Before I start reviewing the book, I need to confess why I chose this particular book. You see I am a big fan of frangipani and its heady perfume, and the beautiful illustration of frangipani flowers on the cover beckoned me to pick it up.
The story starts with Maya running towards a magical tea house against the backdrop of snowy peaks in Germany’s countryside. Maya regards this tea house as a huge castle with ballrooms, bedrooms, kitchen with copper pots and pans. She even sees an efficient Lithuanian housekeeper Miss Elsy and his warmhearted and kind husband, Mr. Sewald who is also in charge of the garden. An accident while devouring Miss Elsy’s delicious potato pancakes, transports Maya and her two well-wishers, Miss Elsy and Mr. Sewald to the beautiful island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. On the island, they meet some genuinely warm and affectionate people.
Maya makes some friends and hops on to an adventurous tour of the island. Even though the journey is exciting, the fearful Maya is apprehensive of the new experiences. She is asked by the Magic Frangipane to embark onto a challenging rescue operation to save the trapped and shy coconut.
Will Maya believe her new friends and place trust in them? Will she be brave enough to let go of her fear?
The magic frangipane and the shy coconut is written by Charlotte Common, a German by birth, an author of a number of poems, short stories and children’s books. She fell in love with Mauritius and its lovely people and chose to retire in this magical land.
Her love for Mauritius thoroughly reflects in this book for every page is an ode to the sunshine island with its beaches, landscapes and warm and welcoming inhabitants. The feather in the cap is the mesmerising illustrations by Deborah that have done full justice to the island of Mauritius and its numerous delights.
If your kids are into fairy tales, they will surely love it for there are angels holding shells, elves, heart shaped rainbows, yellow lemon shaped building, underwater world full of beautiful fish, corals of different colours and magical algae which changed into unusual shapes, and coconut groves.
This is a modern-day fairy tale in many aspects. There are no ugly stepmothers and stepsisters and wicked witches. However, Maya is a victim of a social butterfly of a mother and a jet setting father who are too busy with their respective occupation to bother with Maya. Maya is lonely and unhappy. Hence, she creates her own dream world and likes to live in it.
Also, we have always seen the fair and charming prince as the one who rescues the damsel/princess in distress, while in this book, you will find that the traditional roles of princes and princesses are reversed.
Rating – 4/5
This is ideal for age group 6+.
The book is available with Turtle Books at Zen Publications. Check out their website http://zenpublications.com to know more such interesting titles.
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