Sweet Critique: Rangoli: An Indian Art Activity Book

I love color and creativity, but I’m not really an artist.  I need books to “teach” art to Babydoll.

But I also believe that creativity isn’t something that can be taught, so I often like to give her a book like Rangoli: An Indian Art Activity Book and let her go to town.

About Rangoli

Rangoli is a type of artwork found in India.  Using colored powder, a design is made in front of a home or building as a way to celebrate and pray.

In the book, a dot grid is used to help with drawing the design.  I love this: there’s nothing more frustrating than seeing something pretty and vibrant and wanting to draw it yourself, but you can’t freehand it.

Babydoll was able to replicate all of the designs in the book thanks to the dot grids.

Culture and Color

Another aspect of the book I loved was the fact that Babydoll not only got to be creative, but she learned about Indian culture.

Making pretty stuff is well and good, but I wanted her to know the “why” behind rangoli.  This led to discussions about festivals in India and more.

Babydoll absolute loved this book.  When we received it, she immediately got started.  And didn’t stop for a couple of days while she finished the entire book.

She even went outside to try to replicate some of the designs on the driveway.  Me, being the stellar mother I am, forgot to take pictures of the artwork.

She did get a little frustrated because she tried to do it without the dots, but I thought it still looked really good.

We’re both girls, so we loved the designs in the book, but I appreciate that the author included more “masculine” designs as well, so this would be a great book for boys and girls.

Definitely check it out; use it as a just-for-fun book, or as a gateway into the Indian culture!

True Confessions:  I was provided with a copy of this book to facilitate my review.  All opinions are my own.