We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2016 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year.
As we celebrate the legendary and the mythical, I thought that this collected stories of Creation and the origins of art and the beginning of colours – would be the perfect book to share this week. I originally discovered this title at the International Youth Library in Munich, the home of the best and most beautiful books around the world.
Written and Illustrated by: Bhajju Shyam and Gita Wolf
Published by: Tara Books, 2014
ISBN: 938314503X (ISBN13: 9789383145034)
Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.
Tara Books publishes the most exquisite picturebooks imaginable, and this is no exception. Printed in heavy parchment paper (I don’t even know how they manage to do it – a remarkable feat in and of itself), each page shows a work of art captioned across varying creation stories from the unborn fish:
to the ultimate death and rebirth in the end:
Gita Wolf shared how this book came about in the Afterword, especially as Gita observed Bhajju’s fascination with the origin myths of the Gond Tribe in Central India, of which Bhajju is a part of:
We wanted to focus not only on cosmology, but also on something that is singular to the Gonds – and particularly Bhajju. It is an earthy sense of connection between belief and lived life, a rich world-view that is not merely abstract.
So for each of the origin myths, Bhajju came up with vignettes from everyday Gond life, and together, we decided on the visual correlatives which tied the two together.
This is a book that deserves to be in everyone’s classroom library. With all the discussion going on about the significance of #diversekidlit, this is a testament to a vision far grander and more expansive than anyone could ever imagine. Find this book. Read. Revel in the beauty of creation.