Books by Sirish Rao

THE OLD ANIMALS’ FOREST BAND by Sirish Rao
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

A delightful adaptation sets the Brothers Grimm's "Bremen Town Musicians" in the Indian countryside. Cow (used here instead of the traditional cat), donkey, dog and rooster, thrown out by their respective masters because of their age, rout a band of robbers from an abandoned house. When they return the stolen jewels and gold to the villagers, their owners suddenly want them back, but the animals have other plans: They'll form the Old Animals' Forest Band. The swiftly told tale differs from the original in some details (the animals never set out specifically to be musicians, for instance), but the story has the same general outline of events and retains the familiar image of the four animals perched on each other's backs. Bai, a Gond artist from Madhya Pradesh in central India, gives the illustrations subcontinental flair. Within each flat object, animal or person, repetitive shapes and cross-hatchings in delicate ink lines build up fascinating patterns that hold the eyes, making for a striking visual effect that shifts depending on the viewers' distance. A highly successful blend of text and illustrations. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
THAT’S HOW I SEE THINGS by Sirish Rao
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 15, 2007

An artist's offbeat creativity renders his own brainchildren homeless until he dreams up a solution. Siena Baba is a painter who "saw things differently from other people." Where most people see a full moon, Siena Baba sees a sky with a white hole in it. So when he decides to "paint some animals for his house," the results are anatomically unorthodox. "Hello Pea-pig<\b>," he greets his first creation, porcine with feathers, "You look beautiful." But the Pea-pig is less than thrilled, as are the Blue-jion (blue jay with a roaring lion's head), Croco-rooster, Ele-crab, Monk-upine and so on. " ‘HELP!' they all cried together," unhappy and confused. Siena Baba sleeps on the problem and produces a delightful solution for his grumpy blended creatures. Shyam's flat, patterned technique includes attractive composition and design, though the choice of style means a lack of facial expressions to capture the animals' emotions as voiced in the text. A richly concise, neatly cerebral little tale. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
IN THE DARK by Gita Wolf
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

A specialty item, this small import has a neatly hand-lettered text that has been letterpress-printed, alongside two-color silk-screened illustrations, on handmade paper, and packaged in a small pouch of the same material—not tailored to libraries. The story is a somewhat expanded version of "The Blind Men and the Elephant," featuring a mason, a fisherman, a woodcutter, a horseman, and a musician—all of whom run into an elephant one night and form differing opinions as to its nature. It's a handsome piece of bookmaking, pleasant to see, touch, even to smell—but with more appeal as an object than for its oft-told contents. (Picture book. 7-9)Read full book review >