In Bon Bibi’s Forest

The boys and I were lucky to meet three stars on one platform- author Sandhya Rao, illustrator Proiti Roy, and the super story-teller Craig Jenkins. Spring & Zoom (where Vyas attends a workshop), had arranged the event and Vyas and I were looking forward to it.

It was a work-day evening and I had to literally rush home to pick up the two boys and hit the venue in time, and we almost made it. Craig Jenkins had begun his story-telling of Ramayana and we missed the first 10 mins:( We got to listen to the story of Bon Bibi fully. His voice and actions had the kids and adults hooked till the end! So much that Varun and his friend Shruti (from his play school) were paying attention too without fidgeting, and what’s more, Varun was having a ball imitating the actions by Craig which included making a face like ‘Dokkhin Rai’, grunting like one, and also threatening to tear me with the imaginary claws:)

It was a treat to say Hi! to Sandhya Rao and Vyas was super excited to get his copy of the book autographed by Sandhya, Proity, and Craig:) Chrishelle David from Tulika was around over-seeing the proceedings. Varun did a ‘Hi’ and hi-five to Craig and then followed a ruckus.. He wanted the tea that Craig was having and wouldn’t end the tantrum even after reaching home.. Before the others got to judge my poor parenting of initiating a child into the ‘tea-habit’, I scooted out of the venue with Vyas in tow! But all that was after the event:)

The Event

The book launch was organzied by Binita & Gargi of Spring & Zoom, a Centre for Literary Arts, Chennai.

The Book

The Book

Title: In Bon Bibi’s Forest
Author: Sandhya Rao
Illustrator: Proity Roy
Publisher: Tulika

The story

Dokkhin Rai, a monster with striped skin, sharp claws and teeth, ready for the kill, terrorizes the settlements bordering Sundarban. The locals live in mortal fear of falling a prey to Dokkhin Rai’s hunger and anger. It is then that Bon Bibi, and her lost and found brother, Shah Jhongoli take it upon themselves to protect the people and other lives in the forest.. Why does Dokkhin Rai terrorize the people? Will he mend his ways? Are Bon Bibi and Shah Jhongoli successful in taming the wild monster? Read the story to find out more!

The kids and I have fallen in love with this book and the little one enjoys when it is read aloud to him:) What has caught our fancy is the names of the characters with a distinct Bangla touch. If Varun knows a monster, its only Dokkhin Rai now! With the lush forests of Sundarban as the back-drop, Sandhya Rao has doled out a beautiful mix of mythology and a message which the kids can relate to so well. The story is supported by brilliant illustrations by Proity. If you want to tell your kids about co-existence, environment conservation and mutual non-interference, this book is a great fit!

Read more about what inspired the story of Bob Bibi’s Forest on the Tulika’s blog here.

Pictures: Courtesy- Spring & Zoom

Author: Vidya

Positive, and positively talkative!

20 thoughts on “In Bon Bibi’s Forest”

  1. You know Vidya this is something I want to do..attend a story telling session…I have never done it all my life..and also watch a play live..two things I am yet to do…I hope I can do it one day if Tulika gets something to Mumbai..

    Loved the feel of the you think I can get it for R? lemme know

    LOL on Varun and Chai..excuse me..why is your parenting bad because he drinks tea…I know loads of 2 year olds who survive on pepsi and least tea has tannin in it which is good Gah!

    1. RM, you can read this for R at its face-value.. She is too small to comprehend the tiger and environment conservation parallelism .. Still a book she’d love when read to:) Do attend Jeeva Raghunath’s if it comes.. Will keep you posted if i get to know too..

      Abt tea.. ppl have a tough time understanding why i allow tea but not coffee! sigh!!!

    1. Take her Shruti, she’ll love it.. In fact Pratham had a similar event for ‘A King Cobra’s Summer’ i think.. Dec 3rd or 4th week..

  2. wow..sounds so much fun! Guess, Tulika has such sessions in B’lore too??
    Will take R sometime..
    and LOL@ varun’s tantrum..chinnadulam romba kurumbu, illiya??

    1. Yeah Uma, they have similar events happening across B’lore.. Like I’ve mention in the above response, watch out for news from Pratham Books too..

  3. Lovely description of book.
    Most of the tulika story tellers are best,we have been to Jeeva aunty’s,my daughter was not even two by the time went,but we had a wonderful goan song to dance,she loved it.We went to one session(book: We are going on a bear hunt) on New year’s day but it was not quiet satisfying,but still she listened,because that was a very lovely book with rhyming lyrics.
    Hippo campus does hosts lot of such sessions,try them once.

  4. Sounds like it was cartloads of fun..Dokkin Rai sounds so adorable ! I must must attend one of Tulika’s sessions once..

  5. Sounds wonderful. Do you think it’s worth trying to attend something like this with Sammu? Or would she be too young? How do you get information on these events?

    1. Such sessions happen for different age groups and you can surely take her to one.. Many libraries host such activities.. some activity centres like Spring & Zoom also organize such events.. LetsDoSomething is yet another center inChennai that arranges such activities.. Subscribe to newsletters by children’s books publishers..

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