Basically good
Priyanka Singh

Biju Spins Some Magic
by Jaya Jaitly.

Mumtaz Embroiders
Her Dreams
by Jolly Rohatgi.

Bulli and the Tiger
by Shalini Reys

Manu Mixes Clay
and Sunshine
by Bulbul Sharma.
Puffin. Rs 75 each.

Puffin has released a series of four books for children, each distinct in content but similar in their rich Indian flavour. The authors are either associated with the NGOs or have closely worked with artisans and craftspeople from time to time.

The books have used lustrous paper, are brightly coloured and beautifully illustrated in styles that are Madhubani, patachitra, sanjhi (art of paper-cutting) and Gond, a manner of painting. The illustrations are by master craftsmen and artists who have been awarded for their talent.

Biju Spins Some Magic is about Biju and his family of weavers. For the young Biju, the electronic toys at a rich customerís house in the city present a world alien to his own. For the city boy, a charkha is a complex contraption, and Biju, in teaching him to make yarn, wins his admiration.

Jolly Rohatgi works with an NGO for special children and writes an inspiring story of Mumtaz who canít walk and has come from her village to Lucknow to learn the fine, intricate art of chikankari.

Her imaginative patterns become symbolic of her will and her talent is soon recognised as the finest in the city. Her disability canít limit her and her imagination liberates her.

Bulli and the Tiger is about a determined young girl in Assam who is even willing to face the legendary tiger if it means finding bamboo for her family of basket weavers.

Bulbul Sharma revolves the story around a family of potters in Manu Mixes Clay and Sunshine. Their small pleasures and simple living makes for an interesting peek into the life of a potter. Manuís choice of a gift for his hardworking father and the way he goes about acquiring it, reveals his innocence and sensitivity.

The books are a product of the Dastkari Haat Samiti and look at the lives of children in rural artisan families across India. Local art form and craftwork have been used to delight children and stoke their imagination.