Ilika Trivedi
COLOURS WITH RADHA KRISHNA (RANG RADHA KRISHNA KE SANG) by By Anjali Jaipuria and Sudeepti Tucker AdiDev Press, Boardbook, 2023, 20 pp., INR 699.00
November 2023, volume 47, No 11

Picture books hold a special place for children. They are a tool for learning, a visual journey, the basis for story time with family and a tactile resource for sensory exploration. Colours with Radha Krishna is a visual treat that is bound to capture the attention of children and make them involved in flipping through this book.
It is a beautiful hardcover book with thick pages that have a significant weight to them when you flip them slowly. It is easy to imagine holding a little child’s hand and guiding it through the pages of this book, while allowing her the time to feel the colours and illustrations through touch as well as sight. A short and crisp book, one can read it in one go to take it all in or go through it in parts, if required for the learning of children.
The poem that runs throughout the book is bilingual with simple rhymes. Both Hindi and English are given equal importance and going through the book is a great way to build on a child’s languages with simple words and visual supplements. There is a common issue for children to be more focused on a single language rather than being equally good in speaking and understanding both English and Hindi. The parallel story in both the languages is a good way to keep the emphasis on both Hindi and English, and parents can take care to ensure that children do not lose out on developing their basics in either of the languages. Parents can also read this book aloud to children in soothing voices and make story time a beautiful memory for the young ones.
Each page of the book focuses on a single colour and the poem that runs side by side describes the essence of that colour in its truest sense. Each colour also describes real world things that children see around them and would help them identify the colours of their natural surroundings. So, not only will children learn to identify new colours, but they will also develop the sense that rivers are said to be blue while honey is yellow and leaves are green. A unique aspect of this book is that the colours are not limited to the standard primary and secondary ones, but the book goes on to dedicate full pages to the metallic shades of gold and silver as well as the dynamic and pretty colour of pink and the mystical black. Children fond of art, drawing and colouring can also take inspiration from the fully fledged pages of this book and emulate the colours on their own, further developing their interest and learning in art.
The uniqueness of this book lies in the fact that it brings together a beloved couple of Hindu mythology and religion into a children’s book, both visually and lyrically. Since it is impossible to find anyone who does not know about Radha-Krishna in this country, this makes it a book that would be equally treasured and loved by all. The writing is supported by the friendly images of Radha and Krishna playing, dancing, or cherishing time together. This book can thus, act as a good starting point to introduce kids to these legends, through simple stories explaining their significance and importance.
Story time with children can be an experience with this book and parents can come back to this one repeatedly, either for its beautiful illustrations and art or for the lyrical poetry or simply for both.