home Gallery
Read Our Blog Papertigers: Books + Water
Interviews Past Issues reviews Personal Views List and Links Outreach

Featured Artist

Archived Artists
  search our site  

Is this section useful?
Are we missing something?
Let us know!

feedback At Papertigers Dot Org

sign up for our newsletter!

read our blog


Pulak Biswas' artwork
View Gallery

Born in 1941, Pulak Biswas grew up in Bangladesh. He gave up a career as a graphic designer in advertising to work as a children's book illustrator full-time and is now one of India's foremost illustrators.

His book A Day in the Life of Maya of Mohenjo-Daro, written by Mulk Raj Anand, earned its publisher Children's Book Trust, India, an Honorary Mention BIB in 1969, and two of his books, Tiger on a Tree written by Anushka Ravishankar and Hensparrow Turns Purple written by Gita Wolf, won BIB Plaques in 1999 at the Biennial of Illustration Bratislava.

Pulak lives in Delhi.


Can you tell us about your journey to becoming a children's book illustrator?

I studied Painting in art college.To support my educational expenses I started doing book illustrations as it was not possible to sell paintings in those days. I eventually became a full-time artist and illustrator in 1981.

Your books Tiger on a Tree and Catch That Crocodile! are very popular. Can you give us a bit of background about them?

I was in Chennai to attend a workshop where I met a lady working in a tiger project in Sundarban in Bengal. She told me about a certain incident. I thought it would make a very interesting story. So I did the story in verse and did the ilustrations in black and white to cut down cost. I gave it to Tara Book. They liked the story and decided to publish it as Tiger on a Tree in two colours and with the text in rhyme. It was written in rhyme by Anuskha [Ravishankar].

Sundarban is full of rivers, and they also gave me the story of a crocodile and wanted me to
do illustrations in a similar style as the tiger story. The crocodile had landed in a drain as a result of floods in the village. Again, Anushka wrote the text, and that is how Catch that Crocodile! came to be published.

Water plays a central role in several of the stories you have illustrated, not least you most recent book, The Flute. What does that mean to you?

I spent my my childhood in Bangladesh, which is full of rivers and ponds.

What are working on at the moment?

I was in Sundarban recently. I am working on "Bon Bibi " a folk tale that is very popular among the villagers in Sundarban, which Is in the delta of the Rriver Ganges in Bengal.

Posted March 2012

Pulak Biswas
Pulak Biswas' photo

More on PaperTigers:

Read our interview with Gita Wolf, founder of Tara Books and author of Hensparrow Turns Purple, illustrated by Pulak..

Find out about some more books written by Anushka Ravishankar in this article and on our blog.


illustrated by Pulak Biswas
(selected bibliography):

The Flute
written by Rachna Gilmore
(Tradewind Books, 2011)

Contributing artist,
Under the Spell of the Moon: Art for Children from the World's Greatest Illustrators
foreword by Katherine Paterson
(Groundwood Books, 2004/Frances Lincoln, 2006)

The Scarecrow and the Ghost
written by Keki Daruwalla
(Rupa & Co., 2004)

Catch That Crocodile!
written by Anushka Ravishankar
(Tara Books, 1999)

Hensparrow Turns Purple
written by Gita Wolf
(Tara Books, 1998)

Tiger on a Tree
written by Anushka Ravishankar
(Tara Books, 1997/Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2004)

A Day in the Life of Maya of Mohenjo-Daro
written by Mulk Raj Anand
( Children's Book Trust, India, 1968)



  interviews | gallery | personal views | reviews | past issues | lists and links  

about us | newsletter & privacy policy | downloads | site map | search | testimonials | disclaimer

home | outreach | blog
contact us©2001-2012 Papertigers: Books + Water