And Land was Born
Sandhya Rao
Uma Krishnaswamy
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
nature and wildlife folktales folk art
picture book


When Sandhya Rao’s narration of a folk tale meets the tribalistic illustrations of Uma Krishnaswamy, reading magic happens.

Interestingly, the story is structured as a narration of a narration; Sandhya Rao is the voice of Guna Baba, a respected old man of the Bhilala tribe from Madhya Pradesh in India. The story is set in the time when humans and animals had to live in water – there was no land anywhere. They appeal to the four jugni matas, the mothers of the universe, to find them some land. The jugni matas in turn, chase an indolent and capricious god in their quest for land.

The twists of fantasy and the subtle humour that dot this story of creation, makes it an enchanting tale.

The delightful illustrations of Uma Krishnaswamy give this story a special edge. Inspired by murals of the Bhilala tribe, Uma’s use of dots, geometrical shapes, borders and bright colours emphasise the humour and tribal-esque feel of the story.

This book is also available in Hindi, Tamil, Kannada

Reviewed by Priya Bhasker