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Sita's Ramayana

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  786 ratings  ·  180 reviews
An American Library Association 2012 Notable Children's Book and a USBBY Outstanding International Books Honor Book

The Ramayana -- one of the great legends of ancient India -- is presented here in the form of a visually stunning and gripping graphic novel. Told from the perspective of the queen, Sita, it explores ideas of right vs. wrong, compassion, loyalty, trust, honor
Hardcover, 152 pages
Published October 8th 2011 by Groundwood Books (first published September 27th 2011)
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Surender Negi Ram never tested Sita, First, It is part of Uttra Kanda which was added by Goswami Tulsidas in Original Ramayana during Bhakti Movement in India.
Ram never tested Sita, First, It is part of Uttra Kanda which was added by Goswami Tulsidas in Original Ramayana during Bhakti Movement in India.
Second, Goswami Tulsidas this addition was tempered widly during Mugals and British cause all reverse character can be seen in this kand only. Third, The logical reader can ask a simple question that Valmiki (Original writer) of this very part of History wanted to prove that Ram Rajya (A Good governance) can be possible. Then why he will add extra chapter which is oppose of all text. Last, It was mare attempt of Tulsidas to show of social evil in current time by context and extending the scripture. (less)

Community Reviews

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3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  786 ratings  ·  180 reviews

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Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Sita was very much like Helen of Troy (or Helen of Greece); she was abducted by Ravana and a costly war was fought to reunite her with Rama. Told from Sita's point of view - how does a woman feel about a war fought over her when people around her are dying? A unique look at war and its aftermath.
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism, graphic
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
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
Dec 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
"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 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
Biblio Curious
Finally!!! Sita gets to tell her side of the story! It has a very cool ending and could be a great introduction for this fabulous epic.

I linked my review:
Sita, you have more patience with that douche than I had.
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: india, kid-stuff
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
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:
Deepa Ranganathan
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
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.
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sad, exquisite, hopeful retelling of the Ramayana from Sita's viewpoint. The sheer number of characters in the story can get overwhelming but the narrative doesn't lose its power. Recommended!
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sita's Ramayana is an intricately beautiful but simply written account of the Ramayana from the perspective of Sita. Rather than portraying Sita as a meek and docile victim, Samhita Arni and Moyna Chitrakar use intimate prose and alluring illustrations to deliver us a heroine of resilience, endurance, and captivating grace.
Sayantani Dasgupta
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The artwork by Moyna Chitrakar is stunning. Kudos also to the writer Samhita Arni. A retelling of the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana in the form of a graphic novel and not from the point of view of the god-king Rama but his queen Sita is a triumph in more ways than one.
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2012
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...
Edward Sullivan
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A stunning graphic novel version of the Ramayana from Hindu mythology.
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sita’s Ramayana gives new perspective to a classic story. I found the last fifty pages especially insightful as Sita focuses on the consequences of war, whereas other versions of The Ramayana tend to celebrate Rama’s every victory without worrying too much about collateral damage. Chitrakar’s colorful artwork adds quite a bit to the telling of the story as well. Overall, Sita’s Ramayana is a quick, interesting take on The Ramayana.
Jos M
Fascinating feminist retelling of the Ramayana informed by Bengali tradition, enriched by powerful painted illustrations. I am not familiar enough with the Ramayana to say whether this is a "good" retelling, but it found it interesting, thoughtful and compelling. Highly, highly recommended.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the version of Ramayana that should be read to kids. Gone are the days of worshipping violence and royal pride and manly show offs.

The book is based off of Chandrabati s Ramayana that collects the version sung by womenfolk of Bengal, commiserating with the suffering of Sita as well as Lankan women who suffer due to the whim and deceit of men.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I love the cartoon "Sita Sings the Blues," so I was already familiar with the Ramayana...
I wanted more out of this book's storytelling, but the folk art was really captivating!!
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Okay, this is gorgeous.

Sita's Ramayana is more or less exactly what it sounds like: the Ramayana from Sita's point of view. Now, my experience with the Ramayana began and ended with that one movie version of A Little Princess where it gets retold in flashbacks (or something, I haven't seen that movie in a while). It's not accurate, or at least my memory of it isn't, and there were a number of story surprises here. So I wish I'd been more familiar with the Ramayana before I read this. That said,
Spiralcore Duh Broz
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a great book that recites the 7th avatar of Vishnu Rama. They include a page with the family tree of protagonist Rama and the antagonist Ravana.
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
Jessica Riojas
Apr 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sita’s Ramayana – Graphic novel

This book is an adaptation of ancient epic originally written in paintings. It is fitting that it be retold in the form of the graphic novel.

Text to self: This book reminds me of what it’s like to have my trust doubted. After Sita was rescued from her captor, her husband doubted if she had been a faithful wife. He thought that there was no way that his wife could have been held prisoner for so long without falling in love with her captor. Sita, who had been faithfu
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Gina Schaarschmidt
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was not what I expected at all. At. All. I am always on the hunt for good graphic novels for the library and this title checked all the marks.

Graphic novel? Check.
Award winner? Check.
Good reviews? Check.
Appropriate age range for my library? Check.
Beautiful cover art? Check.
Multicultural? Check.
Curricular connections? Check.
Adventurous plot? Check.

It met the qualifications and I ordered it. It didn't come in the first order, but my anticipation heightened even more because raving revi
Megan Schmale
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Glenn Jacobson
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
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I sure wish I had this version when we covered The Ramayana in class.

I'm a little iffy about classifying this as fantasy since it's a religious text, but there is much magic on display and I have the allegorical book The Screwtape Letters firmly classed as such, soooo...

As graphic novels go, I am not a fan of the art, but since it's a deliberate recreation/artistic choice, it fits here.

Much like in Margaret Atwood's feminist take on The Odyssey through The Penelopiad, Sita's Ramayana is told wh
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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
“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...” 7 likes
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