Monday, May 5, 2014

Book Review : The Elephant Bird

One of our newest books 'The Elephant Bird' (written by Arefa Tehsin and illlustrated by Sumit Sakhuja) received two reviews over the weekend.

The first review we spotted was on
This is a book written for children who are ready to read on their own. It is penned by Arefa Tehsin, who is a wildlife warden at Udaipur and who writes both for children and adults. The book is illustrated by Sonal Goyal and Sumit Sakuja who together run a design studio.  
I just finished reading the book and it left me with a great feeling-that of hoping against hope. I had just heard that 500 acres of Mangar forest in Aravali is being handed over to developers. The book helped dull the pain and anger I was experiencing. The book did not take me into a flight of fancy - far from it. The violet coloured, one feathered giant bird may be a product of imagination. The little limping girl who made friends with the bird learnt to trust a friend early in life. Learnt to fight for a friend against all odds early in life. Somewhere out there are children and youngsters like that. And that gave me hope. 
Child is the father of man. Who said that? 
When the villagers were all set to kill the last remaining species of the Elephant bird, their thoughts were just about taking revenge, they assumed the Bird had swallowed their horse. Little did they know the Bird ate only grass! 
When our developers are swallowing the last of the pristine forest in Aravali range, is anyone bothered to look at facts? I wish a bold and curious girl will alter the fate of Mangar too, like Arefa has so poignantly told in her story.


Shana Susan Ninan also reviewed 'The Elephant Bird' on  Indian Books Reviews.
A level 3 book from Pratham Books, a Bangalore-based organisation that strives to make sure that there’s a book in each child’s hand. Authored by Arefa Tehsin, honorary Wildlife Warden of Udaipur, and illustrated by Sonal Goyal and Sumit Sakhuja, this book is meant for three-year-olds and upwards. But the fact that my one-and-a-half-year-old son was mesmerised by the colourful and vibrant illustrations is fact enough that all kids will enjoy this feast. 
Munia’s limp forbids her from making any real companions. And the Elephant Bird is her only true friend. When one of the horses in the village disappears, the headmen and elders are quick to point fingers at the giant animal. Munia knows that the elephant bird is a harmless herbivore, and has definitely not eaten the horse! She voices her protest at the village council, gets shooed away and even her parents are mad at her. But knowing that the village folk plan to search for the elephant bird and harm it the next morning, Munia goes out at night to find the truth about the missing horse. Values such as friendship, honesty and caring are stamped in the foreground of this story. 
This children’s picture book is inspired by the real Elephant Bird, one that became extinct in Madagascar, its home.

Click here to buy 'The Elephant Bird'.

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