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Monday, September 20, 2010

Flight of the Mermaid

Well this week I have a really special treat for you. This whole week is a really awesome themed week full of some truly spectacular art coming from South India. This fabulous publishing company called Tara Books has introduced me to their line of products. Just to give you a little bit of information about the company, here's a snippit from their About Us page on their web site:

"Tara Books is an independent publisher of picture books for adults and children based in Chennai, South India. Now in our fifteenth year, we remain a collective of dedicated writers, designers and artists who strive for a union of fine form with rich content. We continue to work with a growing tribe of adventurous people from around the world. Fiercely independent, we publish a select list that straddles diverse genres, offering our readers unusual and rare voices in art and literature."


I wasn't completely sure what to expect when I was first told about the books, but once I opened the first one up and looked through it, I was completely blown away by the amazing work in the books. So basically this week, I'm going to enlighten you about some books you should seriously be aware of. This company is amazing and helps bring the artwork of South India to us through these brilliant books and you absolutely need to see them for yourself. Without further ado, I bring you my first Tara Books review of Flight of the Mermaid.

To start with, I am a huge fan of this classic fairy tale, not to mention the Disney movie which makes me oh so happy as well! We've all heard the story and many different variations, and yet this telling of the little mermaid is uniquely different and beautiful. It follows the same general plot of the original story with some changes, but what truly makes this book unique is not necessarily the telling of the story, so much as the beautiful illustrations that accompany it.

The book itself is a lovely hardcover book that comes with a removable fish made from the material the book cover is made from so you can glimpse the first page illustration of the mermaid herself. Each and every little thing drawn in the book is made up of smaller and stunningly intricate designs. Every colour in each drawing perfectly complements the illustration and help make the art pop out of the page. The illustrations at first glance might seem simple and child-like, but upon further inspection, again, the intricate designs in each item make the artwork so precious. It truly baffles me to think about how long the artist, Bhajju Shyam, worked to make these drawings so beautiful.

It really makes you realize that there is still so much art out there being made without the aid of computers in this nearly completely digital age. So much work has gone into this book that it's hard not to fall in love with it immediately. As a sidenote for children reading this book, it is an absolutely stunning book but for parents, don't forget that the original stories of the little mermaid are a lot darker than the fluffy (and amazing...) Disney version. With that being said though, the story is completely appropriate for readers of all ages in my humble opinion. With that being said, I will leave you with some images of the book from the Tara Books web site.







2 comments:

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