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Indu Liberhan

By K.E. Priyamvada
Cinnamonteal Publishing, Goa, 2012, pp. 62, Rs. 599.00


A nimal Antics by Priyamvada is a collection of 26 poems about different animals and birds from various parts of the world. Priyamvada has dealt with the animal kingdom of Australia, Africa, South American, India, China, Sumatra and Borneo, South Asia as well as the open seas. A maiden venture, this collection of poems is a self published one. Although essentially a book for children, it makes very interesting reading at all ages.   Priyamvada has used the ‘poetry’ format to describe the animals, their habitat, their special characteristics, the food they eat, as also their contribution to the environment. A verse form makes it easy for children to read, enjoy as well as remember. The book is also very colourfully and beautifully illustrated making it extremely attractive for children.   The poems are about a wide range of animals, and the collection has a good mixture of common and rare animals. Read about the Jacana bird—beautiful bird which can ‘walk on leaves on a lake’.   Why is it that it is called ‘Jacana’? I’m also called Jacana or Lotus Bird. For I walk on the leaves of water plants. My long straight claws spread out my weight So as for drowning there’s just no chance   In the small poem the author has conveyed a great deal of information—from the physical appearance of the bird, its various names, how it walks on leaves, where it builds its nest, where the chicks hatch, to what a group of chicks are called.   Very informative are the poems about the monkey family—the orangutan, the gorilla, the chimpanzee and the lesser known uakari. Not only have these poems given the details of each variety but the differences in characteristics between each of them. The orangutan, known as the ‘person of the forest’ in Malay, is not a family animal,   I used to live with my mother When I was small, but now I’ve grown I see her with my kid sister now, But I live all on my own.   whereas the chimpanzee is a family animal, noisy with a tendency to show off. I live with my family and friends, And we can make quite a noise, We hoot and grunt and scream and roar; Just watch a big male show off to the boys.   The gorilla on the other hand is peaceful most of the time and likes to be ...

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