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Illustrator: Theertham Balaji

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Mangoes and Bananas is a retelling of a traditional trickster tale from Indonesia. It is the tale of Kanchil the mouse deer and Monyet the monkey—two friends who plant a garden together. But when the trees bear fruit, Monyet begins to eat everything himself. Kanchil has to act fast if he is to get anything at all.


Combining folk art illustration from India with folk tale from Indonesia, this book reflects the warmth and richness of both traditions. The earth-toned illustrations—at once sophisticated and playful—are the result of a time-honored, all-natural fabric art tradition called “kalamkari”.  This book will entertain anyone who seeks

a quintessential folk story.

Illustrator: Theertham Balaji


Theertham Balaji is a traditional kalamkari artist from South India, who did the original illustrations for Mangoes and Bananas on fabric. These then had to be transferred paper in order to be published, but if you look carefully you can see the weave of the cloth in the book’s illustrations.

Click the PDF to the right for an interview with the author!

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