I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail

By Ramsingh Urveti (Illustrator)
(Tara Books, Hardcover, 9789380340142, 56pp.)

Publication Date: May 2012

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"Delightfully illustrated" - The New York Times

"In this visual stunner...the literal setting of the words is as key to the volume’s success as are its text and illustrations... Indian folk art triumphantly meets 17th-century English trick verse in this sophisticated graphic venture fit for middle graders on up." - Starred, Kirkus Reviews

"A stunning reminder of why people keep making real-live books... Visually delicious and beautifully made, I Saw A Peacock With a Fiery Tail is a testament to the vitality of two art forms that just won't answer to their death knells: poetry and the book." - NPR Summer Reads Pick

This 17th century British poem is a form of trick verse. Here, the very design of the book brings clarity to the verse, as whimsical die-cuts in each page reveal the poem's nuanced meaning.

I saw a peacock with a fiery tail
I saw a blazing comet drop down hail
I saw a cloud with ivy circled around ...

Read straightforwardly, the poem sounds interestingly surreal. But if the lines are broken up in the middle, then everything falls into place. Illustrations by award-winning Gond artist Ramsingh Urveti (of The Night Life of Trees), book design by Jonathan Yamakami.

About the Author

Illustrator Ramsingh Urveti belongs to the Gond tribe of artists from Madhya Pradesh in central India. A winner of national and international awards, Ramsingh’s art is intense and poetic. He contributed to Tara’s highly acclaimed "The Night Life of Trees," and this is his first book as a solo artist.

Jonathan Yamakami is a young graphic designer hailing from São Paulo, Brazil. He is particularly interested in exploring new ways of presenting and conceiving of the book, and has worked with Tara on a number of seminal projects.

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