Children (and adults) of all ages will be awed and inspired by the power and force of the artwork and majesty of this book,...


Ten artists representing six of India’s indigenous folk traditions offer a collective meditation on the sun and the moon.

This one-of-a-kind book, with the art applied by silkscreen onto handmade cotton paper, defies description or even analysis. It is, in one word, gorgeous. The book inspires reverence from the cover, with its sumptuous background of majestic purple complementing art that depicts the union of the sun and the moon seen through a cutout on the cover. Readers will want to dive in and absorb the intricate, vivid art on each page as well as to bask in the words that tell the simple tales of the sun and the moon as they have been handed down in six different tribal and folk traditions, including Gond, Mata-Ni-Pachedi, Madhubani, Meena, Patachitra, and Pithora. Each spread depicts the celestial orbs in a different folk or tribal style. The words are spare but evoke the tales told in the traditions from which the artwork—and artists—derives. But readers will hardly be aware of these details and differences. The saturated colors, the intricate drawings, and the simple yin and yang of the interwoven stories make this a harmonious whole.

Children (and adults) of all ages will be awed and inspired by the power and force of the artwork and majesty of this book, giving due tribute to humanity’s greatest celestial inspirations . (Picture book. All ages)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-93-83145-44-7

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Tara Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.



Photographer and author Stanton returns with a companion volume to Humans of New York (2013), this one with similarly affecting photographs of New Yorkers but also with some tales from his subjects’ mouths.

Readers of the first volume—and followers of the related site on Facebook and elsewhere—will feel immediately at home. The author has continued to photograph the human zoo: folks out in the streets and in the parks, in moods ranging from parade-happy to deep despair. He includes one running feature—“Today in Microfashion,” which shows images of little children dressed up in various arresting ways. He also provides some juxtapositions, images and/or stories that are related somehow. These range from surprising to forced to barely tolerable. One shows a man with a cat on his head and a woman with a large flowered headpiece, another a construction worker proud of his body and, on the facing page, a man in a wheelchair. The emotions course along the entire continuum of human passion: love, broken love, elation, depression, playfulness, argumentativeness, madness, arrogance, humility, pride, frustration, and confusion. We see varieties of the human costume, as well, from formalwear to homeless-wear. A few celebrities appear, President Barack Obama among them. The “stories” range from single-sentence comments and quips and complaints to more lengthy tales (none longer than a couple of pages). People talk about abusive parents, exes, struggles to succeed, addiction and recovery, dramatic failures, and lifelong happiness. Some deliver minirants (a neuroscientist is especially curmudgeonly), and the children often provide the most (often unintended) humor. One little boy with a fishing pole talks about a monster fish. Toward the end, the images seem to lead us toward hope. But then…a final photograph turns the light out once again.

A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-05890-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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A warm homage and affecting memoir.


The surprising cultural afterlife of a wad of gum.

In 1999, Australian musician and composer Ellis was in the audience at the Meltdown Festival in London, directed by his collaborator Nick Cave, eager to see Nina Simone, whom he venerated as a goddess. She walked out on stage, Ellis recalls, looking tired, defiant, angry, and in pain. When she sat down at the piano, she stuck the gum she was chewing on the underside of the keyboard. Feeding on the audience’s adulation, she gave a triumphant performance: “People were in shock. Faces wet with tears, not knowing where to look or how to speak. We had witnessed something monumental, a miracle. This communion that had taken place, between her and us.” After the concert, Ellis scrambled on stage, took the gum, wrapped it in her towel, and kept it. That wad of gum is the central image of the author’s guileless and reflective debut memoir, in which he recounts his musical career from the time he played violin, accordion, and flute as a child; his collaboration with Cave and the Bad Seeds and work with the Dirty Three; and the meaning of his treasure. Ellis believes his life changed once he took possession of the gum. He married and “weighed up what was important to me,” and he saw the gum’s significance emanate to others when Cave asked him to contribute it to an exhibition at the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen. Being separated from the gum felt traumatic: What if it were lost or stolen? “This tiny object,” he reflected, was gathering meaning “like a tornado”—to the empathetic jeweler who cast it in silver, the museum staff who exhibited it behind bulletproof glass wired with a burglar alarm, and everyone who viewed it. The gum represented Simone: “her voice, her strength and resolve. Her defiance, courage, fearlessness.” The book is illustrated with photographs of the gum’s unlikely journey.

A warm homage and affecting memoir.

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-571-36562-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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