Sunday, May 5, 2013

We come from the Geese

Text: Ruby Hembrom, Illustrations: Boski Jain, Publisher: adivaani, Price: INR 90

How did we come into being?

Many answers to that question exist.

We come from the Geese tells you a different story of creation, a story of creation that the Santals have grown up hearing for generations—a story that has now found its place amidst pages. Pages that have been beautifully and thoughtfully designed. We come from the Geese tells the story of Hās and Hāsil, the geese from whom the adivasis came into being.

In recent times few independent publishers have published some beautiful illustrated books for children. Tara Books has been a frontrunner and they have come up with stunning creations like I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail on their list. The narrative of adivaani’s latest offering also unfolds in a similar manner as some of Tara’s books—short crisp sentences, and full page black and white visuals. The result is a stunning book that tells a story compellingly.

The illustrations by Boski Jain are captivating and complement the story perfectly. Be it the menacing eyes of the supreme creator Thakur Jiv or the massive Sin Sadom, the day horse—they are given a visual form that engages the reader’s mind. Through an exciting interplay between words and visuals a new world unfolds before the reader.

Today our kids don’t read. If they do, it is almost always English texts (if not textbooks). In such times books that tell us about the hitherto untold and unknown traditions and folklore, are the need of the hour.  
The copyright page says that the book was ‘written to rescue one of the many oral stories of the Santal people’. adivaani through this wonderful effort tries to preserve the stories that have passed on from one generation to another. We could do with more such creations. Looking forward to their new releases.

Hutoom gives a claws up to this book. High Five!

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