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Book review: The Illustrated Lilavati
The Illustrated Lilavati by New York based author Somdip Datta is a unique book for popular reading for the adults and an interesting document for children since it is graphically illustrated in colours and has characters that are appealing. The publication is off-beat since it is the illustrated version of the classic mathematics textbook of olden era, Lilavati, written by the Indian mathematician Bhaskara II.

Somdip Datta, who is by profession an investment banker, has really laboured hard for his love for mathematics to produce this e-book since he found that ancient book of 1150 AD invokes bees, flowers, kings and deities to describe the word problems related to arithmetic, algebra and geometry. This ancient Sanskrit manuscript on mathematics is now presented in a graphic novel format, optimized for viewing in your smartphone, tab or laptop.

A page of the book, with 106 pages in all, also shows the map of India and places to show the location of the places from where mathematician and mathematics-lover wrote the commentaries and various book reviews of Lilavati that includes Jaipur and Alwar of Rajasthan state.

Another reason for the appeal to young readers could be that author developed distinctive style of minimalist vector drawing for graphic illustrations suitable for Lilavati. The author has done a good amount of research from both book and non-book resources to produce this version of book which has turned out to be news for various periodicals because of its unique style of production.

This online version of the book is easier to find and buy, it is more cost effective and convient for e-readers since the font is big and white spaces have the illustrations. It is really remarkable to covert Lilavati that contains mathematical definitions, algorithms and problems written in meter or poetic form to graphic novel format.

The best part of this book is that it is moderately priced and the illustrations are apt and pleasant along with the text font large enough to be read without strain even on a smart phone screen. Even a child can finish reading of the book in less than one and a half hour. The book is available from LiLBooX and also can be purchased on line from iTunes, Google Play and Kindle.

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