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Do! [Hardcover]

Gita Wolf , Ramesh Hengadi , Rasika Hengadi , Shantaram Dhadpe , Kusum Dhadpe

RRP: 10.99
Price: 8.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

24 Sep 2009
Do! is a set of action pictures, rendered in the traditional Warli style of art. It introduces basic verbs to the young reader through a series of brilliantly drawn pictograms, which both illustrate the verb, and tell a story. Every page or pair of pages invites the child to explore a busy world and make up her own tale.Warli art is done by people belonging to a tribal community that lives in Maharashtra in western India. The art conjures a world teeming with human figures, animals, plants, and birds.

To watch a making-of video of Do!, click here

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Do! + I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail + Drawing from the City
Price For All Three: 42.70

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More About the Author

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Product Description


Unique and assiduously crafted book … silk-screen printed on recycled craft paper the color of paper bags, lending an organic, rough-hewn feel … Parents will find the book's finesse and aesthetic appropriate for coffee table display, though kids should also grasp the concept and appreciate the stylish and dynamic imagery. (Publishers Weekly)

About the Author

Gita Wolf has written more than 14 books for children and adults. Considered one of the most original and creative voices 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. Several of her children's books have won major international awards.

Ramesh Hengadi is an artist working in the Warli tradition.

Rasika Hengadi is an artist working in the Warli tradition.

Shantaram Dhadpe is an artist working in the Warli tradition.

Kusum Dhadpe is an artist working in the Warli tradition.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exquisitely Beautiful and Unique Book 23 May 2012
By Deana - Published on Amazon.com
Having a 2 year-old obsessed with books I feel as though I've become an amateur children's literature officianado. I'm always on the look-out for something interesting - something with innovative or catchy language, beautiful illustrations, and that sparks the imagination. There is a lot of amazing children's literature available, but this book is in a league of its own. It is, firstly, quite unique - how many books do you come across illustrated by Worli artists from the Indian region of Maharashtra? The book itself is a work of art - exquisitely printed on hand-made paper (that seems to have the color and texture of the mud walls that Worli artists traditionally paint on) - and with beautiful, detailed images. This is a concept book, with each page containing images that depict a particular word (like 'read' or 'play'). The activities are focused on traditional Worli life, and it's fascinating to try to decipher what's taking place in each image. My son adores this book, and I think will do so for years to come. Would that there were more children's books like this. Thanks heavens for Tara Press - I buy all the children's books they produce, and they're all exquisite.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Do as I say, not as I . . . 29 Dec 2009
By E. R. Bird - Published on Amazon.com
Every year almost all the children's book publishers put out a whole lotta picture book schlock alongside some tiny gems. If you are a librarian, your job is to find those gems and to direct parents and teachers to them. Think of it as a game. It's like wading through muck to find a glint of gold. You can find it, but you have to be patient (and try to remember what gold looks like too). Particularly here in America, we children's librarians see lots of junk that looks exactly the same. So when I find myself handling a book like "Do!" I am almost at a loss to comprehend what I have before me. Tara Books is the only publisher in America that puts out handmade picture books straight out of places like Chennai, India. In "Do!" you have a fun concept book from the Warli tribal community. It's the kind of book that serves to remind us that there's more to literature for children than pretty sparkles and tales we've heard many times before. "Do!" I guarantee, is like nothing you'll find on your library shelves right now.

Action and rest are the name of the game in this fun picture book written by three artists of the Warli tribal community in Maharashtra, Western India. Open it up and you find yourself looking at a series of two-page spreads. On each one is at least one word describing what is going on. "Talk". "Cook". "Work". "Read". Some words are benign like "Fish". Others violent like "Fight". Through it all, multiple figures that are hardly more than stick people show the basic action that happens in their little village when accompanied by their livestock. A section at the end shows readers how to draw their own Warli-styled characters, and a final note discusses how the book was made and where it is from.

Picture books. Those funny little objects that we all deal with at some point in our lifetime, though few of us stop to think them through. What is the point of a picture book? To learn to read? To learn to love to read? To teach? To inform? To amuse? I hold "Do!" and I start to wonder. The book could do any of these things, but it seems to primarily want to allow the child reader the chance to pore over the pages, searching out all the little details. The book itself calls the Warli style of art "almost like pictograms." The characters are easily recognizable and even if the story didn't explain what was happening on a given page, kids could probably figure it out. That might not be a bad application of the book for the non-verbal, actually. Parents could turn to a two-page spread of something like the word "sit" and ask kids to figure out what all the characters and animals have in common.

The idea of a "handmade book" is its own problem. Is that a good or a bad thing? We think of "handmade" and sometimes our minds consider craftsmanship. Other times we think of slave labor. In the case of "Do!" we're dealing with the former. As the book's afterword on Warli Art explains, "Today it is not just the women, but many men who paint . . . and the art is used commercially." In the particular case of this title, each book has been silk-screen printed and bound by hand. Some editions even sport a little additional slip of paper that shows the process from screenprinting to typesetting to binding to stitching. The result is a sturdy, well-made book, with a cover of a deep chocolatey brown. There is no slipcover, and the endpapers show the repeated images of the circular dancing and folks reading in trees. I was also much taken with the color of the pages. We're so used to the bleached white of a book's page that for some reasons we're caught off-guard when confronted by brown. In "Do!" the words and pictures are of a thick white ink that shows up brilliantly against the muted paper landscape.

I read and reread "Do!" a couple times and you know what it reminded me of? Busy books where there's lots to see. "Where's Waldo?" or any of the Anno books ("Anno's U.S.A.", "Anno's Journey", etc.). Certainly the characters here are hardly more than stick figures but they convey everything they need to with as few lines as possible. Now I can tell you right here and now that this book won't be to everyone's taste. Hand it to the child who only loves pink sparkles and you will learn all too soon what they think of it. This is a book for the curious child. The one who's always trying to find the hidden details and images in their picture books. The inquisitive one who will stare rapt at these pages for hours on end. Let your kids be world travelers. Introduce them to "Do!".

Ages 3-8.
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