Book Review – Prince With a Paintbrush

Book Title – Prince With a Paintbrush – The Story of Raja Ravi Varma

Author – Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan

Illustrator – Rayika Sen

Genre – Biography

Publisher – Red Panda

Recommended Age – 6+ years 

“The greatest treasures are those invisible to the eye but found by the heart.” Judy Garland.

Mona Lisa is a world–famous painting by Leonardo De Vinci. The specialty of the painting is that it looks towards us from all the sides. But, there are many other artists and painters around the world who have done wonders. However, we do not know of all of them and hence, it is so important that we tell stories of these extra-ordinary talents to pass on their legacy from generations to generations.  “Prince With a Paintbrush – The story of Raja Ravi Varma” by Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan does exactly this. It is a fantastic illustrated biography of one of the greatest artists of India – Raja Ravi Varma. 

Through the book, we discover that a hidden gem named Raja Ravi Varma was born in a small village called Kilimanoor, Travancore. From childhood itself,  he always liked to paint everything he saw – be it a woman or a giant piece of rock. He is known  to be the ‘Father of Modern India’. Another interesting fact I learnt is that Raja Ravi Varma was the first one to use oil paints on the canvas. He derived the look of people and painted them into gods which was the uniqueness of his paintings.

Talking about the presentation of the book, I really enjoyed the format, especially the kids popping from the corner of the pages. I liked how the book begins in a storytelling format instead of directly jumping onto giving us information about the person. This made the reading experience fun and kept me engrossed throughout. Usually, books of this nature are full of information, and sometimes even drab due to less or no illustrations. But, this book is vibrant with an engaging narrative and the journey of Raja Ravi Varma has been put across in a way that kids can easily understand as well as remember. There is patience and a smooth flow in the writing style of the author. 

All in all, I feel this is an amazing book for children who like grabbing books about facts or real stories. It is an inspiring read which will definitely enrich you.

You can purchase your copy of the book from here

// This book review has been penned by 11-year-old Reya Jain from Hyderabad as we celebrate the work of Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan who has been chosen as the Featured Author of August 2021  at Beyond the Box //

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