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Ramayana: Divine Loophole

4.52  ·  Rating Details  ·  480 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
Artist and veteran Pixar animator Sanjay Patel lends a lush, whimsical illustration style and lighthearted voice to one of Hindu mythology's best-loved and most enduring tales. Teeming with powerful deities, love-struck monsters, flying monkey gods, magic weapons, demon armies, and divine love, Ramayana tells the story of Rama, a god-turned-prince, and his quest to rescue ...more
Hardcover, 186 pages
Published February 10th 2010 by Chronicle Books (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 980)
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Vincent Desjardins
The only familiarity I had with the Ramayana prior to reading this book was the names of some of the gods -Vishnu and Brahma and a few of the other characters, Sita and Hanuman, but I had no idea what their story was or how they related to one another. This is an epic tale and from what I gather from the introduction, the author of this version, Sanjay Patel, has streamlined the story. I have no idea what he's left out, but what he's left in makes a fun and exciting read. The author's great achi ...more
Feb 17, 2016 Maggie rated it it was amazing

Talk about the most breathtaking graphic novel -- the images and the story here are so beautiful. What a painless way to learn about and appreciate a religious text. Patel has a nice sense of pacing and humor. I only wish the story was more fleshed out and detailed!
Aug 23, 2014 Sonic rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous Gorgeous gorgeous Illustration
and concise snappy down-to-earth re-telling of a Classic Indian Myth
make this a book that I want to OWN!
Jul 30, 2014 Meghana rated it liked it
Veteran Pixar animator Sanjay Patel's artwork is breathtaking. Used liberally and craftily, it makes this condensed version of the Ramayana an optical delight.

What I loved best about Patel's illustrations was his eye for colour and style. He has a distinctive design that he tweaks to express his characters' unspoken feelings and thoughts. I also really appreciated that he made all his characters (relatively) dark skinned; in most versions of the Ramayana (and in popular Indian culture), the pref
Jul 31, 2012 Wendy rated it it was amazing
This is spectacular. Engaging summary of some epic Hindu mythology, with really great illustrations. The author didn't pretend to anything more, and his hope that this book would be a good entry point to a more intensive study of Hindu myths is spot on -- I definitely want to read more now.
Kimberly Scearce-levie
Apr 04, 2015 Kimberly Scearce-levie rated it it was amazing
My son loves stories from other cultures, so when we saw this at The Asian Art Museum in SF, it was hard to resist. It tells a very condensed version of the Indian epic the Ramayana, accompanied by spectacular illustrations by a Pixar artist. In one week, my son has read it 3 times, my daughter fought with him to get her hands on it so she could read it, I've read it once, and my husband took it to read-aloud day at a local elementary school. We all loved it. The story is told in digestible bits ...more
Jul 29, 2013 Mely added it
The art is amazing. The text is okay, and also badly proofread.
Jami Sweeney
Nov 02, 2013 Jami Sweeney rated it it was amazing
One of the most amazing children's books I have ever read.
Really impressed with this book! Taking the whole of the Ramayana and condensing it into graphic telling (probably closer to picture book than graphic novel)is great and making it accessible to people who don't have a strong background is fantastic.

A bit reluctant to label it mythology as it is a key story of Hinduism but this book is not truly about religion.

A bit reluctant to label it a children's book; all-ages would be more accurate.

Here's hoping that Patel will make other stories from Hind
Apr 14, 2016 Neil rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
the cover art on this book caught me at the oakland museum gift store.
apparently the artist works for pixar, thus it is being featured during that
exhibit. the art inside is the same: awesome, reminiscent of samurai jack.

figured i should buy from the museum to support them instead of helping
amazon transform into a 10-headed demon, then found out at the register
that the copy is signed. bonus! karma!

the text is very sparse, like a children's book, but since the introduction
explains that the com
Dec 04, 2012 Parka rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-books

(More pictures at

Sanjay Patel's take on the classic Sanskrit epic is refreshing and engaging. Adapted and written in a lighter prose, the book is inviting to any readers who want learn more about the tale. The story is fascinating and gets increasingly so towards the end, with lots of nice surprises. For someone like me who knows nothing about any Hindu stories, I felt like I know a lot more after reading this book.

The story is well paced and laden with beautiful illustrations.
Sep 01, 2012 Troy rated it it was amazing

I have had several encounters with the Ramayana over the years, first in a Hindu mythology course in college, later through its Thai incarnation--The Ramakhien. And then, through visits with its various characters at several museums with Asian collections. It has, for a long time, been one of my favorite adventure stories.

I think it's fair to say that Sanjay Patel's rendition of the Ramayana is my absolute favorite. Admittedly, Patel has produced an abridged version (3,000 pages down to 120+),
Simon Blair
Jun 20, 2013 Simon Blair rated it it was amazing
In the Hindu tradition there periodically come times in history when the balance of harmony is greatly disturbed and the forces of greed, fear and selfishness reign to the misfortune of many. Rama, the prince of Ayodya, is born to one such time. The great tyrant of his age, Ravana, the demon King of Lanka pillages as he pleases in his pursuit of every title, treasure and prize. Rama, blissfully married to the beautiful Sita is bravely enduring exile from his home city when she is abducted by Rav ...more
Sep 03, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mythology
The great epic of the Ramayana is presented in this slimmed down version. This makes it more accessible to children, or those that do not have the time to read a 3000 page book. The word count may be reduced, but the author has provided something in exchange for this. Each entry is accompanied by stunningly beautiful art comprised of a geometric style which utilizes a wide range of vibrant colours. The author is an animator for Pixar, and although the style is unique to this work, the quality is ...more
Dec 27, 2010 Marsha rated it it was amazing
OK...I haven't paid this much for a book in a long, long time. Especially one that I'm going to use for school But $30 seemed like a good deal when I looked at this book.
I have to teach ancient India and I really want to do a good job. It seems to me that understanding the culture's myths is key to understanding the whole culture. This book does that in a way that I think I'll understand and that is visually appealing to my 6th graders.
This book is illustrated by a Pixar animator and I plan on r
Dec 05, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
One of our branch libraries hosted a weeks-long workshop on the Ramayana, which I had never heard of. The coordinating librarian suggested this title to me as a version more accessible to a younger audience. Just flipping through, the illustrations are so lovely, I'm anxious to dive in.

