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Artistic treat for young children

An easy to read and entertaining book for children about art mysteries.

10 Secrets of Indian Art

It’s not often that you find books about art for children. Rarer still is the one that arouses the child’s interest in more than two pages. Duckbill’s latest addition to her In the 10s series is both – a delightfully readable art book for ages 10+ that not only manages to be “not boring at all” (according to my eight-year-old) but also has plenty of material to inspire the curious to explore deeper.

“10 Indian Art Mysteries That Have Never Been Solved,” written by Mamta Nainy, takes the reader across India — from the Bhimbetka Caves in Madhya Pradesh (what do the mysteries hide?, top to bottom?) to a tiny hamlet of Guler in Himachal Pradesh (where a master miniaturist lived).

The language is kept simple and the pace is fast. The best thing about the book is the way the author has managed to inject a bit of art history into each chapter, along with easy to understand explanations of the use of pigments and paints, making it an interesting read for adults too . The chapters on the color “Indian yellow” and the one that describes one of the greatest art thefts in southern India are particularly good. Each chapter ends with an artistic challenge.

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