Text – Aparajita Dutta and Nima Manjrekar
Pictures – Maya Ramaswamy
Once in a while, you come across a book that makes you look at it wistfully, making you wonder – how nice it would have been if I had this book to understand things back in my school days! They explain the facts that looked monstrous during school so beautifully and simply, that you can’t help but marvel at it.
‘Walk the Rainforest with Niwupah‘ by Dutta and Manjrekar is one such book. It is a non-fiction book, but it doesn’t throw textual information as a bundle of facts. It has a very friendly and comprehensible tone, with beautiful illustrations to go with it. As you read the book, you can actually feel that the authors are talking to you. The richness of the text and illustrations together instantly transports you to a rainforest. And it comes alive beautifully in front of your eyes.
The book’s tone is conversational and makes for an easy read. You can imagine it serving as your guide through the rainforest, introducing you to the various inhabitants of the place, and the rules of the house. There are tiny boxes of facts containing very interesting information – for example, did you know that cocoa beans actually came from the rainforests?
The hero of the book is the Great Hornbill or Niwupah, and the write-up about the hornbills makes for a very fascinating read. The book also draws attention to the threat to the rainforests and its inhabitants, especially the hornbills because of the deforestation. We keep clearing the forests to make our homes, but we do need to spare a thought for the creatures who are the rightful inhabitants of that place. The book also inspires the young ones to take up wildlife activism, and gives them quite a few ideas and tips to get started at their own level.
The artwork in the book by Maya Ramaswamy is very eye-catching, and very detailed. The illustrations are so vivid and exact, that they look more like a photograph. The pictures are also labelled to help identify the birds, animals and insects. And they serve as a starting point for a whole new exploration altogether. The world map at the end with the rainforests marked on it is a very useful addition too.
Get and read this book, pronto! It’s a treasure worth enjoying and cherishing.