Balarama: A Royal Elephant
Ted and Betsy Lewin_s illustrated travelogue of their trip to southern India, where they meet Balarama, the lead Royal Elephant who will make his debut in the traditional parade that concludes the celebration of Dasara in the city of Mysore.
Based on two trips made by authors Ted and Betsy Lewin, Balarama tells the story of an elephant by that name who will be leading the procession of a parade during Dasara, a holy festival in India. Accompanying the text are the dazzling paintings done by Betsy Lewin.
While this book is aimed at ag...more
On their first trip, they visited a camp of trained elephants and their handlers in the forest and learned of the royal elephants used for festivals. They met Drona, who was to lead the annual Dasara procession in Mysore in the fall, and they were so enraptured that they decided to return for the festival. Upon their arrival, they learned that Drona had died, and that a new elephant had bee...more
I really wasn't sure that I...more
Both Ted and Betsy Lewin are children’s picture book illustrators. In this book, both draw parts of the story. They have very different styles, with Ted painting big beautiful and realistic illustrations, and Betsy doing cartoon-like drawings.
“Balarama moves majestically toward one of the palace gates, leading a mile-long procession. Band after band...more
This book uses a captivating story to teach readers ab...more
I will say this, though. It's a little confusing the way the two very different artistic styles are put together. Ted Lewin's watercolors are very soothing. Betsy Lewin's work is more ... cartoony. Which is not to say I don't love her work, because I do. It's just very different from her husband's.
Lovely artwork and interesting facts make this otherwise ordinary book stand out initially. Information is presented dryly, though, so children are hardly attentive. I am not sure how American visitors could feel "proud" of a royal Indian elephant. Buy it only if you know an adult who loves India or elephants who might want it as a coffee table item.