Hema Vijay’s article talks about the handmade books being produced by Tara Books and how they are making the world fall in love with Indian folklore.
Today, if children in western countries are enjoying stories based on Indian mythology and tribal folklores, as much as they love their Walt Disney animations and fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, then a great deal of the credit should go to Gita Wolf and her publishing house, Tara Books.
For two decades now, this Chennai-based children’s book writer-turned-publisher has been churning out stories on literature, folk art, philosophy and politics with intriguing narratives and mesmerising imagery imprinted on fabulously textured handmade paper.
Presenting their brand of creativity in this already unique world of eclectic storytellers are tribal artists from different parts of India. How did the publishing house hit upon the game-changing idea of getting these tribal artists to illustrate their books?
Explains Gita, “We felt that India has several living art traditions that need to be explored. We network with museums, craft centres, and, of course, our researchers go to different villages across India to locate these tribal and folk artists.Our books derive heavily from such research explorations because tribal art offers new ways of seeing the world and is great for illustrating children’s books.”