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Nita Berry

By Ratna Manucha
Year 2016, pp. 28, Rs. 112.00

VOLUME XL NUMBER 11 November 2016

How did the lion become the King of the Forest? Why does the elephant have such a l-o-n-g nose? How did the camel get its big hump? Why do rabbits have such long ears? And why on earth do tortoises carry shells on their backs? Enquiring young minds are full of such never ending questions! In Secrets of the Animal Kingdom—an attractive and amusing read aloud book by Ratna Manucha, every curious question becomes a delightful tale! Young kids are always fascinated by animal stories and will enjoy reading about how the lion defeated the elephant in a wrestling bout to become the King of the Forest. A real fitness freak, the lion exercises hard while the elephant is convinced that the more banana trees he eats the stronger he will become! As one can imagine, the wrestling bout eventually turns into a rather one-sided affair! The meddlesome elephant is always poking his nose into other animals’ affairs, and lands up with a long nose or trunk. And the grumpy and vain camel is banished to a desert with an ugly hump because he is always complaining about the forest and its inmates. Everybody in the forest fights to have the popular little rabbit in their team. When he runs and hides himself, the severe ear pulling he receives from his friends makes his ears stretch and stretch! The last of the five stories in this charming collection is about the forgetful tortoise who always loses his way home. And that is why the Lord of the Jungle gives him a home to carry on his back! Some interesting information on the animal of every story follows in a coloured box. This simple knowledge gives an added dimension to storytelling, and makes learning fun! Ratna Manucha has an engaging and amusing style that makes the stories an enjoyable read. As the founder Principal of Little Flower School in Dehradun, she has over twenty years of teaching experience with little ones and has written poems, short stories and even course books for children. So the stories flow naturally, replete with lively dialogue and funny situations. The animals come alive as real characters with all their follies and foibles. Indeed, the forest comes to feel like a big home with family members of all dispositions. The cover of the book is colourful and attractive in illustrator Suvidha Mistry’s endearing style, ...

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