One Lonely Tiger by Benita Sen brings out the anguish and the concern from environmental lovers, animal lovers and this author has brought out a simple narrative that can sensitize children towards all the wild life and everything in our neighborhoods that are threatened with going extinct.
Here’s a short excerpt of the book One Lonely Tiger, written by Benita Sen, illustrated by Sekar Mukherjee and published by Penguin Books.
One tiger lived alone. In a den both deep and dark. He strode through the jungle like you’d walk in a park.
At times, he got a little bored= Yaawn- where could he go?
So he walked out into the light to play with his shadow.
He pounced a that strange black cat. And then he growled out loud.
You see, he forgot it was just himself.
I’ll get you soon! he vowed.”
Benita shares with Mums and Stories, her intent to write the story, “ The environment has always meant a lot to me. Both as a journalist and as a children’s author, I’ve been writing about these issues for some time. In my personal life, I believe in doing my bit for the environment. So, I’ve planted hundreds of trees and shrubs over decades. I grow trees from seeds of fruit that I eat, and give them away the next year to anyone who would like to plant a tree. We’re all part of a real-life world-wide web. It’s the web of life.
What happens to the tiger in One Lonely Tiger, could happen to many, many more species. We regularly read about habitat destruction and the loss of species. This book is the result of that concern. I can never read about the Dodo without feeling a stab of remorse!
I write about issues that mean a lot to me. My book, What Did Nepo Do With a Sari? (published by Katha), is about gender and farmers. I’ve done about four craft books, all on reusing things to make something new. When I write for children, I layer my words so that parents, who are such an important part of the reading experience, can take something from it also. And the fun quotient has to be there in almost all my work. Some gentle humour, some tongue-in-cheek imagery, is a must.
Children are our future and they comprehend such issues if these are explained to them. It is up to us to put the facts before them. I do hope parents will share their concerns about the issues raised in the book, with their children.”
On a positive note, Benita shares, “ Although the book is about a disturbing situation, it ends on a ray of hope. That is the twist that comes at the end, and that is something I would love the young readers to cherish.
It’s a picture book and I’m delighted that a talent of the calibre of Sekhar Mukherjee has illustrated this book. This is our second book together and each time, Sekhar takes over from where I leave, and adds his own thoughts. He has developed the persona of the tiger in his signature style. If the words are important, so are the illustrations in this book. “
We felt it was a simple story that can surely sensitize children, especially for 4 to 9 year olds. As the author mentions, it goes on a glum state of affairs, yet it ends on a positive note which is a ray of hope to revive everything before we lose it completely.
Mums and Stories gives it a 4 on 5.
You can buy the book here