The Revised Book Jacket For Gardens Without End by Benrali 7.13.2014

A Description Of Gardens Without End

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“We share his visions in the illustrations prehistory, alternate turtle evolution, marvels erupting deep in his daydreams.It is an unbridled reverie into a fellow being living in our time. A superb art book designed as a picture book.”  Caroline Poppendeck, librarian, NY State Public Library

The Turtles Dream and Keys is a grand tour of life on Earth, and this is precisely why it appeals to children. It nourishes their hunger for learning and curiosity for the world. The book's illustrations complement this mission. Benrali makes great use of each page to deliver captivating scenes that will delight the eager eyes of children and adults alike. Frank Izaguirre-Ecocritic, conservationist, writer-Costa Rica News

“Gently unfolding visions of the turtle's dreams accompany incredibly intricate illustrations of Jupiter in his natural surroundings. "The Turtle's Dream and Keys" is an ageless book to be treasured by both child and adult”  Midwest Book Review

“Benrali introduces a new idea to conservation by asking readers to imagine if box turtles became extinct, what patterns would leave the earth, an interesting perspective that adult environmentalists might never have considered.” Sierra Club Magazine

“In one of the brilliant illustrations the artist explicitly links the turtle to the Iroquois legend which tells the story of the earth’s creation on a turtle’s back. But the artist also might have been by a story from Hindu mythology in which Lord Vishnu reincarnated himself as Kurma or a turtle. Again, in many cultures, turtles are honoured as preserver of memory and energy and the artist must have used this aspect in his presentation of the Box Turtle.” Tarun Tapas Mukherjee, Professor, Editor of Rupkatha Journal, photographer

"Exquisitely intricate illustrations and lyrical prose set this picture book apart…..While its memories recall the earth's first residents, the turtle's dreams envision a future where the earth will be preserved and cherished for generations. This exceptional picture book belongs in every home and library.”   Nancy K. Wallace  Ellington, Pennsylvania Librarian, reviewer for  Voya Magazine

"Ahhh, a teacher's dream! My elementary students thoroughly enjoyed Benrali's The Turtle's Dream and Keys as it allowed them to open up their imagination to a world of possibilities, a world where dreams become reality, a world such as Jupiter's. Each brilliantly illustrated page is an entity unto itself absorbing the children's attention, captivating them, and leaving them in awe.”  Abida Khan-School Teacher and writer, Toronto Canada

“Benralis accompanying illustrations are magnificent, dazzling, beguiling. Every page of his book begs to be pored over, appreciating every facet of color, pattern, and expression. His drawings are ethereal, imaginative, full of fantasy and yet true to life with the detail of a naturalists eye. Every time I look I see something new.This book will appeal to both children and adults, sparking interest in the natural world, the lives of turtles, the history of nature, and the fate of our planet.” Reisa Latorra, Turtle Foundation-A sea turtle rescue helping endangered sea turtles all over the world.

“A book that paints a story as we read, but gives us a line that engages deep reflection what if Imagine if Eastern Box turtles became extinct, what patterns would leave the planet?
Why do we need these patterns, what is the purpose of beauty? Questions for deep reflection...
Both books are works of art, that leave one relaxed, a convenient visit to an art gallery. For younger children to fully appreciate the depth of these books there must be traversed with an adult. The books, I iterate are both are very sophisticated as 'childrens' books', they should be read with a child. I found them very mystical and of course, your attempts at incorporating the ''ghazal' poetic form in Manni is to be commended.”  Marguerite Lucerne-Environmental Educator, Biologist, Sea Turtle Rescue

“The colorful eye-catching illustrations and imaginative prose of this beautiful book take you back to an era when turtles witnessed dinosaurs and thrusts you forward to consider the consequences of future turtle extinctions. I love this book so much that Im having a hard time letting it go for my original plan of gifting it to friends with children. I guess I need to buy another copy for my coffee table.”  Dr. Irene Kinan Keller   Conservation Biologist, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Protected Species Investigations

“I think these are very nice art books, beautiful colors and paintings; it is very relaxing way to expose the story (thanks to the colors used).  Yes everything impressed me: colors, design, images and packaging.”
Francesca Vannini, Italian marine biologist and teacher

“His intricate illustrations beckon the reader to pour over each page following the patterns and rich depictions of each object. This book is highly recommended for both home and school libraries, and is one that may well be kept into adulthood.” Judith Nasse, Teacher, Artist, The Art Of Creativity

