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The Sage’s Daughter, A Folk Tale from India

As a children's book illustrator, Denise has many things to say about the process, her struggles, and children's books on the market today.

S is for the Sage's Daughter, a Folk Tale from India

S is for the Sage's Daughter, a Folk Tale from India

My Children’s Alphabet Book

If you have followed my Fairy Tale Alphabet book series, you know I created a children’s book using fairy tales for each letter of the alphabet. I tried to keep them global, and not concentrate on only the classic Grimm’s fairy tales. This one is a tale from India. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

— Albert Einstein

I started with photo references collaged together to make choosing the right characters easier.

I started with photo references collaged together to make choosing the right characters easier.

The Sage’s Daughter, A Folk Tale of India

Once upon a time, there lived a wise Sage and his wife. One day, when the Sage was in the temple, a mouse dropped from a kite into the lap of the Sage. The Sage thought that God had sent this mouse to him. Fearing if he took the mouse home, people would laugh at him, so he changed the mouse into a girl.

At home, the wife said, “Since you are her father, I am her mother. God must have sent her to us because we don’t have any children”.

The Sage accepted this and they brought up the Girl as their own daughter. Soon the Girl grew into a beautiful maiden. By the age of sixteen, the Sage’s wife asked her husband to find a suitable husband for their daughter. The Sage liked the idea and suggested that the Sun God would make the best match for their daughter.

The Girl refused the Sun God stating that he was too burning hot and she would be reduced to ashes if she married him. The Sun God suggested the Lord of Clouds as a good match for her because he could stop the rays of the Sun. But again the Girl refused. She said she couldn’t marry such a dark person that could throw lightning and thunder about. The Lord of the Clouds suggested as a match the Wind God who could blow him away. But she refused the Wind God because he was always mixing and moving. The Wind God suggested the Lord of the Mountain who could stop the blowing wind. But the Girl refused the Lord of the Mountain. “He is too cold-hearted,” she said. The Lord of the Mountain suggested a mouse as a match because they can easily make holes in the mountain.

Now the daughter approved of the idea of marrying a he-mouse. The Sage smiled and said, “This is destiny. You came as a mouse and you were fated to marry a mouse”. Saying this, the Sage switched the Girl back into a mouse. The Girl mouse got married to the boy mouse and they lived happily thereafter.

Thumbnail sketch

Thumbnail sketch

Collage Illustrations

I used a photo of a little mouse and a girl lighting a candle for a photo reference. I did make a video for this collage so you can see my progress on the collage. I do hope you enjoy the progress of this collage.

Value Sketch

Value Sketch

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

— Neil Gaiman, Coraline

Published with Lulu

This fairy tale has been shortened to fit into my book along with all the other letters of the alphabet. If you would like to read the full version, you can Google the title and find the story as The Sage’s Daughter.

My book, The FairyTale Alphabet Book, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales from Around the World, was self-published last year with Lulu.com because Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing) refused to allow illustrations that spanned the central gutter of the page. They demanded at least a half-inch margin around the outside, which I could have done, and a half-inch margin through the center margin, which would destroy the look and cohesiveness of the double-page illustrations. I had to find a different publisher who would allow the illustrations the way I wanted them. KDP obviously does not understand illustrated children’s picture books. If you are interested in purchasing the book, go to the Lulu website and put my name or the name of the book in the search.

The Color Composition for the illustration.

The Color Composition for the illustration.

Did You Notice

In my collages, I use paper from magazines, old wall calendars, catalogs, and circulars. Often I will add things into a collage you can't see unless you are looking for it.

“If you happen to read fairy tales, you will observe that one idea runs from one end of them to the other--the idea that peace and happiness can only exist on some condition. This idea, which is the core of ethics, is the core of the nursery-tales.”

— G.K. Chesterton

The finished illustration with the background blue and the candle glow from Photoshop.

The finished illustration with the background blue and the candle glow from Photoshop.

Final Thoughts

I hope you like my story and my fairy tale alphabet book idea. If you are interested you can purchase it on Lulu but not on Amazon. I’d love to read your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

Comments

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on March 04, 2021:

MG Singh emge,

I wonder if you have even heard this one before. I loved illustrating it. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on August 30, 2020:

Peggy Woods,

I hope you liked the ending as much as I did. How clever that the girl found the perfect husband for her. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 29, 2020:

I am enjoying the learning of folktales from around the world. This one from India was new to me. As always, your artwork is superb!

