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Loretta Roome: Mehndi: The Timeless Art of Henna Painting
Having purchased this book, I recommend it for anyone interested in mehndi.  Not only does Roome have useful information about mehndi (including history, symbolism, recipes, directions, sample designs, explanations of the types and uses of mehndi, and MORE), but she also includes a myriad photographs of mehndi on many parts of the body.  Roome's diagrams assist the reader well, along with 14 pages of color photographs. Roome also includes a supplier list and recommendations for suppliers. This book is beautifully written, nicely bound, and has a very smooth cover, as shown on the left.

Carine Fabius: The Art of Henna Body Painting
This book comes highly recommended from its purchasers.  Carine Fabius provides readers with step-by-step instructions for various designs, as well as a great deal of information on history and symbolism of henna designs.  The book features many black-and white pictures, sample patterns (30), and suppliers and other information.  Carine Fabius is the artist from the Galerie Lakaye, and therefore proves to be a highly experienced specialist in the art of mehndi.

Sumita Batra: The Art of Mehndi
The book actually does not look like the cover shown here: This is the picture of the inside cover.  In any case, Ms. Batra has created a wonderful, beautiful book on mehndi that is very different from her contemporaries.  Please note that she focuses on the popular aspects of henna and its role in modern culture.  The pictures are quite beautiful and feature famous Hollywood personalities and models as well as various designs with detailed, written instructions for completing each design.  She also gives recipe ideas.  The book concentrates less on historical background than other selections, but is a highly recommended addition to any collection! What I personally like about the book is its focus on symbols and how to construct henna designs, which many artists new to the field may find difficult.

1580170978.m.gif (21962 bytes)Norma Pasekoff Weinberg: Henna from Head to Toe : Body Decorating, Hair Coloring, Medicinal Use
This book was illustrated by Catherine Cartwright Jones, who is an Ohio mehndi
artist listed on my site and who has her own mehndi-based business in addition to knowing her other crafts. 


Mehndi Books for Children

Karen English and Jonathan Weiner (ill.): Nadia's Hands 
Reading level 4-8.  This  book is great for people who want to teach the significance of mehndi art to their children.  Highly acclaimed by many book critics for its artwork, Nadia's Hands would be a cute addition to a children's book collection! I thought the book was pretty good when I browsed the bookstore, but the Amazon reviewer featured disliked it. (Hardcover)

Jane Glicksman: The Art of Mehndi : Learn the Ancient Art of Painting Hands, Ankles, and More
Renee Tractenberg (Illustrator), Renee Trachtenberg (Illustrator).  This book was just published recently, and it looks like a fine publication through which children can be introduced to the medium of henna.  Written for children ages 9-12, Glicksman's book has an easy to use format according to one Amazon reviewer, and with an Amazon price of less than $5.00 is well worth the purchase.


Mehndi kits are useful for beginners, but I would not recommend them for an experienced artist. I have Amazon kits listed here.

Zaynab Mirza: The Mehndi Kit; Learn the Traditional Art of Henna Body Decoration . . .
I don't know if this kit is the best value for the money which you pay for it.  It costs around $25 and includes only a small amount of henna (2 ounces), a small amount of oil, and a small amount of citric acid solution.  Because the item is packaged as a kit, I have not been able to look at the book so I cannot give a good rating on that. Overall, I would recommend Roome's book the most to the henna artist or enthusiast. But, if you want a kit-book combination all at once, this is the way to go. 

Aileen Marron, Halawa Henna: The Henna Body Art Kit : Everything You Need to Create Stunning Temporary Tatoos
This mehndi kit includes a 96 page illustrated book, 10 grams of henna powder, 2 cones, mehlabiya oil, transfer designs, and a catalyst solution.  Halawa Henna is a educator about mehndi internationally, and holds many schools around the world.  She has created her official mehndi artist's license, although these types of licenses are not required to be a professional mehndi artist. 


