Bijal Vachharajani shares a list of 11 books that will get children to explore the wild. Our book 'The Adventures of Philautus Frog' also gets featured on this list.
On World Habitat Day, we pick 11 books that will enchant young readers and introduce them to habitats where the wild things are.
If you thought frogs lived only in ponds, then Kartik Shanker’s book will make you think again. Shanker’s protagonist is Philautus or Thavalai, a tree frog who has never ever come down from his Big Tree home. One day, Thavalai decides to hop off to look for the big blue sea. He has many adventures, including getting directions from a snake who could have easily swallowed him whole.
Maya Ramaswamy’s illustrations recreate the dark, deep shola forest, the surrounding hills and grasslands, and their many denizens. A hornbill sits placidly in one corner of the page, while a balloon frog puffs up in purple glory on another. Venomous snakes slither across the book and a dragonfly flits over the words. The book is packed with nuggets of information, such as that grasslands are hot in the day and cold at night, but the shola is always cool. Readers also learn that Thavalai often gets teased because Philautus frogs bypass the tadpole stage and froglets hop straight out of eggs.
The Mirrors Windows Doors blog also compiled a delightful list of books - Seeing the Woods and the Trees in 42 Picture Book Stories from Around the World. 2 of our books find themselves on this list too :)
Trees are so much a part of our daily lives, whether we take them for granted or find ourselves fighting for their survival: so it is perhaps unsurprising that there are many stories from all over the world that feature trees, woods or forests as a central theme or ‘character’…
Grandfather Goes on Strike
A boy, the book’s narrator, is dismayed when his aged grandfather climbs an old neem tree and refuses to come down until the council promises not to cut the trees down to make way for urban development. At first sceptical of his grandpa’s stand, he stands by as the police, a doctor, a TV news crew, council officials and other protestors come and go…
The story gets across very well the blend of affection and irritation that often characterises inter-generational relationships. Whilst some of the scenarios, as well as Grandpa’s apparent lack of planning in his protest, may require some suspension of disbelief, young readers are more likely to get caught up in the humour and emotional responses to what is a relevant current issue; and the book raises important questions about whether and how much you would be willing to stand up for what you believe in.
The Woodcutter of Gura
A woodcutter sits in a tree to chop firewood and is warned by a passing priest that the branch will break and he will fall down and die if he continues. When the first two parts of the prophesy come true, the woodcutter therefore believes that he must indeed have died – and his fellow villagers are convinced also, despite the woodcutter himself giving them instructions for taking him home, fetching his wife etc.
This nonsensical folktale from Ethiopia will tickle young readers’ sense of the ridiculous and make them feel very wise…
Read the book here.View the entire list of recommended books.