Name of the book: The Jungle Radio
Author & Illustrator: Devangana Dash
Reading Level: 5+ years
(but suitable for younger children too. Currently, mine is 2 years and 8 months old.)
MRP: INR 250/-
Amazon Affiliate Link*: Click here to buy.
What a delight it is to review such a beautiful book. This may not be true for people, but the phrase “beautiful – inside and out” rings so true for this book. At first, what caught my attention about The Jungle Radio was the gorgeous cover. If I had to pick one book amongst many off a shelf at a store, I’d probably pick this one, and I wouldn’t even care what was written inside. I’d just want to take this baby home and put it on display.
Yes, I did judge this book by its cover and I’m telling you, I wasn’t disappointed in the least.
The Jungle Radio is full of melodies from the jungle, a compilation of songs of many birds from all over India. And there are so many. An artistic blend of colourful illustrations and poetic narration, this book introduces us to a multitude of stunning Indian birds ranging from the Magpie to the Koel, from the Munia to the Flamingo, from the Parakeet to the Shama, through the eyes of little Gul who is, and I quote, ‘…curious to know, who are the musicians of this sweet-sounding radio show?’
I have to admit that most of the names were new to me and I had no idea that there were Parakeets in India. As for Laddoo, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she showed as much interest in learning the names of birds as she did insects and reptiles. Ever since this book arrived, this has quickly become Laddoo’s new favourite, so much so that she has learned the name of the book and specifically asks for it.
What I loved the most about the prose was how bird sounds were incorporated into the rhyme, that make reading out loud such a fun experience for the child. Laddoo’s favourite is “chak-chip-chippurrr chham chamm“, which is probably obvious considering this line made it to the letterboard in the picture.
Every single page in this book is a work of art, and so pleasing to the eye even with a busy design. The intricate details in the illustration, and the aesthetic combination of pastel shades (maybe that’s why I’m a bit partial) combined with the unique Indian-ness lent to the illustrations make it even more appealing. When I’m not around to read it out to her, Laddoo loves flipping through the pages and pointing out names of the birds she knows, including the ones she’s learnt since we started reading this book, and other things she can see and recognise.
Another wonderful thing is the Bird Directory at the end of the book titled “What’s that bird?” This includes illustrations and names of ALL the birds mentioned in the book in the order of appearance. Laddoo and I make a fun game of it where I point at pictures and she names the birds. Sometimes, I also call out bird names and ask Laddoo to show me where the bird is.
If your child is anything like mine, (or even if s/he is not), this is a great book to have in your collection. In my experience, most babies are fascinated with other life forms whether they’re birds, animals, sea creatures or creepy-crawlies. Laddoo and I have just begun enjoying reading books and we couldn’t be more thrilled that such a beauty will adorn our modest bookshelf.
If you want to purchase this book, you can click here to buy. This is an affiliate link*.