5,000 Designs and Motifs from India; Ajit Mookerjee (Editor); Paperback 
Beautiful and inexpensive book; Great for ideas for small motifs you may include in your henna design; recommended 

 Dorine Van Den Beukel: Traditional Mehndi Designs : A Treasury of Henna Body Art;

This book is an excellent introduction to mehndi designs in general. This book repeats mehndi designs that you may see in other publications, such as Gala Mehndi books; for this reason I would not recommend this book for experts in mehndi. However, I feel that a review of Traditional Mehndi Designs need not be too harsh. Beginners who do not have access to imported henna books from India would do well to try out this beautiful publication. Using design books like these helps to give you ideas and motifs upon which you can base your own designs.

Celtic Design : Knotwork : The Secret Method of the Scribes (Celtic Design); by Aidan Meehan; Paperback 
    I was able to see this book in a bookstore, and any book by Aidan Meehan has wonderful step-by-step instructions elucidating the actual simplicity of Celtic Knotwork and other Celtic design strategies.  Well-bound and with a nice cover as well as easy-to-follow directions, 0500279802.m.gif (17720 bytes) this book is a good value.  

Persian Designs and Motifs for Artists and Craftsmen; Ali Dowlatshahi; Paperback 
Celtic Alphabets; Aidan Meehan; Paperback; Aiden Meehan; Paperback 



The Dover Pictorial Archive:

Any book in the Dover Pictorial Archive Series is inexpensive and contains useful pictures for you to reference.  I have looked through this series in bookstores, and each book offers various designs from a particular culture, affording artists and enthusiasts multiple ideas for mehndi/other artwork.  These books are a great value overall. 
0486287335.m.gif (6146 bytes)Authentic Folk Designs from India in Full Color (Dover Pictorial Archives); K. Prakash; Paperback 

Paisleys and Other Textile Designs from India (Dover Pictorial Archive Series); K. Prakash; Paperback 

Traditional Stencil Designs from India (Dover Pictorial Archive Series); Pradumna Tana, et al; Paperback 

250 Stencil Designs from India (Dover Design Library); K. Prakash; Paperback

159 Celtic Designs (Dover Pictorial Archive); Amy L. Lusebrink; Paperback 

0486229246.m.gif (15926 bytes)Arabic Geometrical Pattern and Design (Dover Pictorial Archive Series); Jules Bourgoin; Paperback 



0452011183.m.gif (7232 bytes)Dictionary of Symbolism : Cultural Icons and the Meanings Behind Them; Hans Biedermann, et al; Paperback.  If you want the meanings of all sorts of cultural icons, be sure to get this book.  It comes highly recommended from reviewers, and if you are interested in creating a mehndi design that has high symbolic meaning, you will probably find this selection very helpful! 

081181470x.m.gif (8788 bytes)Dictionary of Symbols : An Illustrated Guide to Traditional Images, Icons, and Emblems; Jack Tresidder;Paperback or Hardcover .  This book comes highly recommended by readers as well -- a great addition to your collection!   Please read all of the reviews about this selection!


Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization (Bollingen Series, 6); Heinrich Zimmer, Joseph Campbell (Editor); Paperback.  I read this book for a course on Hindu Myth, Image, and Pilgrimage.  It is absolutely wonderful and is a very interesting read.  Zimmer is a wonderful storyteller, and he presents readers with a great picture of the role of myth in the Hindu religion.  It is all quite interesting I think!  Don't expect too many pictures or any mehndi design ideas, but expect a good author who teaches you a lot.  The book contains detailed information about symbols and the role of the image in the Hindu context.Designs from other countries


My favorite India Books right now: 


Midnight's Children - a classic by Salman Rushdie - read it read it read it. It will tell you an excellent history of India post-Independence and gives you a great impression of the magnitude of hero Saleem Sinai's life.
Interpreter of Maladies - Jhumpa Lahiri.  One of the best books I've read.  A fabulous short story collection for anyone who wants to learn more about Indian American culture, or about themselves.
A Passage to India - E. M. Forster knew about the Independence movement long before Britain did.
The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy.

Other fascinating authors you can look into include Mark Tully, R.K. Narayan, V.S. Naipaul, and Arundhati Roy.  Search their work below!