“This contribution by Benarali is very timely when the new millennium is born. Benarali has taken tremendous pains in preparing this book focusing attention on basics as well as advanced aspects yet keeping simplicity and readability that would help any beginner and expert alike enjoy reading while understanding universal flora and fauna.   I am confident that all readers will benefit by keeping a copy of this book as their own and request it from their libraries.”  T.S. Srinivasan-Author, Chennai, India

”Benralis books are not so much a storybook as they are a wandering poem accompanied by amazing illustrations, children might not get the exact meanings behind everything but this books is an excellent introduction to free verse, poetry that doesnt rhyme.”  Karlynn Johnston-Supermom Book Reviews, Canada

“Berali has used both his skills as a poet and as an artist to tell his readers a story of friendship and coming of age.Muted yet colourful images have dream like qualities to them in the twin books. The words add to the magic created by the art. The books are best bought as a gift for children or even for adults who like rich art illustrations”  Smitra Singh- Vaani Magazine-India

“As a naturalist and box turtle researcher I find this book to be outstanding! This book transcends all life on planet earth; it flows through time and space all within the long life of a box turtle. ....I was so impressed by the wonderful story and intricate and beautiful artwork in this incredible book that I plan to feature it in the Earthshine Nature Education Center for all to read when they visit Earthshine.”  Steve O’Neill-Earthshine Nature Conservatory, North Carolina 

“The Turtle's Dream and Keys is a high-concept picturebook that transcends the genre of children's literature; it can easily double as an art book or a gift book for art lovers and adults. Naturalism, dreams and fantasy combine to create a story world where anything is possible.” Summer Edwards- Anansesem Caribbean Children's Magazine

***To see full reviews click on "reviews" button above***

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Book Jacket For Manni From A World Beyond Stars

Text Description For Manni

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“Manni's title denotes a world beyond stars, but what this delightful book does best is evoke the magic in our own world…..  If you are not already, this book will make you fall in love with the tropical world of sea turtles; if you are, through this book you will come to see its magic in a new way. I've never seen anything that better evokes the precious, enchanted beauty that imbues tropical landscapes and their creatures!”
Marcy Summers, Marine and Rainforest Conservationist,Director Alliance for Tompotika Conservation

“Ethereal, luminous compositions convey the mystery of the nocturnal setting and underscore the otherworldly aspect of Manni's journey. Jeweled tones capture the richness of island landscapes and seascapes, while shapes and flowing lines create a sense of the grandeur and energy of nature. Elements of old-fashioned botanical illustration and decorative art do much to elevate the visual impact of this book.”   Summer Edwards, Author and Founder of Anansem Caribbean Journal for Children


"Benrali's rich heritage is beautifully infused into both his engaging textual narrative and delightful illustrations. This makes his books not just an ideal read for children, who are fascinated with colors and fantasy, but for adults who appreciate the artful intricacy of his storytelling as well as his imagery."     Venessa Deosaran, Journalist, Guyana Times Newspaper

“The couplets flow like the water in the river, rendering a soothing music to the ear……You can “hear” the waterfalls, “feel” the spray of water on your face as Manni dodges along the river, “see” the rise of the river, “travel” with Manni and Oonie to the island, and so on.   Shana Susan Ninan-Indian Book Reviews

“Manni From a World Beyond the Stars, by Benrali, captivated my senses. In a dreamy and sacred world, the luminous story graces bountiful scenes. A sense of ancient lore permeates the gentle story of a special turtle, born at midnight, in the presence of the moon and the sea. Achromatic wallpaper washes the background, while brilliant pastels spark the story-driving illustrations. I was slow to turn each one, taking in color, form, and seeing moonlight cascading over magical landscapes.”       Caroline Poppendeck, Librarian     Elmira, New York

“These hardcover picture books are to be savoured and pored over as you luxuriate in the beauty of the pictures on each page. In fact, the first time I leafed through the book, I barely read the text as I was entranced by the incredibly detailed illustrations that fill every inch of every page.”
Aleya Kassam, Editor, Writer and Journalist   AWAAZ MAGAZINE-Nairobi, Kenya

“ The story and art make up a book that children clearly can enjoy and the prints are of an artistic level that adults can appreciate, too. The entire package, in fact, is quite impressive, printed on high grade paper stock.    Jim Parisi      Tamarindo News-Costa Rica

“As I read this beautifully illustrated book to my grade 2 and 3 students, I observed that I had their full attention and they were totally engrossed in the story, on the edge of their seats eagerly awaiting the next word, the next sentence, the next page. The children demonstrated perfect reading comprehension by stating that the author's message or the 'big idea' in the story is that of friendship. They cited passages from the book to prove that Oonie helped Manni on his journey back to the sea and Manni helped Oonie escape from the crocodile and the octopus
Abida Khan, Teacher and Writer, Toronto, Canada

“ The books are quite gorgeous, with each drawing containing layers of exquisite detail that go on for ever, or so it feels. I was tempted to pull out a magnifying glass and study them as I would examine the detail on a skeleton leaf.”    SAWNET REVIEWS for Children   Susan Chacko, scientist, reader, and parent in Maryland

Anita Roy
Senior Editor, Young Zubaan, New Delhi
"Benrali's images and words take you on an ethereal, beautiful, multi-layered journey. These are the kind of books that children will treasure well into their adulthood, and adults will cherish for reminding them of their earlier, perhaps more innocent or open selves."

