One day…. a nice pink engine.. beeeg day in train yard..
children onna skoool-trrrip…. phee phee Thomas visseled..
Ova dha bijj, throooogh the tunnel, he went…
Hurry, hurry said Anne and lallable..
Then, stuckkk in the mud.. he sad 😦
Then.. $@#%6%^^$%^^%$^#.. happpileeeeeeeee…………
Its actually 2-3 stories fused together and the events/characters are all mixed up.. Mostly a combination of an engine bedtime story by the dad where Varun gets to choose the engine color. Its usually the Pink engine.. Apparently, pink engine is Anniyan, with the other personality being Thomas, the tank engine..
One story has Thomas taking few school children on a trip.. Another has him getting stuck in the mud and I think Cranky, the crane, comes to his rescue.. Whatever be the case, the story has to end the way it does.. That is begin the sentence with a long drawn, ‘Then…..’ followed by some muffled sounds which none of us can decipher, and end with ‘haeeeppileee’..
1. skoool-trrrip – school trip
2. visseled – whistled
3. Ova – over
4. lallable – clarabel, one of Thomas’s coaches
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 book launch was organzied by Binita & Gargi of Spring & Zoom, a Centre for Literary Arts, Chennai.
Title: In Bon Bibi’s Forest
Author: Sandhya Rao
Illustrator: Proity Roy
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.