The Enduring Ark


by Joydeb Chitakrar and Gita Wolf

{published 2013, by Tara Books}

Get ready. You may never have seen anything like this before. Have you ever read something that you feel like should be in a museum and not in your hands? And then you realize that’s the whole point of the perfection and portability of picture books, but still your mouth hangs open in awe?


This is one of those books.

The Enduring Ark is a retelling of the flood story from Genesis, and this line from the first page enveloped me in its storytelling.

You may have heard this story before, but great tales deserve to be repeated – and so let me tell it here again, in my way.


And so it goes, this age old story with a breath of new words. Spare text, stunning imagery. The strong lines hold bold saturated color. And I’m dearly smitten with the two crabs!

They found all forms of creatures: large and small, fierce and tame, with feet, and fins, wearing fur, scales and feathers. 


The book itself can be read page by page, left to right, as you are quite familiar with. But it also extends out like an accordion, the story literally unfolding before you.

IMG_2101 IMG_2103

Tara Books, of Chennai, South India, calls themselves a ‘collective of dedicated writers, designers and artists who strive for a union of fine form with rich content.’ This accordion-style scroll painting is the Bengali Patua style, which historically has been used to visualize mythological stories and aid the narration of a storyteller. What a sublime medium for their mission to unite fine form with rich content, right?


Also interesting? On the cover, the artist is named before the writer. Perhaps it’s because the words are a retelling? Or because the design of the book is what makes it extra special? I’m not sure, but I found that really lovely.

The Enduring Ark releases on May 14, 2013. If you are a fan of book design, fantastic story, and clever engineering, don’t miss this innovative book!


Big thank to the publisher, Tara Books, for providing a copy of this book for review. Why not connect with them on Twitter or Facebook if you think their work is magical, too?!


  • Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Um. Holy cow. That looks incredible. Feel like such a plebe, only reading regular books with regular pages.

  • Posted May 6, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Such a plebe.

  • Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I’m thrilled you’ve discovered Tara Books! They produce some really fantastic books. If you liked this, you might try to find Tsunami, another ‘scroll’ type book that retells the story of the 2044 tsunami. Additional information about the book can be found here (
    Tara Books is an innovative publisher to explore and support.
    Apples with Many Seeds

  • Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I’ll check it out, thanks for the recommendation! I am super impressed with the work they are making. Love their goals.

  • Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Beautiful! Totally beautiful!!

  • Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Without a doubt I will be adding this to my collection, Carter. Thank you for the introduction to this beautiful book.

  • Posted May 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Wow! What a remarkable book! And I’ve always thought that with picture books the illustrator should come before the author. Thanks for sharing this one!

  • Posted May 7, 2013 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    I heard Sophie Blackall speak recently, and she mentioned that there are a handful of bookstores that shelve their picture books by illustrator last name. How cool is that?!

  • Posted May 7, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    I think if I had a bookstore I would do it that way! I like that!

  • Posted July 1, 2013 at 4:37 am | Permalink

    I like the accordion style design, interesting…