Title: Bumoni’s Banana Trees
Author: Mita Bordoloi
Illustrator: Tarique Aziz
Publisher: Tulika Publishers
Age group: 5+ years
Little Bumoni lives across the river from the Kaziranga National Park. Her backyard is bursting with banana trees. She loves eating bananas. Every part of this amazing zero-waste banana plant finds its way into her daily life – stems being used to make a boat and bowls, yummy banana blossoms into curry and banana leaves as biodegradable plates that later feed the cows too!
But one day, a herd of wild elephants barge in from the forest, eat all the bananas and trample the plants! As it becomes a daily intrusion, the worried family scrambles for ways to stop the plunder. Soon, inspired by the Digboi oil fields, Bumoni finds a safe way that repels the elephants. As the family rejoices and sleeps peacefully, it slowly dawns upon kind Bumoni that she has not not solved the problem but simply diverted it. What will the elephants eat now?
She comes up with a win-win solution that allows the elephants to have their feast without destroying their crops, showing that empathy is all one needs to find sustainable answers to even our ‘elephantine’ problems.
Author Mita Bordoloi speaks volumes on understanding the consequences of wildlife habitat loss and the paramount need to coexist in harmony with this simple picture book. Tariq Aziz’s delightful illustrations add a special affectionate touch to this tale. The vivid sunset spread showing the animals of the national park, with the one horned rhino, hoolocks and herons is a treasure!
The most heart warming piece of this book is that this story came true! Elephant-man conflicts are extremely common in Assam and unfortunately humans resort to shooting arrows or putting up electric fences around paddy fields. Just like Bumoni, NGO Hatibondhuhe has successfully created a designated meal zone of rice, elephant apple, jackfruit, banana plants, etc, that allows venturing tuskers to feast without the need to enter farmers’ paddy fields.
Do not miss this new release from Tulika books that opens conversations on animal corridors conflicts, problem solving, endangered species, zero waste living and empathy.
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