Barefoot Hussain
Anjali Raghbeer
Soumya Menon
age group: 
7+ yrs
Number of pages: 
M.F.Hussain contemporary art artists

On a field trip to the Museum of Modern Art, little Jai gets lost in the museum.  To his surprise he bumps into the barefoot artist, Hussain, who has promised his sister that he would wear shoes for the opening of his show.  But now he can't find them. 

"A promise is a promise," says Hussain, and together they set off to find them. 

Hussain doodles a horse and off they go galloping.  And then, in a crazy whirl of events he doodles streets filled with people, umbrellas that take them flying across the city to Souza's house, and so on, until he is actually able to find himself a pair of shoes.  But now there is a new problem.  

It is interesting and motivating for children to view the juxtaposition of simple sketches of racing horses, a speeding chariot, rainbow-coloured flying umbrellas and the artist's major works, all together on the same double spread.  This is very much a visual book, but children will also find the zany adventure very satisfying.

Part of a Looking at Art series, this out of the ordinary book is an art lesson in itself and will be a valuable resource to both parents and teachers to to engage the child in the works and lives of India's leading contemporary artists.  The bibliography at the end of the book gives the reader a glimpse into the life and works of Maqbool Fida Hussain.

The story facilitates and enables children to learn about and appreciate – art in its essence. However, at times one wishes that the paintings printed in the book were somewhat larger in size.

Fun to read, and informative, too.  It is definitely a collector’s item!

Reviewed by Ruhi Gurjar