Clearly, this is the year of the Ramayana. First, Nina Paley brought it to life in the tremendous Sita Sings the Blues. And now I have high praise for the review copy I received of Sanjay Patel's interpretation of the tale, called Ramayana: Divine Loophole. Patels' version of the Ramayana features over 100 illustrations of demons, gods, and avatars, all drawn in the same style as the illustrations you see above. I loved it, my four-year-old loved it, and my three-year-old loved it. It's currently 34% off at Amazon,and any book that makes reading to my kids this much fun is worth its weight in gold. Now all we need is a set of vinyl figures based on the designs.
Relatedly, at Sanjay's website you'll find art from The Little Book of Hindu Deities, as well as desktop wallpapers:
And finally, here's an interview Sanjay gave in 2001 describing his education.
Here's a few more reviews:
1. Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga: Once upon a time I would have been excited about Bioshock 2 or Mass Effect 2 or Dante's Inferno. But now that I have two young kids, I look at video games very differently. Lego Star Wars is perfect. It's fun and safe for young kids to play, packed with replayability, and even better - - it's filled with puzzle solving, economics, and simple math to painlessly teach. Two people can play cooperatively and either can jump out or back in to play at any time. At only $18 at Amazon,I can't say enough nice things about it. In fact, I just ordered Lego Indiana Jones, also $18 at Amazon.
2. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars: Well, this was really a can't miss. What makes it so much fun? Well, for example, Frank West (Dead Rising) can summon zombies and put on Mega Man's armor. Joe the Condor (Gatchaman) has a gun and can call in his plane for a bombing run. You can play as screen-filling giant robots, too. Plus, depending on the control set up and difficulty setting you use, it's so easy a button masher that three year olds can win fights. 8% off at Amazon.
3. American Rebel: The Life of Clint Eastwood (review copy): Disappointing. A book about a guy who had this many affairs with starlets shouldn't be as boring to read as a Wikipedia entry. 34% off at Amazon.
*See more of my reviews here.