Timun Emas is an Indonesian folktale of a woman who longed for a child. Her wish was granted by a giant but there was a price. When the child has grown, the giant will come for her. That seemed like so far away and her desire so great that the woman agreed without further ado. The giant gave the woman some cucumber seeds with instructions that she should plant and take good care of them. The woman did as she was told and one day, one of the golden cucumbers ripened and inside was a beautiful baby girl. The woman named her child Timun Emas.
This folktale is similar to the story of Thumbelina from Denmark where a little child was born from the flower of barley corn. In another way, it is also similar to a German folktale, Rumpelstiltskin where a goblin helped a woman but the price was her firstborn.
How these stories come about, we can only guess. Folktales certainly reflect our shared humanity and much have been written about them and their meanings and significance. As an example, this story has been interpreted to mean the empowerment of women for in all cases, the women found a way to overcome a bad situation.
We are happy to present Evi Shelvia's retelling of this Indonesian folktale and she has added a delightful creature, the Kuda Kepang. Evi's gorgeous illustrations make this story all the more delightful and the book will be one to keep and treasure.
The publication date for this book is 30 December 2016 and will be made available for online purchase at www.oyezbookstore.com.
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