of my favorite movies when I was growing up was Little Princesses. It started off with the story of Sita and Rama. I never knew the whole thing. To finally get to read it makes me so happy. I know exactly where she's coming from.
Oh and the drawings were fantastic. I love the layout of the whole book. A must read.
dianne budd
The ancient story, this time told by wise, empathic Sita. Once, with my young family in Kolkata, we walked through a version of the Ramayana (a series of elaborate dioramas of each important scene). That version ended with Sita, finally having had enough of the undeserved trials and distrust of Rama, tired of him constantly questioning her (flawless) virtue, enough with the walking through fire! being swept to (a presumably more feminist) heaven in a carriage driven by her mother-in-law. Arni's ...more
Rachel
For a story where the main theme is the triumph of good over evil, Sita definitely got the short end of the stick. But I guess that's what happens when you hear the story from the woman's point of view. In other versions Rama always comes off looking squeaky clean, so this version certainly adds some perspective to the tale.

Found the adaptation of a traditional art form, Patua scroll paintings, to the graphic novel format intriguing. Wish there had been more info on the artist/tradition. Overall
...more
paula
In this book, a Patua scroll painter has adapted the Ramayana as a fast-paced, brilliantly bold graphic novel. All of the suspense, treachery, sorcery, and pathos of this epic is depicted in homemade natural dyes layered onto paper in energetic lines, rhythmic patterns, and fields of hot, bright colors. Taut but soulful narrative and dialogue help to tell the story, especially for readers unfamiliar with Hindu iconography.

Full review on Pink Me: http://pinkme.typepad.com/pink-me/201...
Sujata
In the time leading up to Dusshera (when Lord Ram defeated Ravana) and Diwali (When Rama, Sita and Lakshman returned home), I finally read this book. As a young Hindu girl learning the Ramayana from my family, I was swept up in the adventure and thrill and triumph of good over evil, and have had a soft spot and connection to Hanuman ever since. But even back then, before I knew the word feminism, or patriarchy, I was angry and upset when we got to the end of the saga, and Sita was thrown out for ...more
Skye Kilaen
Oh wow, how can I describe this book? As you could probably guess from the title, it's the Hindu epic Ramayana told from Sita's point of view. Sita is the wife of Rama, and she's kidnapped by a king who wants to marry her. This leads to a great war, of course, because great epic stories are often about that. This epic, though, seen through Sita's eyes, is much more about the toll on human relationships of corruption and war. There's a great essay in the back of the book that explains this much b ...more
Megan Schmale
Sita’s Ramayana
Samhita Arni
Text-to-Self: Part of the story describes the life of Sita in the forest. To relate this to students, I could ask them what they think are the most essential items they would need to survive in the forest. Or even ask them what are some items that they could never live without. I could have them discuss these ideas in groups or I could have them draw pictures of these ideas.
Text-to-Text: I could relate this story to students’ social studies textbook. This would be
...more
Meghana
I've been looking forward to reading this NYT bestseller for a long, long time. I first heard of this graphic novel while writing an essay for my college Southeast Asian Studies course, where I explored the Ramayana from a feminist perspective.

Sita's Ramayana does not disappoint. With its enchanting Bengali Patua illustrations, and succinct narrative, the book is a quick and engaging read. Sita, the narrator, is intelligent and empathetic, and it was refreshing to watch well-known mythological e
...more
Debarati
I loved the succinct retelling and the gorgeous art work! I have never enjoyed the epic before and Sita's perspective (as retold by the authors) is such an empathetic, no-nonsense version of the story...
Kecia
I love the idea of this epic story being told from a woman's point of view. She is able to see the senseless and heart breaking side of war. She is able to see thru the warrior's bravado. Sita is victimized three times in this story, but her beauty shines thru even to the end. Sita is all women.

Having just finished Sanjay Patel's version of this story, the art in this one did not dazzle me as much. It's still a lovely book. If I had read this one first I would have been impressed more with the
...more
Edward Sullivan
A stunning graphic novel version of the Ramayana from Hindu mythology.
Laura
The famous Indian epic is retold with a sensitive twist emphasising a woman's perspective on the all the nonsense that led to war and the terrible consequences from it. I loved the Patua art and wish there had been more information included in the book to inform readers about this important traditional art form. I appreciated, but did not love, the tone of the story. Ram comes off as a complete luddite, but that's not the problem. The problem is that Sita is the victim throughout and her courage ...more
Penelope
This is a beautiful book and a well-written retelling of the Ramayana. I hadn't heard of this story before reading this book, and haven't read any other versions. After reading this one, however, it struck me as the Indian equivalent of the "Helen of Troy" story in a lot of ways. It's interesting how stories with similar themes pop up in different cultures. Of course, the details of the story are quite different, but I felt there were many similar messages.

