Helen Bannerman, who was born in Edinburgh in 1863, lived in India for thirty years. As a gift for her two little girls, she wrote and illustrated The Story of Little Black Sambo (1899), a story that clearly takes place in India (with its tigers and “ghi,” or melted butter), even though the names she gave her characters belie that setting.
For this new edition of Bannerman’s much beloved tale, the little boy, his mother, and his father have all been give authentic Indian names: Babaji, Mamaji, and Papaji. And Fred Marcellino’s high-spirited illustrations lovingly, memorably transform this old favorite. He gives a classic story new life.