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The Night Life of Trees
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The Night Life of Trees

4.57 of 5 stars 4.57  ·  rating details  ·  122 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Intricately drawn visions of trees fill the pages of this sumptuous book of art and folklore from the Gond tribe in central India. As traditional forest dwellers, the Gonds believe that trees are central to life. During the day, trees work hard, providing shade, shelter and nourishment for all. But at night, when all the daytime visitors have left, the spirits in the trees ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published 2010 by Tara Books (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

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let's be honest. with this one, you're not reading it for the articles.

the text of the book is fine - it's just spare fragments of folklore from the gond tribe of central india about trees. but the book itself, as objet, well, that's another matter entirely. it is a from a limited print-run, of which each book has been individually silk-screened onto thick handmade paper by this publisher:, and all of their books are gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.


so beautiful. love.

Vivek Tejuja
Trees are strange. Trees are comforting. Trees have histories and tales spun around them. Trees also have a life of their own which cannot be gauged by humans.

Keeping this in mind and all the tradition and myths behind trees of India, tribal artists in conjunction with Tara Books have published a beautiful limited edition hand-made book called “The Night Life of Trees” and I cannot begin to praise and admire it.

I am not the one for trees and their stories and what they are all about, but after
This is one of the most gorgeous books I've ever seen. Pictures of trees by three artists of the Gond people of India are individually silk-screened onto hand-made paper. They are captioned with bits of folklore from that region of India. I can't recommend this book highly enough - the artwork is beautiful, and the tales that are told are just enough to make the work complete. Even if your reading time is limited, get hold of a copy of this book; it won't take you but a few minutes to look at th ...more
Three Gond artists create dramatic images of trees to accompany folklore concerning trees.
Nash Tysmans
The publishing company that produced this book wasn't lying when, in a blurb, they wrote that owning one of their books offered the reader a rare chance to own something that is "unique in concept, art, design, production and - most importantly - created by hand." Buying this off my friend who had just arrived from a conference in Hawaii seemed a bit impulsive at first but after flipping through these pages, I realized that I wasn't just buying a book but one so handsomely made it could have pas ...more
Joy Corcoran
Brilliant and beautiful, this book is a pleasure to read and to behold. The art was exquisite line work in bright colors on black handmade paper. The ink had a presence. The narrative was poetic and told tales that blurred the borders between trees, humans, and creatures. For a blog post on other books by Tara press, see my blog:
A treat for the eyes... A book full of exquisite images of trees created by three gond artists. The images are paired with fragments of folk tales which i felt could be improved. This book, claims a piece of your heart by being a 'whole' beautiful something.
Jessica Pesic
Gorgeous illustrations, moving content, a completely magical book. Though its hard to pick a favourite peice of folklore, a few that really stood out for me were; The Squirrel's Dream; Snakes and Earth; and The Tree of Twelve Horns. But the one that moved me the most by far was, The Home of the Creator.
"... The Peepul tree is so perfect, that seen against the sky, it seems to have the same shape as its own leaf. The detail is the same as the whole."
Now that is a tree I would like to see one day
Francesca Watkins&George
According to the Gond tribe of central India, good fortune befalls those whose eyes meet a good image. Good fortune to those who are lucky enough to read this book, then. Silk-screened by hand on black, thick paper, every page of this book is an original numbered art print - and a pure delight to look at, to savour and to touch.

Trees with names as exotic and mysterious as Khirsali, Nagphani, Sembar, serpent goddesses, chameleons, birds and people, life and death... This book is a window on a wo
A beautiful book with stunning illustrations.
Megan Sanchez
Gorgeous artwork, there is no doubt. But I found myself not really sure what the "stories" that accompanied that illustrations were about. There is definitely something to love about a book that is beautiful just to be beautiful, but I wish that the stories had been easier to understand. I don't feel like I could share this with a child and have them really appreciate it when I don't feel like I could even really appreciate it.
Wow! Stunning book! A piece of Art.

Short stories/folktales about trees in the Gond tradition. (India) Limited edition, hand numbered, hand made paper, hand printed pages, incredible illustrations. Black paper. 20 illustrations, 40 pages (44 with forward and title page)
I strongly suggest that you find a copy, or better yet, buy this book for yourself.
Book is published in India.
You will need several sittings with this books to truly appreciate its beauty and message. If you're going to look at these stunning paintings you might as well forget about reading. If you are going to read, make sure the goodness of every word seeps into your skin like a mud pack. Then go back and do it all over again. It is the only way.
Fantastic, brilliant, charming! I want another copy so I can frame all the illustrations
Indian folklore, silkscreened illustrations by three Gond artists.

This might be the prettiest book I own.
Gorgeous art, not really for kids
Apr 09, 2010 Erin marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Well... to buy really.
Apr 09, 2010 Kathryn marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Sounds lovely!
Dec 10, 2008 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
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Bhajju Shyam is one of the finest artists of the Gond tribe in central India. Like most children from his tribe, Bhajju grew up helping his mother paint the walls of their village home, and at the age of sixteen, he moved to the city of Bhopal in search of work and soon became an apprentice to his uncle, the famous artist Jangarh Singh Shyam. Bhajju’s prowess as an independent artist grew quickly, ...more
More about Bhajju Shyam...
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