Saturday, March 26, 2016

Incredible South Asian Book Pictures, part 2: traditional tales

The first post in this mini-series about the South Asia Book Award (SABA) covered biographies and realistic fiction books, as well as more details about the award itself. Read part 1 here.

This post will focus on traditional tales from South Asia that have been honored with a South Asia Book Award, honor, or highly commended. This is one of a series of posts featuring books chosen by Diverse Book Awards. Click the Award Winning Books tag for more!

Incredible South Asia Traditional Tales

The Wooden Sword: a Jewish folktale from Afghanistan (2012) by Ann Redisch Stampler and Carol Liddiment. (A SABA Honor Book)

This folktale comes from Afghanistan and features a curious shah and a dedicated Jewish shoemaker. The shah tries each day to test the man's faith, but his commitment never wavers. I appreciate in the author's note how much detail she shares about the research and work that went in to making sure the book was historically and culturally respectful.

The Wise Fool: Fables from the Islamic World by Shakrukh Husain and illustrated by Micha Archer. (A SABA Highly Commended Book.)

This anthology of stories about Mulla Nasruddin or Khoja focuses on his pan-Islamic influences links to central Asia, south Asia, and beyond, and the artwork showcases a variety of styles and influences. This book is also included in my text set of "Foolish" Wise Men: folktales from India and the Middle East.

Gobble You Up! (2013) by Sunita with text by Gita Wolf. (A SABA Highly Commended Book)

This cumulative folktale is an adaptation of a Rajasthani trickster tale told through Mandna artwork, a traditional finger-painting style from the Meena village. The hand-bound nature of the book's construction further amplifies the handiwork involved in creating this unique book. Combined with an engaging and humorous text, this book is sure to delight! Another excellent arts integration project-in-waiting.

Ganesha's Sweet Tooth (2012) by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes and illustrated by Sanjay Patel. (A SABA Highly Commended Book)

This is a highly entertaining and engaging picture book about Ganesha and the writing of the Mahabharata, though it is more accurate-described by the authors as "loosely based" on the Hindu legend. These is some charming humor and visual effects that kids will enjoy, and the bright, stylistic artwork adds to the joyful exuberance of this story.

The Fantastic Adventures of Krishna (2013) by Demi (A SABA Highly Commended Book)

This book shares the childhood adventures of Krishna, the Hindu Lord Vishnu reborn on earth to defeat the evil demon kings. The wide variety of spectacular and menacing demons are rendered in dramatic fashion through Demi's brightly colored artwork. A truly fantastic way to share these stories with kids.

Looking for more great South Asia books? Please read Part 1: biographies and realistic fiction and check out my post on Picture Books from India. What is your favorite book set in South Asia?

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