True to form, Tara Books’ new titles for young readers celebrate art, interaction and original ideas
Every time Tara Books has something new, it makes us proud that the publishing collective is based in Chennai. The latest set of picture books, designed for various ages, six and above, is a case in point. Gita Wolf, Tara’s publisher, is known for retelling classic tales in an innovative Indian format. Her team successfully turns the pages of a book into an art gallery, with the works of Patua scroll painters from Bengal and Gond artists, collage artists and more. Last month, the publishing house had Koki Oguma, a painter and art teacher at a nursery school from Japan, organise art workshops with children, and we can’t wait to find out if the experiment results in a book. For now, here are three new titles:Details: tarabooks.com
— Team Indulge
Captain Coconut & the Case of the Missing Bananas
Anushka Ravishankar &
If you have a book-crazy child, you certainly know Anuhka Ravishankar, the nonsense poet and children’s writer. She has called herself “a moody, erratic writer who is charged by deadlines” in the past, and this time, her degree in Mathematics shines right through with her detective, Captain Coconut. In this first book in the series, the eccentric protagonist follows a trail of peels and numbers. Ravishankar’s collaborator for the book, visual artist Priya Sundram, once again proves how talented she is. The Captain Coconut, incidentally, is also introduced via a short animation film, book reading and an art activity in select cities. Contact Tara Books if interested.
Visit the Bhil Carnival
Thispiece of work is so visually arresting that if you don’t have a six-year-old around, just frame it for your wall. The story is about two children at the annual carnival, Bhagoria, that the Bhil people of central India celebrate. The map brings together quirky signage, a pop-up and other details that make for a fun story. Bhil artist Subash Amaliyar’s traditional style works for the picture narrative. Collaborating with him are Wolf and designers Catriona Maciver and Oliver Mayes.
The Patua Pinocchio
Carlo Collodi, Swarna Chitrakar
Wolf has often said that great tales deserve to be repeated. This version of a children’s classic features art from the Patua scroll tradition. It pairs Carlo Collodi’s Italian story about the adventures of a marionette with strongly silhouetted renderings of animals and people from the award-winning Swarna Chitrakar. The bold cover design and the art inside, especially on P70, of 1,000 woodpeckers settling themselves on Pinocchio’s nose, is delightful.