Walnut Creek, California (EastBayDaily) — During the long summer break, it’s inevitable for parents to hear the dreaded words, “I’m bored” or to see their children’s eyes glaze over from too much screen time. Parents continually face the challenge of finding the right set of activities for kids that are stimulating enough to pull them out of their summer doldrums. The award-winning book "Rangoli: An Indian Art Activity Book" (© 8/12; http://www.mazaallc.com) by Suma O’Farrell is an alternative that is certain to keep kids engaged. The book introduces an art form already enjoyed by millions in India to tweens here in the U.S. According to Suma O’Farrell, “Rangoli is inherently interesting because it taps into various interests and abilities. It’s also flexible, adaptable and easy to do which is why kids get into it. There is something for everyone.”
Rangoli is a popular art form in India that is usually drawn on the ground using rice flour, colored powders or chalk as a warm welcome for visitors. While rangoli designs vary throughout India, one variation of this art form typically uses dot grids as the foundation for drawing. For kids, this technique simplifies drawing and easily allows them to feel a sense of accomplishment. (Watch this video to learn more about rangoli.)
After a brief introduction and a few initial step-by-step examples, "Rangoli: An Indian Art Activity Book" encourages tweens to unleash their creativity and explore possibilities by offering a variety of fun ways to use the grids. The book has over 100 pages of designs and grids for exploring including geometric shapes, mazes, optical illusions, 3D images, nature, and more ensuring that there is plenty to keep kids busy. Once the designs are completed, they can color them in adding to the book’s appeal. Kids can also go outside and draw the designs on the ground with chalk. (See also “Why Drawing is Important for Kids.”)
"Rangoli: An Indian Art Activity Book" has won several awards. “We are thrilled and honored that the book has received such recognition. Since rangoli is a new concept for most Americans, we are hopeful that these awards will draw the attention of parents towards rangoli as a wonderful activity to keep kids busy, particularly during their long summer break. Rangoli can be done indoors or outside and can be enjoyed at home or while traveling making it an ideal activity for any season,” says Jim O’Farrell, founder of Mazaa LLC which publishes the book.
According Suma O’Farrell, “One of the things I love about rangoli is that you don’t have to be an artist, or even an expert to have fun with it and to feel good about your drawings. Once you’re familiar with rangoli, it’s easy to come up with interesting designs just through trial and error. I love seeing the proud, satisfied looks on kids’ faces when they come up with their own unique designs.”
For more information about "Rangoli: An Indian Art Activity Book", please visit http://www.mazaallc.com or contact Jim O’Farrell at 925-330-1142 or via email at info(at)mazaallc(dot)com.
About the Author
Suma O’Farrell was born in India but grew up in the United States. She has fond memories of traveling to India as a child, visiting with extended family and learning about her culture. Having discovered rangoli during one of her trips, she soon found she enjoyed drawing and experimenting with it. She’s excited to share her love of rangoli with boys and girls everywhere so they, too, can enjoy this art form.
O’Farrell graduated from University of California Santa Barbara with degrees in Prelaw and Political Science and earned a Masters degree in International Relations from Boston University while studying at their Paris, France location.
O’Farrell is the proud parent of three wonderful school-aged children. She and her husband look for activities for their kids that are creative, imaginative and “real-world” focused as a balance to scheduled activities and screen-time. As a couple with different cultural backgrounds (Indian and Irish), it is important to them that their children value and appreciate different cultural perspectives.
"Rangoli: An Indian Art Activity Book" is her first book.