Saturday, January 19, 2013

Book Review: Rangoli: An Indian Art Activity Book

Rangoli: An Indian Art Activity Book 
Rangoli: An Indian Art Activity Book
By: Suma O’Farrell
Published by:  Mazaa LLC; Date: 2012
ISBN: 978-0-9849624-0-2
Price: $18.95
Ages: 9 and up
Rating:  5 stars
Reviewed by: Wayne S. Walker

Synopsis: Do you know what rangoli is?  Is it something over which you pour marinara sauce?  No, it’s a popular art form that comes from India.  The word “rangoli” means “row of colors,” and it can be very colorful, though color is optional.  A special drawing, often made with rice flour or crushed stone powder, is done on the ground by the front entrance of a home or building as a warm welcome for visitors.  Some draw the rangoli on paper and practice it before drawing it on the ground, while others just enjoy drawing the designs on paper.  Many people like to begin with a grid of dots.  It’s a little like “connect the dots” but rather than just straight lines from one dot to another, the designs can be drawn anywhere and in any manner which one chooses.

Overall thoughts:  Throughout this spiral-bound, hardcover book, author Suma O’Farrell, who was born in India but grew up in the United States, gives instructions on how to draw a variety of designs, such as loop de loops, paisleys, pinwheels, stars, arrows, kites, geometric shapes, reflections, even nature pictures, and various combinations of these.  Any artistic persons who are interested in expanding their horizons will find the book fascinating, but homeschoolers who are looking for some kind of art activity which doesn’t require a lot of previous artistic training should especially find it useful.  Not being able to draw a straight line, I do not consider myself an artist by any stretch of the imagination, but reading the directions in the book, I do believe that I might be able to do this if I were of a mind to do so.  Are you looking for a really fun and different way of doing art?  Try rangoli!

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