Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Indie Book Buzz: Tara Books

We are knee deep in Indie Book Buzz here at TNBBC. Over the next few weeks, we will be inviting members of the small press publishing houses to share which of their upcoming releases they are most excited about!

This week's picks come from Missi Smith, 
Assistant Publicist at 45th Parallel Communications.

Gobble You Up! by Sunita and Gita Wolf
Published by Tara Books
October 2013

What is it about?  Gobble You Up! is a delightful new children’s book based on a Rajasthani (North Indian) folktale about a wily jackal who, one by one, gobbles up his animal friends in an attempt to silence their criticism of his behavior. Yet after stuffing himself full of twelve fish, a peacock, a cat, and an elephant—just to name a few— the slightest sip of water causes his belly to burst open and all of his animal friends come tumbling out. But unlike in the similar folktale, The Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly, the jackal and all of the animals survive to play another day together in the forest.

Why am I excited about publishing it?  Gobble You Up! is the latest creation from Tara Books’ handmade book workshop. Here at Tara Books, we specialize in titles made completely by hand (silkscreened on handmade paper). Each copy of Gobble You Up! is a hand-numbered, limited edition work of (affordable) art.  The beautiful book, when opened, delivers a sensory experience of paper and ink rarely found in mass produced books and never found in digital reading. 

The book features illustrations by Sunita, an artist of the Rajasthani finger painting tradition called Mandna.  Historically a women’s art, mothers teach their daughters to paint in the Madna style.

Gobble You Up! is a work of art as well as a fun, whimsical story for children.  The jackal grows larger as his tummy fills with the other animals, and the illustrations show each one jumping into his belly.   Sunita’s illustrations and Gita Wolf’s story serve as an accessible art lesson as well as a conversation about traditions and stories that will spark the imagination.

Alone in the Forest by Bhajju Shyam, Gita Wolf, and Andrea Anastasio
Published by
Tara Books
September 2013

What is it about?  For the first time, Musa goes into the forest to fetch firewood all alone.  A loud crack in the darkness and shadows between the trees terrify him, but he fights his fears with triumph.  Alone in the Forest is illustrated by Bhajju Syam in the traditional Gond style that derives from the decorative patterns painted on the mud floors and walls of their houses in Madhya Pradesh in Central India.

Why am I excited about publishing it?  Like all of the titles published by Tara Books, there is a story behind the story.  Based in south India, most of our books feature traditional Indian art styles as illustrations—often for the very first time! Alone in the Forest is bright and colorful, and many young readers will relate to being fearful in the dark or on their own.  It is the perfect book to help children find ways to conquer fear, and it also serves as a lovely reminder to adults that sometimes we all need to face our fears in order to step out into the light.


Missi Smith is an Assistant Publicist at 45th Parallel Communications, the publicity and marketing firm representing Tara Books.

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