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[IYL Finds | Nonfiction Wednesday] The Mythology of Origins in Bhajju Shyam and Gita Wolf’s “Creation”

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Myra here.

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.


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Creation

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:

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to the ultimate death and rebirth in the end:

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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.

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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.

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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.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Singapore. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she serves as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads or meeting up with her book club friends, she is smashing that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life.

1 comment on “[IYL Finds | Nonfiction Wednesday] The Mythology of Origins in Bhajju Shyam and Gita Wolf’s “Creation”

  1. crbrunelle

    This looks amazing. I’ve really enjoyed other titles by this author/illustrator team.

    Liked by 1 person

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