I Want to Be

Anushka Ravishankar, Rathna Ramanathan 

Have you ever

Wanted to

Be something

That’s not you?

A shoe or two?

A white igloo?

A didgeridoo?

A brown cow’s moo?


If you have,

then read this.

If not,

you really need this.


Letters and words take the form of the images they describe in this zany book, guiding the reader through a fluid visual space where the words become puzzles. Written by Anushka Ravishankar, and illustrated by Rathna Ramanathan, I Want to Be brings together joyful nonsense verse and brilliant typography to play with meaning, reflecting a child’s delight in the overturning of logic.



Read a blog post by Gita Wolf — Typography as Illustration? Nonsense! — to learn more about how this book first came to be, and why 25 years later, we believed it was time for a second chance.

$ 19.95

In stock

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Weight 320 g
Dimensions 220 × 220 × 10 mm


Age Group








Rathna Ramanathan

Rathna Ramanathan

Designer Rathna Ramanathan has steered the design philosophy of Tara since the very beginning. In the process, she can be said to have pioneered innovative children’s book design in India. Her main interest is in typography as well as in changing the form of the book. She runs minus9, her own graphic design studio, and is currently the Head of College and Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of the Arts, at the Central Saint Martins College in London. Click here to discover her other Tara Books.

Anushka Ravishankar

Anushka Ravishankar

Dubbed ‘India’s Dr. Seuss’, Anushka Ravishankar is one of India’s most celebrated children’s authors, and her witty and jubilant tales are internationally acclaimed and widely translated. Anushka has now written over twenty books and travelled widely performing from her stories. In 2012, she founded the Indian children’s publishing house Duckbill together with Sayoni Basu. Click here to discover her other Tara Books.