There is a very brief essay at the end
...more
Erin
Audience: ages 8-14, children from India or with that background, those interested in folklore or Indian/eastern religions, children that like fairy tales, kids that like graphic novels; because of its religious tones, I would be careful before selecting this book for a school library or classroom
Appeal: a fast-moving narrative, interesting and engaging artwork, lots of folklorian drama
Application: I would use this book to introduce some folklore from different cultures to the students as well a
...more
Frances Greenslade
This is a beautiful book and a different perspective on the classic epic. It reminded me of Margaret Atwood's Penelopiad, which tells the story of Homer's Odyssey from the perspective of Penelope, Odysseus's long-suffering wife, waiting at home for the wayward hero whose resolve to get home is tested by various nymphs and goddess-seductresses who try to divert him from his objective. Let's just say he seems a bit too willing to be diverted. In Sita's Ramayana, Sita's impatience with the whole ma ...more
Barbara
This graphic novel version of the Hindu legend Ramayana--the original tale was written in 300 B.C.--is told from the point of view of Sita, a queen and wife of Rama. Trouble comes in the form of Surpanaka whose desire for Rama's brother is not returned, and ends in Sita, Rama, and Lakshmana being banished from their lands. When King Ravana sees her beauty and wants her for his own, he ends up imprisoning her while assuring her that her husband will not come for her. Things go from bad to worse w ...more
Andy
Sita is the heroine of the Indian epic the Ramayana, the husband of the hero Rama.

Traditionally the Ramayana (particularly the most well known Valmiki version) centres on Rama's story but a selected few tell the story squarely from Sita's point of view.

Moyna Chitrakar, a skilled artist in the scroll-based Patua tradition of Bengal, grew up on one of the versions that takes Sita as the main character, the Chandrabati.Ramayana written by a woman in the 16th century. Inspired by this, she painted
...more
Ashley Adams
Sita’s Ramayana
1. Junior Book: Graphic Novel
2. This is the retelling of the Hindu Epic of The Ramayana, told from the standpoint of Sita, the queen. This story is told as a flashback, where Sita recounts how she and her husband were exiled from their own kingdom and is eventually captured by an evil king and imprisoned, as the evil king tries to convince her to be his wife.
3. Critique:
a. The most critical element in this graphic novel is the intensity of the illustrations.
b. The folk art style
...more
RLL595ag_GlennJacobson
Sita’s Ramayana is a significant work for a number of reasons. As a fan of mythology the idea of reading a translation from Sanskrit, older than the New Testament of the Bible, excited me. This famous legend from India has everything including royalty, a demon king, magical animals, an epic battle, love, deception, loyalty, betrayal, and so much death it reminds me of an ‘Indian Hamlet’. The storyline is fast moving and often confusing, so I benefited from not overanalyzing or getting hung up on ...more
Kristina Gomez
The Ramayana is one of the greatest ancient Indian epics and a sacred story cherished by millions throughout the world. It is the story of Prince Ram's quest to save his beautiful wife Princess Sita. The epic has been told and retold for thousands of years, the story changing as it is translated into one of the many languages of South Asia. In one of the most popular versions, Princess Sita, representing the pinnacle of womanly virtue, is abducted by Prince Ram's rival, the demon-king Ravana. Pr ...more
Elizabeth A
Jacket blurb: Told from the perspective of the queen, Sita, it explores ideas of right versus wrong, compassion, loyalty, honor and the terrible price that war exacts from women, children, animals and the natural world.

The Ramayana is one of the great legends of ancient India, and as a kid I devoured this story in graphic novel format. I think of it as India's Helen of Troy epic, and I've always wondered what Sita's point of view would be, so was delighted when I found this graphic novel targete
...more
Saraswathi
I borrowed this book from the local Boise library when I was browsing through the graphics novel section. What caught my attention was the fact that the book was illustrated first by a Bengali artist named Moyna Chitrakar. The text was written by Samhita Arni to match the illustrations. It was fascinating to me that the entire story of Ramayana could be narrated in the form of illustrations.

The text by Samhita is as brilliant as the illustrations by Moyna.

Sita's Ramayana is the story of abduct
...more
Srividya Rao
Beautiful artwork. Nice change of perspective on the classic. Ramayana's ending has always bothered me with blatant injustice towards Sita. So was interested to see what a tale from her view point would be like. Though this tale stays mostly true to the original it sheds light into injustice of war, price paid for misplaced pride and how 'heroic' wars are anything but.
Nehal
Very insightful. Not very different from the version of the Ramayan we were told (or at least, I was told by my Grandmother). However, what is insightful is the viewpoint. Don't miss Sita's point of view on why she sent Ram chasing the golden deer - I never even imagined that!

But, what really merits this book a 5-star rating are the format and (especially,) the illustrations. Vivid, evocative and Vibrant, the illustrations are the starting point of the whole book. The verbal narrative is itself
...more
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342139
Samhita Arni has been interested in Hindu mythology since she was a child. She has written The Mahabaharata: A Child’s View, a version of another great Indian epic, which has been translated into seven languages and was named Book of the Month by the German Academy for Youth Literature and Media, and one of the Best Published Books of 2004 by the Spanish Ministry of Culture. It also won the Elsa M ...more
More about Samhita Arni...
The Missing Queen The Mahabharatha: A Child's View: Volume 1 The Mahabharatha: A Child's View: Volume 2 The Mahabharatha: A Child’s View Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean

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“War, in some ways, is merciful to men. It makes them heroes if they are the victors. If they are the vanquished - they do not live to see their homes taken, their wives widowed. But if you are a woman - you must live through defeat...” 5 likes
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