“I enjoyed both books immensely, from an adult and an environment education/art educator/artist point of view, I see tremendous potential in both books for guiding children's sensitivities across into what I can only describe as an 'inter-codex' galaxy.There are so many ways in which these books can be used to promote holistic environment teaching.”
Marguerite Lucerne- Trinidad & Tobago Environmental Educator/Biologist/Sea Turtle Rescue

“The balanced mix of fantasy with science make this compact book interesting for readers. As an environmental educationist, I personally recommend this book a must read for every child to get interest towards nature.”
S. Sivakumar,
Environmental Education Officer,
Chennai Snake Park,

“This is a story of divine intervention, a lesson that there is guidance from beyond, and as with all living creatures, human beings are guided by spirit as well. The color illustrations are rich in detail and mesmerizing. Manni is an art book destined to become a collectible.”
Burda Vandeborne,    Research Librarian of Art, Music and Rare Books-Los Angeles, California

“The illustrations of marine life are captivating, and the storyline is impressive when you realize it's told poetically within the rules of a ghazal, an Arabic and Indo-Persian form of rhyming couplets. This book is great for adults or children. While adults will find it relaxing and can appreciate the mixture of cultural folklore of the moongazer spirit, poetic prose, and the tranquil colors in the art work, children will enjoy its entertainment that is perfect for bedtime reading.”
Irene Kinan Kelly is a conservation biologist dedicated to the recovery of protected marine species.

“Our attention is drawn to the mystical relationships Manni has with his environment- the moon, sea, beach, trees, and sea creatures all speak to him and help him along his journey……..   This book will encourage children and adults alike to develop a personal bond to nature as they delight in this colorful adventure of a baby sea turtle and his friends.”  Dr. Annie Page, Veterinarian and Biologist

“At long last, no longer is there a need to sit in misguided wonder as to what gift to present a child with that is truly unique in today's age of mass produced and overly commercialized gifts. Benrali's works have found a place in the thread of time to be celebrated by persons of all ages for generations and generations to come both in bookshelves, Kindle, e-books and within our own human hearts.”  Gwyneth E. Price-O'Brien, Jewelry Designer


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When I Found A Moon Of Chai

When I Found A Moon Of Chai

"His newest book, When I Found a Moon of Chai has a similar experimental sensibility, but in this case, he plays around with words and imagery in an unusual way. It is a collection of verse, which he likens to a ‘necklace of beads that don’t match but when strung together they work as a collection of surreal worlds, musings, moments of love and adventures that meander without any destination.’

"When I Found a Moon of Chai is imbued with the same passion Benrali has put into his earlier works, and you really get the sense that this was a deeply personal work. Like his previous books, this too demands to be lingered over, and actually does not need to be read start to finish in order. In fact, the greatest pleasure I got from it was going to random pages and savoring the verse in front of me. Perhaps the only thing I would have hoped for is that Benrali would have illustrated the verse in the same way as his previous books. When you see the magnificent cover page, you will see what I mean. I look forward to more from Benrali, particularly as he discovers his poetic style as authoritatively as he has his remarkable artistic style. "

Aleya Kassam-Editor, Journalist, Writer- Awaaz Magazine-Nairobi, Kenya



A Lotus From The Calypso Dawn


Chai fell from the ladel, silt from ancient river,

black pepper overshawdowed clove, nutmeg,

cardamom and even ginger became

meek on my tongue, fresh milk slightly turned.

On the way to Agra the tour bus stopped at a chai seller.

By the roadside there was a marsh;

I found the Lotus beyond a thousand years,

I found the Messiah of the flowers,


I found the purest salt on Earth,

pink salt from the Himalayas,

I found tips of mosques that held the dawn,

I found kings unaware they were kings

swaying with the common typha

towards a padparadascha sun.

I found drops that fell from the calypso dawn

Among the field I found the white sapphire

that turned back from becoming the ruby.


***the reference to "thousand years" is due to the fact that Lotus seeds and rhizomes can survive for over a thousand years
copyright 2014 Benrali

Benralis Sketch Of Lotuses