Being a part of KBN and MKB, I’ve had the honour and the pleasure of meeting virtually some great authors who write about nature, craft, yoga, children’s activities and more. Last year we received books from 2 authors for review and earlier I was given an opportunity to be one of the first ones to read and help edit/review some ebooks from other authors. All in all, I am happy to dedicate the month of March to Book Reviews – something I’ve never done before on my blog. I hope you get inspired and interested in these books as well and support the authors by purchasing their books which can become great resources and interesting reads in your own families.
(This post contains some affiliate links. All opinions are my own and are written based on my personal impressions and experiences. All pictures are used with special permission of Meera Sriram – the author – and are watermarked for the protection of the copyright).
Today I would like to introduce to you 2 books by Meera Sriram and Praba Ram: Bijoy and The Big River and Dinaben and the Lions Gir.
Meera Sriram is a fellow Multicultural Kid Blogger and she writes children’s books mostly about Nature, the animal world and traditions of India. Having a special connection with India myself I was very happy to receive Meera’s books for review. It is also a great chance to introduce the country I hold so dear to my own children.
Dinaben and the Lions of Gir:
At the beginning of the book and at the end there is a call to protect the forests and the lions who are a part of mother Nature and need to be taken care of. There are also common facts about lions which is a great educational material for children and adults both.
Gir is a forest in Gujarat. The book which is filled with wonderful photographs, introduces daily life of Dinaben – a Madhari woman whose village is a part of the Gir forest. It tells how what Dinaben does every day – her beautiful craft and how she makes ghee and curd from milk.
At the same time it tells us about endangered animals that lives in that forest – Asiatic lions. Their natural habitat is in the forests of India and they can’t be found in the wild anywhere else in the world.
In simple words the authors describe simple life of the villagers that live near by the forest and the harmony between the animals and the villagers. As hard as it is to pass the true spirit of their “union”, it is truly felt in the book.
Looking at the images and being able to read Hindi (which I can only read now!) brought back so many warm memories of India and I wished like going back and spending more time among the amazing people of this country.
We thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and looking at real pictures of real animals and people.
I would recommend this book for younger children as well as older children as it is both interesting and educational for various age groups. I also enjoyed the fact that the book is written in 2 languages: English and Hindi. And if you follow the links for purchasing the books, you will see that it has been published in more languages.
The book takes place in a state of India called Assam. I was actually very happy to read more about this state as I have some friends who are originally from there and taking a peek at the life of the Assamis was very interesting!
Bijoy is a boy who lives near Brahmaputra – the Grand Old River, one of the biggest rivers in India. He lives in the village of fishermen and he enjoys swimming and watching fishermen work.
Once again, the book is filled with real-life photographs and describes the life of the villagers in Bijoy’s village. It introduces some of the wild life and endangered animals in this area (for example, one-horned rhino).
For my children the highlight of the book was reading about eri silkworms: what they eat, their life cycle and how the silk is made into beautiful material. At some point my 5 year old asked me if this is where the Sleeping Beauty lived (when she saw the weaver!)
Besides the general story already filled with facts about the villagers life, there are small notes on each page that give more insights into words and terms. Every sentence is written in simple words and if some words are harder to understand – there is a little note to help explain what most of those words mean.
Since the book is meant to pass on a child’s vision of the life around him, it is quite appealing to children as well as they get to see the life in his village through his eyes.
While this book may not be very suitable for children under 3 years old, my toddler still enjoyed looking at numerous pictures in it and she could sit through most of the reading. My 5 year old enjoyed reading it together with me!