May 162024
Exploring the Sunderbans with Paro! [Review]
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Book Title : Paro of the Sunderbans
Author : Vaishnavi Giri
Illustrator : Pallavi Jain
Publisher : Karadi Tales
Type : Hardcover
Length : 36 pages
Age Group : 5 years+

Enlisted as one of the esteemed UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India and Bangladesh, Sunderbans is one of a kind – home to over 700 rare and globally endangered wildlife species. Who would not want to explore this picturesque spectacle? Ananya and I immersed ourselves into this natural beauty, immediately.

The story begins with a beautiful description of a sunny, humid day in the mangroves of the Sunderbans. Paro is a little mudskipper who is lost in the mangroves. While she is an amphibious fish, she cannot stay away from water for a long time. To top it, she does not have legs which makes her journey back home even more difficult. And danger lurks  everywhere! During her journey Paro encounters the exuberant Silver Rhesus Macaques, the scheming Checkered Keelback Snake, the keen-eyed Brahminy Kite, the sinister Terrapin, and the fierce and majestic Bengal Tiger. Who will guide her home to the marshlands? Will she ever be able to go back home?

The content is rich not only from a storyline perspective but also in terms of coverage of Sunderbans’ rich flora and fauna – I am learning and re-learning so many facts myself!

Ananya was particularly impacted by the section wherein Paro reaches out to a Terrapin seeking help to reach marshlands. She says that she is lost and has lost her family. The Terrapin replies “Stop Complaining – I have lost my family for generations”.

Ananya was sad to hear this. Her constant question was “Are they going to be extinct?”.

We channelised our discussions to help her understand how wildlife conservationists are harbouring safe environments. These discussions were also a good way to reinforce the concept of sustainability to Ananya and inculcate the practice of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in our daily behaviour – thereby, directly and indirectly impacting our forest covers.

The illustrations are spectacular and the cover is among the best I have seen (illustrated by award winning Pallavi Jain). The book proudly sits on my centre table from the day it arrived home. Ananya has been mesmerized by the water colour art and has been going gaga over it. It’s our first rectangular hardcover book and I appreciate the thought process and ideation that must have gone behind it – I am truly impressed.

There is an appendix section which provides additional details on Sunderbans. Did you know there are three mangrove species within Sundarbans? The page also lists out the fauna encountered by Paro during her journey, with a thumbnail picture – that helps the reader map the mentioned names with pictures.

There is no Planet B, we need to educate our kids about nature and instill a sense of responsibility to love, nurture and to give back to Mother Earth – and this book is a step in this direction.

Happy Reading, everyone!

If you enjoyed reading this review and would like to introduce this topic to your child, you can order this book from Amazon (kbc affiliate link),


Disclaimer: Pooja and Ananya are a part of the #kbcReviewerSquad and received these books as review copies from the publisher via kbc.

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