I’m always impressed with the innovative and colorful books Tara Books publish. One of their latest, A Village Is a Busy Place! by Rohima Chitrakar and V. Geetha, is an activity book with a structure I’ve never seen before. It’s illustrated in the Bengal Patua style of scroll painting. It unfolds and the picture gets bigger and bigger, each illustration blending into the next, until it’s about 4 feet long.
It opens with plans for a wedding, shows what a normal day is like in the village, and how everyone works with each other to meet the village needs.
The text is on plain white paper, bordered in yellow. Children can look for the wedding chair, the cat, the cooks, the fishermen and other things described in the text. Because the illustrations are done in folk art style, the search will help develop visual literacy skills, as well as introduce the culture of the Santhal people, who are among India’s largest indigenous communities.
The book has a grommet in the top so it can be hung as a colorful work of art in a classroom, or in my case, my art studio. Here’a video by Indian Mom’s Connect that shows how the book unfolds:
It’s charming and wonderful to read to children,. They love to see new styles of books, books that surprise and delight.
You can find a copy of the book through Tara Books or Amazon.com. I urge you to look at Tara Books website. It shows the fascinating process of how their books are made as well as information on their many publications.
You can also see other books I’ve reviewed from Tara books here:
Don’t let your age keep you from reading picture books. Delight has no age limits.