Mamta Nainy
Shanti Devi
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
villages Madhubani art folk art
picture book

Champa, fondly called Guddu by her mother, is a little girl from a village near Mithila. She wants to show us around her village. But as it is a very hot day, she cleverly decides to give us a virtual tour through images that she herself has painted.

Beautifully illustrated by Shanta Devi, a Madhubani artist, the book is mainly a story in pictures. Life in the village unfolds before our eyes as we flip through the pages. We see images of women at the well, men seated at the choupal drinking hot tea and children buying candy-floss from a vendor.

Guddu also gives us a peek into some of the festivals they celebrate. Nag Panchmi in which women offer milk to the snakes and others in which they decorate their walls using paints derived from natural sources, as well as the special Alpanas or floor paintings used during the different months of the year.

We get a glimpse of the abundance of birds and other wildlife that live undisturbed and un-harassed in a society that understands and welcomes the universality of all living things.

Minimal text and vibrant illustrations by an accomplished Madhubani artist presents a great opportunity for children to look at and discuss with a parent or a teacher, or, maybe just soak it all in themselves.

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee