That's How I See Things

Overview

Siena Baba is a happy artist with a strange way of seeing the world—and an even stranger way of painting it. People say his pictures look like nothing they know, but that doesn’t bother him. Until one day, he starts to paint an extraordinary set of ani-mals who don’t seem to appreciate just how fantastic they are . . .

Bhajju Shyam, the renowned Gond tribal artist from India, illustrates this humorous and profound tale about the power of art ...

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2007 Hardcover Very good No DJ. Minor wear. Text is clean.

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Overview

Siena Baba is a happy artist with a strange way of seeing the world—and an even stranger way of painting it. People say his pictures look like nothing they know, but that doesn’t bother him. Until one day, he starts to paint an extraordinary set of ani-mals who don’t seem to appreciate just how fantastic they are . . .

Bhajju Shyam, the renowned Gond tribal artist from India, illustrates this humorous and profound tale about the power of art and the imagination.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
In this quirky, energetic picture book, a fictional artist rides the tide of his creativity. His perspective is decidedly odd, we find out. Where others see the full moon, he sees the sky with a hole in it. His snakes have wings. His animals cross the boundaries of species, sporting wild blends of feather, fur, and claws. Trouble begins when the animals he paints take exception to their creator's craft, and begin demanding that he listen to them. The harder he tries, the worse it gets, until the artist is exhausted. He needs to rest, so off he goes to dream, as all artists must do from time to time. When the answer to his dilemma emerges, it snaps the story shut in a most interesting way, evoking the irregular rhythms of some kinds of classical Indian music and story, rather than the customary European three-act structure. Bhajju Shyam's blend of indigenous art and contemporary motifs model in the person of his artist character the very traits the character in turn reveals in his animals. In this way, and in its reflexive, self-referent ending, this story comments upon itself in whimsical gestures that could well inspire young readers to try their hand at similar creative license. The text is simple enough to be almost self-effacing, creating space for the illustration to move in with the exuberance called for by the story. Perhaps it could be argued that the title is almost a little too plain, and does not do this lovely book justice. The painted forms simply burst off the page, combining textured detail with a bold sweep of line. The animal conflations are charmingly placed and contain elements of tree and animal shapes that can be encountered in other books illustrated by thistalented artist (e.g., The London Jungle Book).
Kirkus Reviews
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," 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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9788186211106
  • Publisher: Tara Books
  • Publication date: 8/1/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Bhajju Shyam, of the acclaimed The Night Life of Trees, is the finest living artist of the Gond tribe in India. Intricate and colourful, Bhajju's work is well-known throughout India and has been exhibited in the UK, Germany, Holland and Russia. From the walls of his tribal village home to international acclaim, Bhajju's has been an incredible creative journey. Gita Wolf has written more than seventeen books for children and adults. A highly original and creative voice in contemporary Indian publishing, she has pursued her interest in exploring and experimenting with the form of the book and its status as a revered cultural object. Many of her children's books have won major international awards. An exciting voice in contemporary Indian writing, Sirish Rao has authored over eighteen books, ranging from novels to children's books, re-tellings of myths to pop art collections. HIs books have won international awards and have been translated into several languages. His writing reflects his interest in nature, mountaineering, travel, eccentric people and the oddities of language.

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