StoryWeaver is an open source digital platform from Pratham Books on which stories can be read, downloaded, translated, versioned or printed. All the content on StoryWeaver is available under Creative Commons licenses to encourage collaboration and reuse.
Aindri Chakraborty is a communications designer specializing in narrative illustration and animation. She is one of the members of The Kadak Collective.
Apu’s Giant Earthquake is not only about why and how earthquakes happen, it is also a story inside a story. It is a story of the off-tune Bey-asura who likes to sing. It is also about Apu and his sister Pia, their grandmother and pet dog who are in the middle of both Bey-sura’s song and an earthquake.
I wanted to start with the characters. They were based on Sudeshna Shome Ghosh's picture below.
This is how the character Pia evolved.
Bey-asura is an Asura who causes a lot of destruction when he sings! I felt pity on Bey-asura in the story because I like to sing but I am not a very good singer! I had to find a way to justify why Bey-asura was a bad singer. I shaped his head like a string instrument and then realised, maybe he is a bad singer because he hasn’t been tuned yet. So there is a broken string which I designed as his hair.
I made lots of textures of the earth. This is based on geology diagrams.
I tried this one using salt while the ink was drying, so it created a nice rocky texture.
I then collaged the textures to create landscapes for the story.
'Apu’s Giant Earthquake' is both informative and imaginative so I tried to keep it sciency but also whimsical. It was exciting to work on StoryWeaver's digital-first children's story which will be available to everyone as it's openly-licensed.
'Apu's Giant Earthquake' will be available to read in 5 languages on StoryWeaver. If you can't find the story in a language you're fluent in, feel free to translate the story on www.storyweaver.org.in and share it with us!