'I Like Cats': A Showcase of South Indian Fair-Trade Folk Art

By Maria Popova

We've already featured The Night Life of Trees -- an incredible handmade book based on Indian mythology, crafted by a commune of artists, designers, and writers in South Indian independent publisher Tara Books' fair-trade workshop in Chennai. Among Tara's many other treats is the exceptonal I Like Cats -- part lovely children's picture book, part priceless showcase of work by some of the best-known tribal and folk artists from various Indian traditions. Each rich, textured page is screen-printed by hand and features a different cat. (In the vein of this week's inadvertent running theme of cats -- as a piece of Edison's marketing genius, a key to the future of computing, and now an ambassador of Indian artisanal culture.)

The simple but clever verse of author Anushka Ravishankar are part Dr. Seuss, part Blexbolex, part wholly different kind of playful poetry.

As if the book itself wasn't enough of a jewel, it comes with a frameable screenprint.

Like other Tara Books gems, I Like Cats comes in several limited-edition runs of 2000 copies, each hand-numbered on the back and featuring a different artwork on the front cover.

Images: Maria Popova.

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This post also appears on Brain Pickings.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/09/i-like-cats-a-showcase-of-south-indian-fair-trade-folk-art/245574/