I definitely got the feeling that there's more to the story. Maybe I'll read the real thing someday. The back of the book includes a glossary (and more yummy illustrations) of gods, demons, animals and warriors fr
Jul 17, 2015 Dijana rated it it was amazing
A beautifully illustrated, concise retelling of the Ramayana... It took Sanjay 4 years to illustrate this book (roughly 1 week per spread) but it was definitely worth it! It wasn't exactly the best written book ever but I can easily overlook that. A must-read for anyone who loves fantastic illustration work!!!
Sep 23, 2015 NaomiRuth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fav-authors, af, own, art
This is beautiful and I love it. As soon as I saw that it existed I needed to buy it and own it and hug it close. So I did. I regret nothing. I love the art. I love the text that has that modern flair. I love how there are extra explanations of people at the end. Wonderful introduction to the Ramayana.
Dec 08, 2015 Josh rated it really liked it
I've been to Indian festivals before, but was only vaguely familiar with the story of the Ramayana. This condensed graphic version by a Pixar animator is pretty great. The illustrations and the conciseness of the story are awesome. I really enjoyed learning more about this epic Indian tale.
Jan 20, 2015 Kecia rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book is really special. Any story that has survived 3,000 years has got to be beyond great, and this one does not disappoint. Flying monkeys, ten headed demons, and blue gods, what is not to love? And to that Patel's outrageously gorgeous illustratrations. This is a 5 star read if I've ever read one.
Aug 14, 2014 Adriana rated it it was amazing
So beautiful and fun!
I’d known the basics of the story before, but Patel makes the full depth of the story completely accessible (and enjoyable) to the layman reader.
And the graphic style is delish. It’s slightly reminiscent of traditional Indian art, but brought into modernity via modern graphic design.
A happy addition to my library and a great read for anyone looking for great stories told in clever ways.
May 13, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is the most beautifully illustrated book I have ever read. I have shared it with adults and older children, and without fail they are drawn in to the story. Regardless of your religious leanings, don't miss this book!
Oct 09, 2012 Denis rated it it was amazing
Patel’s vision of the fascinating Ramayana mythology is so exuberant, gorgeous, detailed, and beautiful, it deserves as much praise as it can get. The stylish illustrations are spectacular - you can almost see the characters come alive, as they would in one of those Pixar movies that Patel has worked on. The narration is brisk, funny, ironic – it’s also certainly simplistic, in the sense that a child can read it, and understand it, but it never betrays the soul of the incredibly complex myths at ...more
Melissa Jane
Jun 17, 2016 Melissa Jane rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book! Each turn of the page is a new pleasure. I can't stop looking through it. "Ramayana Divine Loophole" is great way to discover the Ramayana. I'm now eager to read a longer version.
Apr 03, 2014 Gabriel rated it it was amazing
Wonderful art, a good primer on Indian myth- should be required reading. Really fun. Couldn't put it down. When's the movie coming out?
Ken Emery
Sep 07, 2014 Ken Emery rated it it was amazing
A nice retelling of The Ramayana with beautiful attention-grabbing illustrations. My students love it.
Oct 03, 2010 Sonia rated it really liked it
Five stars for the illustrations, three for the story. This is a watered-down version of the great Hindu epic, and while Patel—who was raised Hindu but rejected the faith— is mostly factually correct in his retelling, it reads as a summary and not as a story. Creating both the Ramayana and his other adorably illustrated (but slightly irreverent) book helped Patel understand his faith, and while they may provide curious readers with a general overview of their subjects, they just scratch the surf ...more
Beautiful artwork that illustrates a playful retelling of the Ramayana.
Feb 05, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rebecca by: Laura
I still need to read the text, but the pictures (done by an animator and storyboard artist for Pixar) are a-maz-ing. Incredible composition, symmetry, and color palettes. I also liked the sketchbook section in the back.

"From start to finish, this book took approximately four years to make, or roughly seven days per page. There are no shortcuts. The truth is, if you love scratching away on paper and organizing marks to make symbols that tell stories, you wouldn't want it any other way. Keep drawi
Sep 21, 2010 Sheehan rated it it was amazing
This book is just all that and a bag of chips...

The illustrations are phenomenal, and the author shares his sketches and methodology in an appendix following the book which was enjoyable and fun as well. Clearly, Pixar is getting over having this dude on staff...

The story of the Ramayana has been highly distilled down for narrative purposes, but it is a great introduction to the story and the major players. The art is so pretty, and the story so timeless, I'm sure any child could easily enjoy th
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Sanjay Patel is an animator and storyboard artist for Pixar Animation Studios, where he has worked on many features including A Bug's Life, Ratatouille, and the Cars series. Sanjay is also the creator of Ramayana: Divine Loophole, The Big Poster Book of Hindu Deities, and The Little Book of Hindu Deities. His modern interpretations of Hindu epics have been exhibited at the San Francisco Asian Art ...more
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