Monday, May 28, 2007

The Common Crow

The logo of Tulika Books is the ubiquitous Indian crow. It's loud. It lives in cities and villages alike. As the Tulika web site puts it, the crow is a "busy, intelligent bird, with a great sense of family — and an unmissable part of the sights and sounds of India." It's no peacock, and therein lies a message.

Tulika is a small Indian publishing house whose mission is to give children images of India that "show how all parts of this world come together to make it a diverse and dynamic whole, a changing yet changeless continuum." Here managing editor Radhika Menon reflects on Questioning Cultural Stereotypes Through Children's Books.

So we think we're crossing borders in the world of multiculti children's literature, but are we? In thinking about the stories we write, and for whom, perhaps Radhika's right, and it's time to change the metaphor. Here's the Tulika Bookshelf, a list that has achieved significant staying power since the house began in 1996. Maybe the crow offers a lesson in persistence.


  1. Uma,

    Thanks for alerting us to this essay. Very thought-provoking.

  2. You're welcome, and thanks for the link, Monica. I’m in Chennai (India) right now, and am heading over to visit Tulika in about 5 minutes!