Here are two books that have been inspired by nature.
Have you ever come across an animal that ate so much that it almost looked as big as an elephant? If not, meet the jackal in Gobble You Up. Wily and lazy he will do anything to make someone else hunt for his food.
From tricking his best friend, the crane into getting him 12 fish, to gobbling him up in turn; he goes on an eating spree gobbling up every animal that he comes across. It does not matter to him that he was expanding like a balloon! But then everything has a limit as he was soon to realise.
Adapted from a Rajasthani folktale, the story makes use of the cumulative rhyme written in a different ink to help you say it aloud and enjoy it. The entire book is a finger printed model that uses the traditional Meena art form called Mandana, which women used to paint the walls and floors in their houses.
The animals, especially the jackal is depicted in such detail that you can see what is happening inside his tummy. Every page is inspired from nature and every animal looks different, the illustrations make the story come alive.
A loud deafening noise can scare anyone into hiding. This is what happened to Musa. When Musa’s mother fell ill he decided to help her and fetch some wood from the forest. But he hears a loud noise and has no clue about what follows. In a most unfortunate incident Musa soon finds himself leaping into the hollow of a large tree.
He is trapped and has no way out as a herd of wild boar await him. After hours of waiting, he conquers fear.
This story was inspired by folk art from Madhya Pradesh and uses a linear narrative style. Every page uses more of art and less of words. A story that happens in the forest also conveys a strong message of how to confront fear. The illustrations carry the story forward and though dark in the beginning it becomes bright and colourful as the story goes on, signifying that fear has been replaced with hope.
Gobble You Up by Sunita and Gita Wolf, Tara Books, Rs. 850
Alone in the Forest by Gita Wolf, Andrea Anastasio and Bhajju Shyam, Tara Books, Rs. 375