Illustrated and bilingual resources suitable for urban and rural schools alike: A range of beautiful books published by Tulika & Tara

The first chaang, the first elephant, once had big eyes,
Which the animals thought looked beautiful and wise.
Then, along came a bird, a wagtail, and… 
Told in verse, this folktale from the Tai Phake people of India’s northeast is gentle and funny.

Why The Elephant Has Tiny Eyes
by Pow Aim Hailowng & Priya Kuriyan
in 8 Indian languages and English >>
Learn more about tribal culture & Tulika books >>

Source: Why The Elephant Has Tiny Eyes
Date Visited: 15 March 2021

“As kids, we had to remember poems by heart to write them during exams. I always found it easy to remember poems that employed a rhyme scheme. For example, R. L. Stevenson’s poems, Travel – ‘I would like to rise and go, where the golden apples grow’, and The Vagabond– ‘Give to me the life I love, Let the lave go by me, Give the jolly heaven above, And the byway nigh me’, are still etched in my memory. Primarily because they rhymed and had a singsong wave to their rhythm. Of course, I understood their deeper meanings only years later. So when I tried to recall what I loved as a kid, and how easy it was to grasp something in verse form, I realized that kids would enjoy verse more. But, I also had a lot of fun rhyming the words. […]” – Excerpt from an interview with Pow Aim Hailowng >>

“The uniqueness of northeast states of India lies in their cultures” | Learn more >>

In Marginalised but not Defeated, Tarun Kanti Bose (a seasoned public interest journalist) “talks about the Khasis, Nagas, Karbis, Garos, Rabhas, Misings, Daflas, Bodos, Akas and others in the North-east. […] The mainstream development paradigm is being questioned and new rainbows of collective, community reassertions are happening across the tribal belt in India. More so, in most cases, led by brave, empowered and resilient women.” | Learn more: >>

Find this title in several languages here: >>
Childhood | Bhil art and culture >>

Kuk.. Kuk.. The poor rooster can’t KUKAROOKOO because his throat is so parched. There is not a drop of water left in the village pond. The only hope is to find a badwa who can ask the gods to send rain. What does the badwa tell them to do? Go home and paint! The adventure-filled origin myth about Bhil art revolves around the thirst for rain and water conservation – important for the people living in the dry western and central parts of India. Their close interaction with the natural world finds an abiding expression in their art, called pithora. Painting is like prayer for the Bhils, and each dot in the vibrant and colourful patterns represents an ancestor whom they invoke for the well-being of all forms of life. A Bhil Story was developed during a workshop at the Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay, supported by the Tata Centre for Technology and Design after which Nina and her team travelled with Sher Singh to his village. They recorded the story in the voices of the villagers for an animated film called Ek Bhil Ni Varta, from which the book evolved. The entire collaboration has created a stunning picture book that is humorous and dramatic.

Source: A Bhil Story
Date Visited: 15 March 2021

Turning pages with Tulika

As the city-based publishing house turns 20, managing editor Radhika Menon discusses their journey with RAVEENA JOSEPH  […]

Today, Tulika has worked with 150 authors, 125 illustrators and 100 translators. They have produced books that reflect contemporary Indian sensibilities in many regional languages, including Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati and Bengali, and the occasional book in Oriya, Urdu and Punjabi. They have also sold international rights to 70 titles, and digital rights to 75. “Looking back, we’ve always aimed at mainstream readership, which is a diverse audience with different needs. If we were English publishers, for instance, we’d only be publishing for an urban audience.”

Given the focus on multiple languages, the books are inclusive and reach 3.5 million children every year. The topics too, are wide-ranging — disability ( Kanna Panna), adoption ( The Lonely King and Queen ), exile and separation ( Mukand and Riaz ), deprivation ( My Friend the Sea ) , caste ( Ju’s Story ), drugs, broken homes, same-sex families. “Children’s books have always reflected the larger society and context. I don’t believe in any taboos; it’s about how the story is written. A really good writer and illustrator can communicate even the most sensitive issue in a child-friendly and accessible manner.”

Even with complaints about the shortening attention span, thanks to gadgets, Radhika says she hasn’t sensed a drop in reading habits. “We find that more of our books are selling, which means more are reading.” Books, she says, will always find their place in a child’s life.

Source: Turning pages with Tulika – Chennai – The Hindu (26 February 2016)
Date Visited: 15 March 2021

MADHUMITHA SRINIVASAN, The Hindu, October 15, 2012

Books with pictures make for interesting reading. It is the picture that invites you to read the book. Check out India’s rich and varied folk art forms. […]

Folk art like Gond, Warli, Madhubani, Patua and Kalighat are now slowly garnering the attention and credit they deserve thanks to such creative initiatives that also ensure that you become more aware of our folk art tradition before you familiarise yourself with the fine art. […]

Here are some of the folk art traditions and books that use them for illustrations…

Community: The Gonds, the largest tribal community in India
Region: Chhindwara district in Madhya Pradesh, Bastar in Chhattisgarh, parts of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa.
Themes: Draws inspiration from nature and social customs.
Features: The images are decorated by a distinct, repetitive pattern of dots, dashes and waves that add intricate detailing to the flora and fauna. They use the art as a means to record history.
Mai and Her Friends by Durga Bai, Katha
The London Jungle Book by Bhajju Shyam, Tara Books
The Old Animals’ Forest Band by Sirish Rao, Tara Books […]

Region: Originated in Warli village, Thane district, Maharashtra. Now indigenous to Dahani, Nashik and Dhulr districts of Maharashtra, Valsad district of Gujarat and the union territories of Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu
Themes: Marriage, harvest and other activities like hunting, fishing and dancing.
Features: The art uses basic geometric shapes like circle — derived from sun and moon, triangle — from hills and tree tops and square — denoting a piece of land is significant to Warli art. The paintings are monochromatic — white (a mixture of rice paste and water with gum for binding) against the predominantly red or brown of the walls (mixture of branches, earth and cow dung)
Do! by Gita Wolf, Tara Books
Where’s the Sun by Niveditha Subramaniam, Tulika
Dancing on Walls by Shamim Padamsee, Tulika […]

Source: Art that tells a story – The Hindu (15 October 2012)
Date Visited: 15 March 2021

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