A picture book, Jewel in the Crown is Bhutan’s own story of the King and Queen that beats any fairy-tale.
As a little girl, or even a little boy who fancied fairy tales, reading and thumbing through story and picture books of Kings and Queens, Prince and Princesses, might have been something you enjoyed in your childhood. But like all other books that we grew up reading, these were tales from a foreign land and although we did learn a great deal about the world and other cultures, there was very little to read or learn of ours, because there were no books from or on Bhutan.
This is not the same today for the younger Bhutanese generation. The Jewel in the Crown, a book of illustrations about the royal wedding, is one such example of how it has changed for the new generation of Bhutanese. A picture book, Jewel in the Crown is Bhutan’s own story of the King and Queen that beats any fairy-tale, because it is based on real events. For Bhutanese, this book can be likened to the classics of the Brothers Grimm, but while fairy-tale like in theme, it is even more special because it is a true story capturing moments from that historical event.
Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen launched the book to much acclaim, for the book is a delectable collection of graphic paintings of the three-day celebrations of the Royal Wedding in October of last year. It captures this beautiful memory without being text heavy, and the colors of Bhutan are perfectly captured by artist, Sharon Rani. The style manages to move away from the more traditional methods of painting that we are used to, without losing the Bhutanese flavor and nuances. The paintings are digital illustrations done using Wacom Cintiq, an interactive drawing tablet.
This is a gem of a book. It allows readers particularly to own a part of an event that is usually elusive and happens only in far-away, fairy-tale lands. It also allows them to understand the traditions involved in the Royal Wedding celebrations, because from the pages they are able to grasp the spirit of Bhutan as a nation and people at a historic time. For once, children and adults in Bhutan can own their own fairy tale, which they can share it with friends outside Bhutan. Though priced at a steep Nu. 1,200, the 60 pages book would be great for any collection.