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From the Trade Winds series

by Hye-Eun Shin ; illustrated by Su-Bi Jeong ; edited by Joy Cowley

Pub Date: Aug. 28th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5476-6
Publisher: Eerdmans

The women of the Warli people of western India first produced wall murals, but now men commercially produce these designs on paper and canvases.

Focusing on quotidian activities, these paintings are highly recognizable due to their use of geometric shapes, including figures created with two triangles, one inverted above the other. White, rice-flour people, animals, trees, and symbols are traditionally painted on dark backgrounds made of red mud or cow dung. Jeong has skillfully created a series of paintings that look like the originals. She has taken a few liberties in doing one double-page spread with brown ink on a beige background and one illustration with a green background. Part of the Trade Winds series “featuring stories set in key periods of the history of economy and culture,” the book’s main attraction is the strong illustrations, which will probably appeal more to adults interested in folk art than young children. The simple text accompanying each spread is appropriate for children but often seems so generalized that it could almost describe any agricultural society. Troublingly, the book almost gives the impression that the Warli people no longer exist. The backmatter attempts to contextualize this culture within other agricultural societies but confuses rather than enlightens.

Not of general interest to the intended audience.

(cultural, historical, and art-historical notes, glossary, timeline) (Informational picture book. 6-9)