An autobiography holds a special significance, and especially if it comes from one of the greatest painters of our times. Sayed Haider Raza is a name that immediately recalls a very simple symbol- the Bindu. The famed artist has won critical acclaim all over the world with his deep impactful work. However, he remains universally popular thanks to his depiction of the simple dot, aka Bindu, on his canvases. Katha Books brings him back to life in a new book, and opens up the world of Raza for children. Raza by Raza is a beautifully illustrated and delightful autobiography, written especially with young readers in mind.
Sayed Haider Raza starts with the story of how simple beginnings in a small village called Babaria in Madhya Pradesh, laid the foundations of Raza’s artistic journey. It was at a very young age that a teacher introduced Raza to the ‘dot’ which would go on to define his work deeply.
The book has been written in the first person, which makes it quite relatable for children. It encapsulates briefly a very long a commendable journey- from his village, to Nagpur, then Bombay and finally Paris.
Each page has a full representation of one of Raza’s paintings and hence by the time the child finishes the book, he or she would have had the opportunity of to look at select images of his artwork as they read the story. Towards the end of the book, as is typical of all Katha Books, there is a section that sets the reader on the path of creative discovery. In a section titled “Raza’s Rangmala” the child is encouraged to think about his or her own dreams and to nurture intrinsic creativity. In a sense, it will propel the child to discover the artist that lies within. By bringing Raza to children, and by introducing him to little minds, Sayed Haider Raza- An autobiography is in a sense evoking the magical creativity that lies within each child.
Sayed Haider Raza- An autobiography for children is a wonderful book for children from four onwards up to 9.
Buy this book in combination with other books on art for children, and make a book hamper for gifting! You may refer to this story, that discusses books that introduce Indian artists to children. For a world-view, you could read this. Don’t forget to add some wonderfully vibrant painting material and blank canvases to your package. You never know when inspiration strikes!