I received a few more new books to add to my personal collection! These books are created by Indian authors and illustrators. With all the books available and easily accessible at your finger tips digitally, in libraries, book shops, I find it even more important for readers to intentionally look for diverse books, written from different parts of the world and with voices that share culture, challenges, experience, and perspective. There are plenty diverse books that are created, perhaps not in mainstream circulation. Try independent publishers or publishers that focus in a specific country. Here are two books that I love for each of their unique stories, themes, textures and colors in illustration from India.
A Kite Called Korika, written by Sharada Kolluru, pictures by K. P. Muraleedharan
A Kite Called Korika is a story "set in a village in Andhra Pradesh. The monsoon has failed in Yellaiah’s village and everything is dry and dusty. One day, he is sitting under a gnarled old peepal tree with an old woman called Rajamma who sells overripe fruits when he looks up at the sky and sees something black like a dot there. He keeps looking and finds it is a kite that’s descending downward and it falls right beside him. Excitedly he picks it up. Rajamma looks at the patterns on the kite and tells him it is a wish-fulfilling kite. So Yellaiah calls it Korika, which, in Telugu, means that which is wish fulfilling. Soon, all his friends are making wishes – for bangles, a school bag, a full meal... This moving story about dreams and fears is matched by tender pictures that explore the innocence and vulnerability of children."
Mukand and Riaz, written and pictures by Nina Sabnani
Mukand and Riaz, published by Tulika Books, is a "story set against the background of the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. But friendship between children knows no barbed wire fencing: all children play games, enjoy ice-cream and feel the loss of friends. Based on the memories of her father, animator Nina Sabnani made this film for the Big Small People Project, Israel, using the art of women's appliqué work, common to both Sindh in Pakistan and Gujarat in India, to provide a rich and textured visual experience. The film won a certificate of merit from the Tokyo Broadcasting System, Japan. Mukand and Riaz is essentially about every child's right to friendship and a home. Through shared memories, shared craft and shared histories, it offers deeply moving layers of meaning with which to identify and from which to draw strength."