At Champaca we often wonder about children and gender identity. We are curious to understand when children identify, associate, and assimilate the concept of gender and how this process is affected by their family, peers and cultural influences. As always, when we seek answers, we turn to books. If you have the same questions, please join us on the 29th of this month for a chat with children's author Ameya Narvankar. Ameya is the author of the picture book Ritu Weds Chandni and will be in conversation with Champaca’s curator and library educator Thejaswi Shivanand. They will be discussing writing about gender and sexuality for children! You could also browse through our ever-growing children’s collection which has many books that dabble with the same subject!
Every Child is an Artist
Have you noticed how all children love dabbling with art? At Champaca, we definitely think that all children are artists – just that some of us have stopped drawing. Today we have put together a few books from our collection about artists who started out as children and never stopped drawing. May their tribe increase!
The Artist by Ed Vere
Children are often told to colour within the lines– but one brave little artist went on one epic adventure to share her art, and in doing so learned that it really doesn't matter if you colour outside the lines! Read on to find out more!
The Noisy Paintbox by Barb Rosenstock
Vasily was a ‘proper’ boy. He studied math and science, sat up straight and was polite. But when he went to art class, he was not a ‘proper’ artist at all! When he mixed colours, Vasily heard sounds! This is the fascinating story of Vasily Kandinsky, one of the very first painters of abstract art. Throughout his life, Kandinsky experienced colours as sounds and sounds as colours.
Raza’s Bindu by Ritu Khoda
When young Raza’s teacher painted a dot to help him focus on his studies, Raza saw more than a bindu. It became a focal point for his creative expression. This fascinating story about Indian artist A.H Raza’s journey as an artist is interlaced with fun projects and beautiful illustrations!
The Met Hokusai by Susie Hodge
In this collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we meet the groundbreaking Japanese artist Hokusai. Step into his life and learn what led him to create more than 30,000 works of art, including his famous woodcut views of The Great Wave off Kanagawa and Mount Fuji. Did you know that Hokusai also created the first manga and believed that he would live till 110?
A slice of history… Picture Book Library/Museum, Iwaki, Japan
The city of Iwaki has a library for pre-schoolers, with only picture books. Conceived in 2003, it was originally meant for the children of three preschools in the area, but its stunning architecture, international collections and display started attracting visitors from around the world. It is open to the public only once a week – kids have it all to themselves and the rest of the time. The décor and the materials used in the building are extremely simple. All the colours come entirely from the picture books themselves, which are displayed with their covers facing outwards. The entire space, including the seating, railings and bathrooms are designed with little ones in mind.
Picture credit: www.iwaki-k.ac.jp