Books by Anushka Ravishankar

HIC! by Anushka Ravishankar
Released: Sept. 15, 2017

"Laugh-out-loud fun. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A little South Asian girl in a dress and pigtails desperately tries to rid herself of the hiccups. Read full book review >
Released: June 9, 2015

"Perhaps the captain's next outing will find all its elements in better sync. (Graphic mystery. 7-9)"
Part clever Sherlock Holmes, part bumbling Maxwell Smart, the turbaned Capt. Coconut is a new detective on the scene. Read full book review >
THE BOY WHO DREW CATS by Anushka Ravishankar
Released: May 1, 2014

"Storytellers, students of folklore and those who appreciate seeing the work of international children's-book creators will all welcome this intriguing import. (Picture book/folk tale. 5-8)"
This adaptation of an (relatively) oft-told tale features a conversational text paired with illustrations that echo the story's Japanese origins. Read full book review >
THE RUMOR by Anushka Ravishankar
Released: May 8, 2012

"A playful take on a familiar cautionary tale is enlivened by Subcontinental flair. (Picture book. 4-7)"
A multicultural—and universal—lesson on the dangers of gossip. Read full book review >
EXCUSES, EXCUSES! by Anushka Ravishankar
Released: May 1, 2012

"An uneven, ambitious effort. (Picture book/poetry. 5-9)"
A narrator introduces readers to Neel, who, for every day of the week, makes a decision to better himself, then falls short—with good reason, as Neel himself explains in nonsense verse. Read full book review >
I LIKE CATS by Anushka Ravishankar
Released: April 1, 2011

On thick, roughly textured paper, a gallery of highly stylized felines created by over a dozen Indian folk artists in as many primitivist styles pose gracefully or are caught in mid-leap, staring steadily up at viewers with authentically catlike directness. The uniformly applied colors also seem to leap out, printed in a silkscreen process that gives them a lambent intensity that is heightened by sinuous, deep black lines defining each creature's distinctive shape and finely patterned fur. Paper, printing and binding all done by hand, this numbered edition of a 2009 title is a multisensory delight, as pleasing to the hand as it is to the eye. The deep red reflects light, the inky black absorbs it and each line provides a tactile experience, all demonstrating eloquently what is lost in the mass production of an art book. "Thin cats…Fat cats…Saintly cats…Brat cats," as Ravishankar's minimalist and sometimes arbitrary captions suggest all cavort across these pages. The slow cats (one red, one green) march in stately fashion; the dazed cats (done in an intricate pattern of tiny lines and spots in red, green, blue and yellow) stare glassily out at readers. A key at the back provides information about the artists and their styles. Packaged with an extra illustration laid in and a die-cut wrapping strip, this lovely artifact will be received eagerly by both cat lovers and connoisseurs of bookmaking. (Picture book. 6-9, adult)Read full book review >
ELEPHANTS NEVER FORGET! by Anushka Ravishankar
Released: March 21, 2008

A baby elephant suffers an identity crisis until he discovers where he really belongs. Separated from his herd during a thunderstorm, a little elephant is on his own in the jungle until he stumbles upon the water buffalo hangout. Happy with his new pals, the little elephant wallows and tumbles in the river and when a tiger drives the buffalo herd away, the elephant follows. As he grows big and strong, the elephant helps the buffalo by clearing jungle paths, showering them with his trunk and foraging leaves when the grass is dry. Even though he doesn't fit the buffalo profile with his large ears, long nose and huge physique, the elephant likes being a buffalo until some elephants arrive and he's forced to decide whether to join them or stay with his adopted herd. The onomatopoetic rhyming text effectively captures the cadence of chattering monkeys, bellowing buffalo, roaring tigers and tooting elephants, while bold illustrations reminiscent of primitive block prints embody the moves and moods of jungle critters in a striking palette of black, white and purple. A simple tale of nature versus nurture brilliantly rendered. (Picture book. 2-4)Read full book review >
CATCH THAT CROCODILE! by Anushka Ravishankar
Released: March 1, 2008

A scary reptile slithers into an Indian town and people go wild. Wearing her workaday sari, Falguni Fruitseller screams. Probin Policemen in his crisp shorts unsuccessfully uses his long stick to stop the animal. Doctor Dutta in his green suit attempts to use a sleeping potion, but "The injection / Changed its direction / The doctor will wake up in June." A famous wrestler steps up, but "The crocodile smiled / And opened its snout / Bhayanak Singh / Hopped quickly out." Young Meena finally solves the problem in a nonviolent way by luring the crocodile to the river with several fish. The terse but nonsensical verse (the author is sometimes called "India's Dr. Seuss") is best enjoyed if read aloud, although there are a few awkward rhymes. First published in India (1999), the lively typography excites with its swirls and different type sizes. Again collaborating with Ravishankar (Tiger on a Tree, 2002), Biswas uses a sketchy line with some solid areas of brown and green on a creamy background to evoke a folksy woodcut style. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

Readers with a taste for concrete poetry or typographic quips in general will enjoy this import. Designer/illustrator Ramanathan takes Ravishankar's nonsense verse—"I wouldn't mind if I could be a 12-armed octopus / or a pin-striped hippo-po-po-po-potamus / Anything I'd like to be / But please please please not a grabooberry"—and, using only the text plus a few extra doodles, works major visual changes from spread to spread, blowing some letters up to page size, scattering others in looping lines, shifting abruptly from red to green and back, and slipping in clever sight gags, such as an i that's dotted in more ways than one. Letter forms get put through more ingenious, not to mention strenuous, paces in de Vicq de Comptiers's Bembo's Zoo (2000), but this makes a silly-sounding, giggle-inducing read-aloud for younger audiences. (Picture book. 5-7)Read full book review >
TIGER ON A TREE by Anushka Ravishankar
Released: March 5, 2004

A nonsense import from India tells the story of an endearingly timid tiger. Minimalist verse follows the little fellow as he intrepidly crosses a stream and then encounters a terrifying goat: "Baaaaaaaa," says the goat, and "Yaaaaaaaah!" shrieks the tiger, who flees up a tree. A group of dhoti-clad men trap the tiger, debate what to do with him—"Send him to the zoo? Stick him up with glue? Paint him an electric blue?"—and, of course, eventually set him free. Thick, creamy stock supports the equally minimalist two-color illustrations (black and orange, natch), which depict a blobby little tiger with wide, distressed eyes and men of a variety of ages and body types (pot-bellies are prominent). The typography swoops and darts across the page, lending extra energy to the illustrations. The tale ends as it begins, with the "Tiger, tiger on the shore," happily returning home. Ravishankar is well-known in India for her Indian English nonsense verse and Biswas is one of the country's premier children's book illustrators; cheers to the publisher for bringing them to these shores. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >