If you’re not a military-trained commando or wilderness expert but just an ordinary child, what is the best way to survive in the wild? Does it help to know how to start a fire by rubbing sticks together or should you carry a matchbox when you go into the wild? A poacher, if caught and convicted for killing a protected species, can be thrown into jail for several years. Yet it’s okay for a government to drown an entire ancient rainforest and every living creature in it? How wacko is that?

In this book, best buddies Shaila and Sachin face many such situations, making them realise that our attitudes towards nature and wildlife can be absurd.


  • Given the recent Supreme Court order to evict over one million tribal people from their forest homes, this is a very timely read – a small step towards demystifying the wild and touching on the importance of coexistence.
  • Author Ranjit Lal’s love for creatures great and small, and his knowledge about the wilderness are revealed in his exploration of the wild through his two child protagonists.
  • For urban kids keen on natural history – or even kids who might want to find out about the beautiful, clever creatures we share this planet with – books of these sort are the only way to be in touch with their wild side.
  • The book is well-produced and eminently readable, with colourful illustrations breaking up the text.
  • The only disconcerting aspect is the tendency to anthropomorphise the animals – not only can such behaviours be inaccurate, it often tends to reinforce the patriarchal values that plague human society.
  • While the stories are quite well written, there is no getting around the fact that they are meant to ‘educate’. That could put some readers off.


Part of TERI’s Nature’s Bizarre… series of books, this one is chock-full of information about the lives of some wise and wonderful creatures, both wild and domesticated.


Author: Ranjit Lal
Illustrator: Not mentioned
Language: English
Page Extent: 48 pages
Price: Rs. 185
ISBN: 978-93-86530-15-8
Publisher: TERI, 2108
Subject category: Fiction/Illustrated Storybook/Wildlife/Series
Age-group: 7+

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