ABOUT THE BOOKA series of four Level 1 books about animals and birds in the forests of India. From wild cats to birds, from tigers to scavengers, these simple picture books introduce young readers to creatures great and small that are part of our natural diversity.
- This is a series of four Level 1 books written and illustrated by a single author-illustrator duo – Sejal Mehta and Rohan Chakravarty. They deal with the behaviours and living habits of different wild animals including the tiger, a variety of wild cats, birds, and scavengers. The books are informative, and can spark off an interest in wildlife among the youngest of readers.
- The books make use of a good text-to-visuals ratio, and allow the pictures to do a lot of the talking. The text is minimal and simple, which is suitable for a young reader, and supplies information through straightforward repetitions and short sentences. The books are, however, truly brought alive by their illustration. Rohan Chakravarty’s humourous but detailed pictures will be sure to grab children’s attention. The cartoon-style wild animals are both amusing as well as reasonably true to life.
- The books also employ simple humour that will appeal to young readers. In Who Ate All That Up? (which is easily the best book in the set), no matter what other scavenging creatures are feasting on, the hungry wild boar is always there. The line “And the hungry wild boar,” which repeats at the end of every section, will definitely amuse children, while also lending a sense of rhythm and flow to the narration.
- The books seem a little too information-heavy for the age-group they are addressing. For very young children who are only beginning to develop a vocabulary around everyday objects and experiences, these books introduce a lot of new words and concepts that may be hard to understand and process.
- The books (except Who Ate All That Up?) are also a bit conceptually weak. Watch Out! The Tiger is Here! has a particularly scattered storyline, which starts off by talking about how tigers hunt, but ends up focusing on the warning calls of various animals, and culminates with a comical glimpse of the hungry and confused tiger.