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on March 30, 2020:

William Kovacic,

Well, that's nice of you to say. I am truly glad you like my work. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on March 29, 2020:

Another master - piece in the master project. Cute tale and of course, the artwork is always great, Denise.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on March 28, 2020:

Devika Primić,

I'm so glad you think so. I wanted these stories to be unique and interesting. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on March 28, 2020:

Kyler J Falk,

I'm overjoyed that you think so. I really worked at finding just the right stories for each country and tried not to do more than 2 to represent each. I think I failed on a couple. It is hard to stay away from English and German fairy tales. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on March 28, 2020:

Liz Westwood,

I'm so glad you liked it. It means a lot to me that you visit and comment. Thanks.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on March 28, 2020:

Marie Flint,

Well, you are incredibly observant. I didn't think anyone would notice. I changed the text somewhat for this hub but read it directly from the book for the video. I'm glad you liked the story. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 28, 2020:

I like your stories so interesting and your idea of India tales makes this hub unique

Kyler J Falk from California on March 27, 2020:

I really like that you are choosing a more global scope, rather than honing in on "classics" that we all know. Inclusion is so important, and I'd say you're nailing it!

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on March 27, 2020:

Dr Pran Rangan,

I'm like you. I love fairy tales too. I'll never grow up. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on March 27, 2020:

RoadMonkey,

Yes, those collages take lots of time. I sped the video up 20 times of normal speed. What only took about 9 minutes in the video to several hours in real time. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on March 27, 2020:

Raymond Philippe,

I am humbled that you think so. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on March 27, 2020:

Venkatachari M,

I'm so happy you enjoyed my story and my collage video. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on March 27, 2020:

Linda Lum,

Yes, I would think they were sad to see their daughter go back to being a mouse, yet if she were a real daughter and married, she would go away to live with her new husband. This way they both are welcome in the Sage's home, right? I thought it was a sweet story. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on March 27, 2020:

Lorna Lamon,

Thank you for saying so but I didn't think it turned out as good as I had envisioned. That happens sometimes. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Liz Westwood from UK on March 27, 2020:

This is new to me. You have retold and illustrated this tale well.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on March 27, 2020:

I liked your story and the way you depicted it. Fascinating stuff.

Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on March 27, 2020:

This is an interesting story because, more often than not, it's a person that has been bewitched and taken the form of an animal. In this case, it's the other way around.

I noted that your text version of the story is different than your oral version in your collage video. That's okay. I just wonder which you will actually use in the book publication.

It's nice to think that even mice can live happily ever after.

Fun stuff!

Dr Pran Rangan from Kanpur (UP), India on March 26, 2020:

It is really a nice story. Fairy tales are not only liked by children but by some adults as well. I like them too. Thanks Denise for sharing.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on March 26, 2020:

Bill Holland,

I'll have to ponder that for a while. I'm not sure how to do that but I'll think on it. Thanks for your help.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on March 26, 2020:

Mitara N,

I'm so happy you liked it. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

RoadMonkey on March 26, 2020:

fascinating watching the video of you creating a collage. You make it look easy but I am sure it takes a lot of skill to make it look so.

Raymond Philippe from The Netherlands on March 26, 2020:

It strikes me how beautifully you illustrate your stories with your collages.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on March 26, 2020:

A nice story that will definitely entertain and please the children. The video is very interesting. Enjoyed it very much.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on March 26, 2020:

Another tale I had never heard of; what an interesting story, but weren't the Sage and his wife saddened when their girl reverted to being a mouse? I love your use of Photoshop to create the flame, and the mouse groom is precious. Good job

Lorna Lamon on March 26, 2020:

Such a sweet tale from India and how beautiful the illustration. Lovely work as usual Denise.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 26, 2020:

Pay attention to the storyline of the folk tale. Incorporate that storytelling style into your proposed kids' book we were talking about.

Mitara N from South Africa on March 26, 2020:

You have a wonderful story line, had to read it to the end.

Absolute brilliance

Thank you for sharing

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