The Story of Little Babaji

The Story of Little Babji by Helen Bannerman cover, a well dressed boy is holding a green umbrella and riding a tiger

The Story of Little Babaji

Written by Helen Bannerman

Illustrations by Fred Marcellino

New York, HarperCollins, 1996

6.5" x 6.5"

Kerlan Collection, Children's Literature Research Collections

University of Minnesota Libraries

Two reimaginings of The Story of Little Black Sambo made near-simultaneous appearances in 1996: Julius Lester and Jerry Pinkney's Sam and the Tigers and this interpretation by graphic artist and illustrator Fred Marcellino. Marcellino came to the project with fond childhood memories of Bannerman's text, and with the realization that key details of the narrative—the presence of tigers, the reference to ghee (Indian-style clarified butter)—seemed clearly to point not to an African setting for the tale but rather to an Indian one.


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Raising a Ruckus
The Story of Little Babaji