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© 2017 by Poonam Athalye.

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The Glass Tree

Published picture book

This book is the first published picture book of mine. The story is written by the celebrated indian author M. Mukundan. The Glass Tree was one of the ten stories offered by the publishers in 2009 to the illustrators for their annual worldwide illustration competition named Katha Chitrakala Award. I was one the finalists for this competition and the publishers decided to go ahead with the publication of this book commissioning me to illustrate it. This project is very close to me for the reason that it began my career as a professional illustrator and also because it was my first published book. The print-runs of this book have continued since 2010 and are still available to buy online in India.  

To illustrate this book I used watercolour and gouache on cold-pressed textured watercolour paper. The book is a story within a story in which Unni knows many stories and his grandmother is very fond of listening to them. One day he decides to tell her a story about the glass tree. An old champaka tree that had been around for many years gets chopped down and 

replaced by another tree; a tree that was not going to grow old. This new tree was made of glass, crafted by an artisan who came from far away foreign lands. How the glass tree changed the life of the village and its inhabitants after its arrival is the story Unni tells his grandmother while she falls asleep.