Author and poet Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan will publish her latest book for children—Prince with a Paintbrush: The Story of Raja Ravi Varma—a picture book/biography of celebrated artist Raja Ravi Varma with Red Panda, an imprint of Westland Publications (an Amazon Company) in April 2021.
Prince with a Paintbrush: The Story of Raja Ravi Varma is the story of the legendary artist Raja Ravi Varma. The book will inspire young readers to learn more about how the famed artist made his entry and mark in the art world. When other kids were busy playing hopscotch with friends, seven-year-old Ravi Varma was painting on the walls of his house.
Spotting his nephew’s artistic talent, his uncle Rajaraja Varma took him to the court of the Maharaja of Travancore to study and practise art. Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings gave Hindu gods their most popular renderings, in images that are seen today in calendar art and posters.
He also established the first lithographic press in India, which created prints of his mythology-inspired paintings, in particular scenes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana. It was a first, big step towards making art affordable for everyone.
Commenting on the book, Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan said, ‘The idea of a series on Indian artists had been percolating in my mind for a while and I was writing poems inspired by Raja Ravi Varma’s art. As I saw it, here was a famous 19th century Indian painter who blended European aesthetics with Indian images and connected the world more than a century ago, and yet so few children seemed to know him!’
She added, ‘When I heard from publisher Karthika a year ago about Westland’s recently launched children’s imprint, Red Panda, I knew that my work would be carefully curated and professionally produced. I’m so very happy to have signed with Westland, and very excited to share this beautifully illustrated biography of Raja Ravi Varma with the world.’
Vidhi Bhargava, Publisher, Red Panda said, ‘We are very excited to be working with Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan. Shobha is a fresh new voice in the children’s books world and has the promise to break boundaries and create bestsellers. We can’t wait to bring Prince with a Paintbrush: The Story of Raja Ravi Varma to the world. This wonderful book doubles up as a picture biography and an introduction to art appreciation for little ones.’
Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan is a children’s author, poet, translator, editor and voice-over talent. She is also a former non-profit development professional who spent two decades as an advocate and fundraiser for persons with disabilities. Shobha has done voice-work for documentaries, educational programs, journalistic initiatives and audiobooks.
Prince with a Paintbrush: The Story of Raja Ravi Varma by Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan will be published in April 2021 across online and offline bookstores in India.