Title: When I Met the Mama Bear- A Forest Guard’s Story
Author: Prerna Singh Bindra
Illustrator: Maya Ramaswamy
Publisher: Talking Cub (an imprint of Speaking Tiger Books)
Age Group: 8-12 years (publisher recommendation is 10-12 years)
Greetings for the day! Before I put down the review penned by my daughter, Miss. M, here are a few words from my side:
This is a wonderful book that gives you rich insights into forest life, the wilderness and also the tenderness that’s mostly unseen. I would highly recommend this book to be read aloud to young readers as it gives a chance for them to develop a bond with nature, if not with forests, at least with the flora and fauna found in their immediate surroundings.
I should also mention that the writing is very much kid-friendly with the use of short sentences in an active voice without any compromise on the quality of language.
As an added feature, along with the fictional re-telling of a real incident, the book also has a non-fictional write-up about the incident, the forest guards and about bears. So it gives a child the flavour of both worlds, fiction and non-fiction.
Also, typesetting is easy on the eyes of children. I would highly recommend this book for kids who are transitioning from picture books to chapter books.
With that, let me now share the review penned by Miss. M.
Just as I read the title, “When I Met the Mama Bear”, I was like, wow, this must be amazing. I was so intrigued that I started reading it at once.
The book starts with a few poems and they are beautiful. Let me share one of them, here.
And we need trees to hold together Bees, and birds of every feather; And leaves so that the air stays sweet— All this and more is no mean feat. Dear forester —you have not toiled for fame or favour, Yours has been a love of labour. - Ruskin Bond, from To the Indian Forest Service
This book is about a forest guard, named Priya. She is a single mother. She realises that if she takes up the job of a forest guard and protects animals, she could earn enough money to pay her daughter’s school fees. So, to make a living, she chooses to work as a forest guard staying away from her daughter, Astha. Astha lives in the town with her grandmother.
Initially, Priya was a little scared but her love for animals and nature helped her overcome the fear. Also, her colleagues helped her settle down and survive in the forest.
What I liked about Priya is that she is very kind to animals and nature. She cares about them just as much as she cares about her daughter.
Priya misses her daughter to an extent that she cooks Astha’s favourite puranpoli only when she visits her and not on other days. It’s her love for Astha that she endures the hardships of living in the forest.
Over time, Priya learns the behavioural traits of the animals and also learns to identify the thick vegetation around her. It’s then that she is faced with an adventurous incident of facing an angry Mama Bear.
How Priya and her colleagues work as a team and handle the situation efficiently is the rest of the story. I loved the co-ordination in the team.
Also, the details on animals’ behavioural traits that they look out for and notice were all fascinating.
The b/w sketches by the illustrator Maya Ramaswamy are cool. The choice of just black & white colours kind of brings the dark and dense nature of forests. I liked the sketches and felt like trying a few (sharing one here!).
After reading the book I just felt like going on a Jungle safari. It must be scary as well as exciting. Hopefully soon (fingers crossed!).
Do pick up this book. I’m sure once you read the book, you will have a different outlook on wildlife.
Read it and feel it.
P.S. We got this book as part of #kbcReviewerSquad and we feel happy and privileged to be part of it as we are free to have our opinions and give an honest review of the book.
If you enjoyed this review and wish to buy the book from Amazon (kbc affiliate link),CLICK & BUY NOW!