Designed to suggest a scroll created by the Patuas, an artisan community in West Bengal, this title presents a day in the life of the Santhal people—an indigenous Indian people.
The book has a landscape orientation, but the sturdy paper unfolds vertically, one section at a time; when the book is completely “unscrolled,” it can be hung from a grommet. The top portion of each opening shows teeming crowds of brown, orange, and gray bodies moving through their tasks and celebrations against a vibrant red background, from morning until night. Children will enjoy listening to the informative, interactive text—displayed on the restful, white lower spreads—and searching, Where’s Waldo–style, for specific items mentioned in the text: the special chair for the bride, the musicians with drums and horns, the village cow. The yellow border unifies the six foldouts, which navigate from the wedding feast and common space to evening activities and the rainy season. Every object and figure is outlined in black, including the eyes, which express a range of emotions, even within the limits of faces shown in profile. Energy emerges from strong colors, bold patterns, and the diagonals formed by roads and train cars. Close observers will notice some of the same characters moving through the scenes of fishing, cooking, baby-washing, wheat-cleaning, and dancing.
A clever format and appealing content provide a joyful glimpse at another culture. (Picture book. 4-8)