Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Veena Player

When we were living in Holland we were constantly amazed at how kids accompanied adults to museums, art installations, exhibitions; and in turn how child friendly these places were. At some point we  picked up a thin booklet published by Rijks Museum , Amsterdam, named 'Gordon the Warden, And His Rijksmuseum Top 5'. Five famous paintings are depicted in the booklet and by means of some clever riddles/ puzzles/ fun facts, children are encouraged to discover art and history. Here are some images of this booklet I took this morning to share on this blog.

Ever since we introduced books to our daughter , I have been on a constant lookout for age appropriate books that encouraged looking at art , history, culture in a fun way. And I think The Veena Player from Tulika books is a close find. Written by Anjali Raghbeer and illustrated by Soumya Menon , it is one of the four part books that leads children into the world of India's best known artists. This book is about the works of Ravi Varma.

I was a bit hum- ho about the story line but my 5 year old has reissued it several times from the library so I guess it does speak to her. Also, on our recent visit to Tranquebar- she recognized many of Ravi Varma's work displayed in the hotel lobby and that really made me think- "wow. the book did a good job in introducing the artist, then!" In the end the book has a 4 page description of Ravi Varma's life, his paintings, what made them special, and his influence on pop culture and art. That is interesting read for older children and adults like me who are not that well versed with art! My 5 year old sticks to the story and closely observes the art.

Priced at Rs. 200/- it is a bit steep but I think it is a book worthwhile for your collection. The other books in the series portray Amrita Sher-Gil, Jamini Roy and M.F Hussain.

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