“This Beautifully illustrated book does a brilliant job of bringing alive the bird kingdom. Crows, Pigeons, Owls, Gulls, birds of every size and colour.”

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

Deepak Dalal’s Feather Tales are exactly that – stories of the world of birds set in a place called the Rose Garden with a stray squirrel called SHikhar who happens to speak bird language because he was brought up by a bulbul named Kabul and a dog irritatingly named Wow Wow. The birds have their own communities and laws and through these Dalal attempts to tell children a tory of the natural order. The bird world has its own hierarchies and these when followed result in harmony, whereas if not followed, cause chaos.

The two books, one about a caged falcon and the other about a bird napped flamingo carry these messages apart from introducing city children to a world beyond that of the crows, pigeons and sparrow that they are familiar with.

In A Flamingo in my Garden, Dalal introduces a kind of bird speak where skyscrapers are referred to as human trees and cars are doo doos – the terms are explained with the help of asterisks – doo doos may raise a few eyebrows but guns as deathsticks will come as no surprise.  The stories also bring examples of courage, friendship and teamwork that carry useful lessons for children.

The books are slim and brightly illustrated though – rather surprisingly – they are targeted at children above eight. Illustrations and simplicity suggest that they might work for younger children. Of course in a world where children more and more frequently seem to have no time for reading – the weighty Harry Potters are of course an exception, Dalal may have hit upon a winning formula.

 

Reviewed by:

Anjana basu

Added 30th January 2017

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Anjana Basu

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